The connect to the internet to be triggered by IE is known as a dial on demand. Such is easy to thwart with any number of pop-up stoppers, firewalls and more. If I set the home page to about:blank, it will also not dial.
If the XP has SP1 and more, then I usually just uninstall the firewall, popup stopper and other software that can break it.
As to the Office item, I don't use it and can't offer any insight. We moved to Open Office about a year ago from http://www.openoffice.org
System - Dell 4100 desktop, 348 mb RAM, Windows XP Home, Internet Explorer 6.0.2+, MS Office suite 2000.
Mystery 1 - IE will not initiate connection to the ISP when opened. I have been unable to restore that functionality (worked fine under W98) since installing XP and IE6. Gone through all Internet Options settings in IE (Dial whenever network connection not present, etc)several times. Still, opening IE absent existing connection results in "cannot find page" and working offline. Any ideas?
Mystery 2 - I am probably one of maybe a dozen people who find the MS Office shortcut bar useful, but to me it is indispensable. Since installing XP, I cannot add a button to open the dialup connection to the ISP. It seems that the network connection executable is now buried somewere such that using the shortcut bar "add button" function cannot locate it. Again, no problem under Win98. I did create a shortcut for the network connection to the desktop, but to use it I have to clear to the desktop, then reopen my work screens. What an unnecessary pain. Of course that shortcut cannot be mounted as a button on the shortcut bar because the "path cannot be located". Is there a way to get these Microsoft products to cooperate with each other for a change?
Each day I lean towards Linux more and more. Thanx, RB