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Warning issued for Office patch

The bug-busting group is recommending that users not install SR-2 if they have any Office 97 application dating from the first half of 1997.

The plagued short history of Microsoft's Office 97 service release pack 2 got a little longer yesterday as a bug-finding group issued a bug advisory for the patch.

Because many longtime users of Office 97 have reported severe difficulties trying to install Office 97 SR-2, BugNet is recommending that users not install SR-2 if they have any Office 97 application dating from the first half of 1997 installed on their system, the bug-busting group said yesterday.

The advisory comes just more than a week after Office 97 patch SR-2 was released and on the same day a browser controversy sprang up around the patch.

BugNet said Office 97 SR-2 will choke if it detects any original Office application on the system, or if the versions of some files are reported inaccurately.

Users of more recent versions of Office 97 probably will have no problems installing SR-2, BugNet said.

The new Office 97 SP 2 contains a number of upgrades including support for Euro currency changes and Year 2000 fixes. It also contains the Excel 97 for Windows Auto-Recalculation Patch, but if users don't want to download the new service release, they can download the Excel recalculation patch alone from the Office update Web site.

The browser confusion last week surrounded a Web site posting on the update page which led users to believe they needed Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser to download a software update. Due to customer complaints and reports in the press, the company rewrote the language of the page to inform Netscape Communications' Communicator users that their browser will download the patch with all the same bells and whistles Internet Explorer users will get.

Emails and calls to Microsoft have not been returned.

Because the Microsoft workaround involves editing the registry, BugNet advises longtime Office 97 users who need to upgrade to SR-2 to contact Microsoft or their authorized tech support provider to walk them through the steps.