back to article Microsoft patch mashes Office forms and macros

Microsoft's December patching palaver keeps getting worse, with news that one of this month's brood is breaking Excel macros. Redmond's already had to back-pedal on the December 2014 update for Windows Root Certificate Program in Windows and also this month pulled a faulty Exchange update. Now comes news that MS14-082, one of …

  1. Denarius Silver badge
    Happy

    That picture

    shouldn't it be on a Sony article ?

    1. tempemeaty
      Angel

      Re: That picture

      "shouldn't it be on a Sony article ?"

      HAHAHAHA...! Good one!

    2. Credas Silver badge

      Re: That picture

      shouldn't it be on a Sony article ?

      Don't worry, it will be. And a Target article, and....

  2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Coat

    Move along there, nothing to report

    Same old, same old, the Users to the testing for MS because they can bothered to do it themselves.

    not that they are immune here but it does seem that patch cockups are happening more and more often with stuff coming out of Redmond.

    now time to go and do my crimble shopping. Cash only this year coz a %$£$$%^&*%$$!!!!! cloned one of my cards.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Move along there, nothing to report

      All possible scenarios are too many to reasonably test.

      However it looks as though this comes down to software version control. MS really should have nailed that. I remember having $APP/lib directories under *nix which seems to me to be the right way to go. That can be a symlink to an older version of code if required.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Move along there, nothing to report

      "Same old, same old, the Users to the testing for MS because they can bothered to do it themselves."

      I'm not sure I would have thought of testing a patch against a system with both Office 2007 and Office 2013 installed. Is that a common scenanario?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Move along there, nothing to report

        How about Office for Mac having some imaginary dependency on Firefox and Safari.? Updates refuse to install if Firefox and/or Safari is running. Sloppy really Sloppy on the part of Microsoft.

        Don't know about those two versions installed. I have 2003 and 2007 on my Laptop. At least I can do most of my documentation work without that silly ribbon. 2007 is only used where I have to output in .docx format.

      2. Tom 13

        Re: Office 2007 and Office 2013 installed.

        Office 2007 has been deprecated. You're not even supposed to be using Office 2010, it's supposed to be that cloud subscription thingy or 2013.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Office 2007 and Office 2013 installed.

          "Office 2007 has been deprecated"

          From memory it was always deprecating all over the place anyway

      3. Vince

        Re: Move along there, nothing to report

        I had 6 computers in exactly that setup this week - all because they're unable (unwilling maybe) to update the MS Access stuff they did in 2007 version...

    3. stucs201

      Re: Users TO the testing for MS because they CAN bothered to do it themselves.

      Is that like how you CAN'T be bothered to DO your proof-reading of your posts. If you're going to complain about people not checking stuff then check your own stuff.

      Or perhaps in both cases it was checked, but by humans who are fallible and miss stuff despite their best intentions?

  3. pmelon

    Understatement

    "...it's starting to look a bit sloppy"

    Safer to not bother patching. That's been the policy here since long before my arrival. Madness either way.

    1. chivo243 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Understatement

      @pmelon

      I have put my foot down, and we wait to patch, let others burn their fingers on fresh from the oven batches of patches. Sometimes we wait 2 weeks ;-}

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Not bother patching ?

      No, safer to update manually, when all the lemmings have gone and reported broken features and fixes have been made.

      Of course, it's still a risk, because you never know if Yet Another Bug is going to crop up in reports while you're patching, or if you're a special case and some new bug rears its head.

      But it is still better than rushing to patch a running system, running headfirst into problems and having to wait for MS to do a rush job only to find that either it doesn't fix the problem and/or it breaks something else.

      I was about to add "because done too quickly" but MS has already failed patches it had ample time to create, so best leave it out.

  4. keithpeter
    Windows

    "... it does seem that patch cockups are happening more and more often with stuff coming out of Redmond."

    Could this perception be related to the recent redundancies at Redmond, which I understand from one of the softie blogs, fell mainly among testing teams?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      <i>Could this perception be related to the recent redundancies at Redmond, which I understand from one of the softie blogs, fell mainly among testing teams?</i>

      Interesting. Whatever the reason, this is how it used to be a decade or more ago. And despite the occasional comment about update issues that were so rare as to seem the exception that proved the rule, Microsoft seemed to have cracked this. Like with blue screens. I have run multiple versions of Windows all this time and had long got used to issues with updates and BSODs being a thing of the past. In all that time it has seemed Microsoft had made Windows all but unfailingly reliable. Then iPhones and tablets came into the ascendency and they got scared. And history begins to repeat itself. Not enough people with any authority at Microsoft now who were there in the 9x days?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Symptomatic of a deeper problem

    The fundamental problem for MS and most other technology vendors is that market forces - yes that's (most of) us - demand continual "innovation" and change, in preference to making what has already been released function correctly and dependably.

    Equally, "decision makers" are all too often persuaded by our industry that replacing systems that have been refined over many years, and reimplementing them from scratch, is a universal panacea for IT woes. This approach may eliminate some old bugs but, with prevalent design techniques, will inevitably introduce new ones.

    Recent events should remind us that systems developed using current approaches are just not suitable for society's rapidly increasing dependance on ICT.

  6. CJ_in_AZ

    Glad I use OpenOffice...

  7. Bladeforce

    Starting to look sloppy?

    It's been like that since day one but hey some people do live in Microsofts cloud

  8. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Multiple Versions

    I can see multiple versions MS Office being installed on a computer because of MS file compatibility issues. So to me this would be an obvious test case and fairly easy one to implement with VM with one OS image with each pair of versions installed.

    The problem is number that are getting yanked and the damage they tend to do. Continually, screwing up Patch Tuesday will eventually be noticed and some people and companies will migrate away from MS and never return.

  9. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    Mobile first, cloud first

    Customers, developers, partners and staff last.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oops they did it again ... <sigh>

    True. having multiple versions of Office installed at the same time is not the 'normal" situation, or a situation that MS encouraged in the past. BUT, that is changing.

    It was a more valid assumption when MS sold discounted "upgrade" licenses that required you to uninstall the "old" / "upgrade from" version. But since the beancounters decided to do the money grab and discontinued the upgrade license in Office 2013 it is becoming more possible.

    As well, after trying 2013 and finding the blinding white user interface not user friendly, many people have gone back to their earlier version.

    True, MS does not encourage installing multiple versions, but they have had the registry hack in place since the 1980's.

    By the way, I have Office 2003, 2007, 2010 AND 2013 ALL running on my Windows 8.0 computer. It is easy, with a couple of adaptations, a simple registry hack to add the NoReReg registry key, and creating separate version specific template folders.

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