April 26, 2007 5:25 PM PDT

Office 2003 to get security upgrade

Microsoft plans to make some of the security improvements and features it built into Office 2007 available for Office 2003, a company representative said Thursday.

Service Pack 3 for Office 2003 will be focused on security, said Joshua Edwards, a technical product manager for Office at Microsoft. "We're trying to take what we learned from building Office 2007 and bring as much as we can to Office 2003," Edwards said in an interview with CNET News.com.

Microsoft hasn't yet set a release date for the Office 2003 update, which like other service packs will be available as a free upgrade. Also, there are no details of what will be in the update, other than that Microsoft is "backporting" work it did for Office 2007.

"We're not going to take everything, but we will take as much as we can," said Edwards, discussing what might be in the update.

Many of the changes will be invisible to users, hardening the applications and file parsers against attacks, Edwards said. Such changes under the hood could help protect against attacks that exploit security vulnerabilities in Office applications. Such attacks appear to be on the rise, in particular where specific organizations are targeted.

However, some user features may also make it to the older version, including the ability to select a preferred encryption mechanism. For example, in Office 2007 it is possible to replace the standard AES encryption with another, such as Suite B, which is a feature the U.S. government requested, Edwards said.

The last service pack for Office 2003 was released in September 2005 and also was aimed at beefing up security, enhancing application stability and adding support for Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005.

Office 2007 became broadly available earlier this year. Major changes include new file formats and a radically revised user interface. Microsoft also combined security features in a new "Trust Center" interface. So far at least one apparently serious security bug in Office 2007 has been reported.

See more CNET content tagged:
Microsoft Office 2003, Microsoft Office 2007, Microsoft Office, service pack, security

16 comments

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Nobody cares, MIcrosoft. We're all using OpenOffice.org now.
<eom>
Posted by anarchyreigns (299 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You may not like it but
But Office 2007 is a kick ass product. I wish it wasn't so expensive but it pile drives Openoffice into the ground.

Sorry, but that's the truth.
Posted by J. Blow (193 comments )
Link Flag
hahahahahhhhahah hahaha
that is funny. MS should just pack it up and move on.

OpenOffice cant begin to touch Office 2007.
Posted by Lindy01 (443 comments )
Link Flag
Sure we're using it
for opening the 1 in 1000 docs that we get from someone that's saved in OO. I have OO on my computer for that purpose. Other than that it's also nice since it works and looks like Office '95. Those were the days!
Posted by sanenazok (3449 comments )
Link Flag
Hilarious!
Thanks for this great post. I needed a good laugh.
Posted by J_Satch (571 comments )
Link Flag
You must work at...
You must work in a low paid menial job in a local council or other cash strapped government organisation in a third world country then where cretin level functionality is all that is required in their desktop office product.

The rest of the world uses Microsoft Office.
Posted by richto (895 comments )
Link Flag
You must work at...
You must work in a low paid menial job in a local council or other cash strapped government organisation in a third world country then where cretin level functionality is all that is required in their desktop office product.

The rest of the world uses Microsoft Office.
Posted by richto (895 comments )
Link Flag
<cough>
You owe me a new keyboard now.
Posted by KTLA_knew (385 comments )
Link Flag
You gotta be kidding, or mentally insane.
I use OO only to test and review the product and I am a proponent of plural operating and open source. However, open source's open office cannot hold a candle to Microsoft Office in any level except price of course. In this day and age, because something is free, certainly doesn't mean it's the best in functionaly and operability easpecially in colaberation with the "World." The corperate world hung its hat on Microsoft Office long time ago. If you deal with as many companies as I do and sending documents to and fro, you will find out immediately that Microsoft reigns supreme. Unfortunately, MS Office 2007 is pricy, but I must say it just kicks A$$ over everything out there in Office productivity, time, and compatibility with other products including Apple office productivity suites.

So no to your "Nobody Cares..." crap. I have been around in office products since the WordStar and SuperCalc days, and MS Office will be around for a very, very long time. OO can stand to improve, and I for one welcome it. Anything to push Microsoft to build a better product, I say good job and you got my blessing. Let's be for real here, OO is something in its infancy, and I do hope they improve for the following reasons. Remember when MS said that they were going to stop advancing the browser, and Firefox helped change their minds? Thank god, and look at the kick butt browser Vista and XP has now? Again, let's keep MS on their toes with open source by all means -- But for heaven sakes, be fore real the next time you post!
Posted by kromaethius007 (19 comments )
Link Flag
"Nother security fiasco - er, update?
I know this is focusing on 2003 but, everytime Mickey Soft does something to one it usually gets to them all. And, so I guess we can look for another fiasco in XP. Everytime they tinker with their Security the settings I have in place get changed. I have Windows Security turned OFF, yet it still keeps on cooking. I have to designate trusted sites and safe senders to the Microsoft Program Security that is turned off. Why? Everybody that builds anything has to have their own version of security installed. My ISP has spam filters (that are supposed to be turned off because some of the legitimate things I get have some spam charactaristics. (E-mail list items)

My LAN Router also has a security filter; my OS has a filter and finally my Internet Security Program has the one I want. And, somewhere in Redmond Washington there is a pin-headed geek that can't fathom anyone really wanting to turn the great Microsoft Security Feature OFF!

My biggest reason is that it doesn't work right. It does only half of what the top three in the protection busines accomplish. So, I use one of the best and they can't stand it.
Gerry
Posted by GEBERWEIN (75 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What happened when MS did try make real changes?
Those top 3 in the "protection business" are also part of the reason why MS has not made some of the changes that they know are needed. They tried to do so with Vista and what happened? McAfee, Symantec, Trend and everyone else filed suit against them for anti-trust violations in order to protect their own interests.
Posted by pctec100 (105 comments )
Link Flag
"Nother security fiasco - er, update?
I know this is focusing on 2003 but, everytime Mickey Soft does something to one it usually gets to them all. And, so I guess we can look for another fiasco in XP. Everytime they tinker with their Security the settings I have in place get changed. I have Windows Security turned OFF, yet it still keeps on cooking. I have to designate trusted sites and safe senders to the Microsoft Program Security that is turned off. Why? Everybody that builds anything has to have their own version of security installed. My ISP has spam filters (that are supposed to be turned off because some of the legitimate things I get have some spam charactaristics. (E-mail list items)

My LAN Router also has a security filter; my OS has a filter and finally my Internet Security Program has the one I want. And, somewhere in Redmond Washington there is a pin-headed geek that can't fathom anyone really wanting to turn the great Microsoft Security Feature OFF!

My biggest reason is that it doesn't work right. It does only half of what the top three in the protection busines accomplish. So, I use one of the best and they can't stand it.
Gerry
Posted by GEBERWEIN (75 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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