Microsoft Office 2003 SP3 Available Today

A third service pack for Office 2003, promising improved security and enhanced compatibility with Windows Vista, Office 2007, Internet Explorer 7 and Windows SharePoint Services, will be available starting today (September 18), Microsoft officials say.

You can learn about and download Office 2003 SP3 from Microsoft's Office Update or Microsoft Update pages, or just navigate directly to the free download. (These links aren't live as of this writing, and the Microsoft spokesman who e-mailed me late today didn't know exactly when they'd go live, but 6 a.m. PDT was his best guess. But don't complain to me if they don't work then--just give it a few hours.)

The download will be 120MB for the U.S. version and "no larger than 140MB" for other languages, the spokesman wrote. Office 2003 customers who use Microsoft's AutoUpdate feature will be notified of SP3's availability "over the next few weeks," the spokesman wrote.

SP3 appears to address a variety of generally minor annoyances and bugs across the suite. Some examples:

With the update installed, if an Office 2003 user packages a PowerPoint presentation created in Office 2007, and the presentation is then re-opened in Office 2007, data from the original Office 2007 version will now be available.

News source: for Full Article @ PCWorld Blogs

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18 Comments

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I'm afraid I need some serious help here. I help my mum to maintain her laptop, and decided to install the Office 2003 SP3 since it didn't seem too unorthodox (I really should have read the documentation) and now whenever she tries to open her key excel document, a Frontpage error pops up - with details of error 1303. Microsoft does address this in their support FAQ, and I have read that I should right click on the

C:/program files/MicrosoftOffice/X10/XLStart

folder to change it's permissions, but this just isn't possible. I am definitely logged in as admin.

So any help on resolving this issue would be really appreciated! The best thing I think is to probably uninstall the update, but I'm not sure if that's possible? I can't find it under software update with Add/Remove programs, and the link to the document on Microsoft says no uninstallation is possible. To compound my problems, I'm sure it's the update that's causing the problem, yet Windows Update still tells me that it is not installed! >_<

Thank you in advance!

2 things I hope someone can help me out with:

  • Is it necessary to install Office 2003 SP1 & SP2 before SP3, or does SP3 contain all the fixes in SP1 & SP2?
  • Is there a way to slipstream SP3 into the Office 2003 installation package?

It amazes me that microsoft releases these as required updates, most people will probably install it without reading about some of the problems they may encounter after installing it.

Some of the changes in Service Pack 3 modify the behavior of Office 2003, including changes that disable some features by default and increase control for computer administrators. Changes include:
Office 2003 can no longer open or save certain file formats. For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 938810.
MAPI forms do not run in public folders and user folders. For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 938816.
Office 2003 can now be configured to allow or deny specific COM components. For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 938815.
Some COM components with unusual characteristics may not function as expected. For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 938814.
Changes have been made to the behavior of Microsoft Office Document Imaging. For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 938813.
Attachments with the .gadget extension can no longer be opened in Outlook. For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 938811.
Access add-ins can no longer be configured for use by all users. For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 938809.
The Fast Save setting in Microsoft Office Word has been removed. For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 938808.
Documents saved in certain formats no longer contain the version number of Office. For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 938807.
Certain macros in older Excel file formats have increased security. For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 938806.

skohr said,
It amazes me that microsoft releases these as required updates, most people will probably install it without reading about some of the problems they may encounter after installing it.

I'm surprised people didn't see it coming given that over 4 months ago, Microsoft touted that SP3 was going to be 'all about security' - which people should remember that it could mean compatibility breakage. Its good Microsoft is addressing the security issues rather than pandering to the whiners in the peanut gallery.

Hey everyone let's all post messages about how long it took to download, how it was too large, too slow, you don't need it because you use some other software, how long it took to install on your computer, how you installed it and your hard drive was erased, etc... come on folks I'm not seeing enough total crap about this topic!