Office 97 breaks UAC settings page

Windows 7 can do many things well, from multi tasking to providing a stable platform for getting your work done. One thing that Windows 7 can't do is play properly with Office 97.

Microsoft has posted up a knowledge article on its support web site stating that when Office 97 is installed, there is no way to save any changes made to users' User Account Control (UAC) settings . Essentially, having Office 97 installed will break UAC for the user and render it useless.

"In the Windows 7 "System and Security" control panel category, the Action Center lets you change User Account Control (UAC) settings. In the User Account Control Settings dialog box, you move the slide bar control for notifications, and then you click the OK button. In this scenario, the dialog box does not close, and no change is made. When the mouse pointer is positioned on the OK button, and you press ENTER, the dialog box still does not close, and no change is made."

There is a known fix which you can find on Microsoft's support site but it does involve a fair bit of registry modification.

Thanks for the tip Mephistopheles

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94 Comments

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People really need to learn to read the article properly.

"Office 97 breaks UAC settings page"

Stating that people should upgrade to a newer version of Office or use one of the many free alternatives etc etc misses the point.

...that Microsoft doesn't support software forever? I think that's a legitimate statement as well. Even though nothing should be able to break UAC, and I expect Microsoft to issue a patch for this, there's no telling how software that old could impact an OS... I'm not saying it doesn't deserve investigation, but expecting a software company to support something as old as Office 97 is in my mind out of the question...

Big surprise Windows XP SP2 and Office 97 did not get along... once SP2 was installed Office would have to be manually ripped out.

Baked said,
SERIOUSLY!!!!!!!!!!
WHO USES OFFICE 97 on WINDOWS 7 >???

GET REAL!

This isn't news worthy its just stupid.....


Angry man needs to calm down.

Kirkburn said,

Angry man needs to calm down.

Yep angry about the quality of news story/reporting happening on neowin lately...some of the stories are just utter crap.

Baked said,
Yep angry about the quality of news story/reporting happening on neowin lately...some of the stories are just utter crap.

Stop reading them, or send feedback in a civilized fashion. Don't spam the comments with your anger.

Office 97' !!!
REALLY !!!

Well done MS, sometimes a line has to be drawn, and this is one of those times.
Anyone still using Office 97 has MANY free modern alternatives available, including the FREE open Beta of Office 2010 that runs until the middle of 2010. Then add the web version coming soon, then Google Docs and also Open Office and.... etc etc etc...

I'm sure the clueless media will portray this as another "Microsoft screws poor computers users..." story.
But it's NOT. Plain. Simple. DONE...

Whats wrong with Office 97? Tthey say People only use like 1% of the features that Office has to offer. They basically type and spell check.

People will tell me then just use word pad in Windows 7. Actually I would love to ditch Microsoft Word for wordpad if only wordpad had spell checking, i'd switch in an instant.

Nothing wrong with it feature wise...
it's just past it's time, no longer modern and cannot keep up with the modern computing enviroment. If you like the basic features of Office 97, then jump on board one of the many many many free, MODERN alternatives.
Please.... think of the children, won't SOMEBODY think of the children.

timljohns said,
Nothing wrong with it feature wise...
it's just past it's time, no longer modern and cannot keep up with the modern computing enviroment. If you like the basic features of Office 97, then jump on board one of the many many many free, MODERN alternatives.
Please.... think of the children, won't SOMEBODY think of the children.

ROFL Indeed.

Plus, what if someone sends you a Word document or something? What are the odds you can even open that? LOL

Erm... do Microsoft even support Office 97 nowadays? I mean, it's like nearly 6 versions out of date!

Office 97
Office 2000
Office XP (2002)
Office 2003
Office 2007
Office 2010 (Beta)

I'm surprised their solution to the issue wasn't something along the lines of "Upgrade to Office 2007".

xTdub said,
Yes, but can you change the UAC settings?

yes but after i changed them office started saying that the registry said that it was missing files but UAC was ok

ale07 said,
yes but after i changed them office started saying that the registry said that it was missing files but UAC was ok

Rut row... That doesn't sound great either...

Office 97 on Windows 7... Hum looks like they need to just go back to Windows 98SE. Seriously... this article is useless. Normal people don't get the latest OS and then expect to use something like Office 97 on it..

The issue is not about why are people using that old version, what they can afford or being unsupported software. The big problem is why the he*l is it breaking the UAC in the first place. That UAC thing was suppose to be a security feature and it should have been protected from tampering or being affected like this.

This. Personally, I don't care about support for ancient software, but I do care about UAC not getting messed up.

This news means the integrity of Win7 UAC can be compromised by a software
=> there is a security flaw in Win7 UAC
=> yet another reason to stick with Vista

Nightwind Hawk said,
Another reason to stick with vista? Have you tried 7 yet?? Impossible.

+1. Though I agree Microsoft should look into the issue if for no other reason than to prevent software from messing up UAC...

Office 97 is no longer supported by Microsoft. Standard support ended in 2001. Assisted (payed) support ended in 2004. Also, standard support for Office 2000 ended in 2004, standard support for Office XP ended in 2006 and standard support for Office 2003 ended in 2008. Read your license agreements.

If you want to use an unsupported software, that's up to you, but don't expect help from anyone except the community and the self-help Microsoft knowledge base.

Who is still using a 12 year-old Office Suite with Windows 7. I mean, you'd think at the very least they'd be running Office XP. But Office 97? I mean, c'mon folks. Look at this image:

The whole '97 suite? I can only think of a scenario (but this may have been a while ago) where some companies may have bespoke software that require Access 97 and a newer version won't replace it without a rewrite of the database/application (that companies probably wouldn't want to fork out for if it could be phased out etc. etc.). I could well be wrong though.

Either way, XP mode or something to that extent (VPC or another Virtual Solution) would do the job nicely if people really can't be arsed to move to a later version.

People can't expect Microsoft to keep supporting software indefinitely and make sure they work in perfect order on the latest Windows version.

While I prefer Office 2003 and 2007 to OpenOffice, I'm pretty sure OpenOffice should be chosen before Office 97, 2000, or XP, if for compatibility reasons alone.

Indeed. I could understand someone sticking with Office 2003, or something, but 97 is REALLY old... To not update at some point in the last decade is beyond ridiculous.

Breaking news: installing 12 year old software on pretty much every current operating system may result in unexpected behaviour. But hey, at least Quake 2 still runs pretty sweet

Office XP (2002) wasn't properly supported with Vista/7 (Outlook wouldn't even save the POP account password), so this is really no surprise (no shims for outdated/unsupported software).

If you're still using Office 97 and you really don't have the money to upgrade, you should probably be switching to OpenOffice.org by now.

Right, so an office suite that's been unsupported for several years doesn't completely work with a version of windows which is 12 years newer. Is anyone surprised? The only notable thing about this is that Microsoft bothersto provide any support for this.

The world is full of people who can't break their habits, I have big trouble @work migrating and updating clients to W7 just because our developers are living in their own wonderland "pre-XP"/"Pre-.NET" !

With home and student editions costing a mere $100, this is non-news.

In other news, DOS games that require EMM386.sys loaded don't run properly in Windows 2000.

The article title is misleading.

Office 97 (wtf?) doesn't "break" UAC; it only makes it so you can't adjust UAC settings.

Better title: Office 97 Breaks UAC Settings Page.

rossl4l said,
Seriously? You can afford a brand new OS but can't afford a newer version of Office?

You would think but there are companies that run legacy applications, usually Access databases that can't be converted to a new version without re-writing it from the ground up.

rossl4l said,
Seriously? You can afford a brand new OS but can't afford a newer version of Office?

My dad uses an old version of Office simply because he uses photodraw.

There's many reasons why people stick with older versions, not just because they can't afford it.

Office (especially the pro versions) is actually a fair bit more expensive than Windows, so I can see where people are coming from, we actually still use Office '97 at Somerfield although I suppose Microsoft's side of it that they shouldn't need to support such old software is also understandable

rossl4l said,
Seriously? You can afford a brand new OS but can't afford a newer version of Office?

I think it's a bit of a special case with Office 97 in terms of legacy applications. It was a hugely popular Office edition, and Office 2000 made a lot of changes. Many more so than Office 2000 -> 2003, IIRC.

PeterTHX said,
You would think but there are companies that run legacy applications, usually Access databases that can't be converted to a new version without re-writing it from the ground up.

True, but companies would not be using Home Premium, and thus would be able to use XP Mode. Just a thought.

PeterTHX said,
You would think but there are companies that run legacy applications, usually Access databases that can't be converted to a new version without re-writing it from the ground up.

And I can understand that, but as a business, sometimes you just have to upgrade things... I never allow software to get that out of date in our office. It gets updated to support new things.

MMaster23 said,
Anyone "rich" enough to run Windows 7 and too "poor" to buy Office 2003/2007/2010, can (in my book) **** off :)

Why spend the money on the new office of all you want to do is type. I mean Office 97 would work great for that. Though I spose in that case you could just use Abiword.

Deviate_X said,
Don't be so rough. Isn't this kind of problem what Windows 7 XP Mode is for?


I'd suspect the people who run Office 97 on Windows 7 are probably home users or home based businesses who needed a new PC which arrived most likely with Windows 7 Home Premium.

So, they would have to do an Anytime upgrade (for fee) to be able to use XP mode.
At that rate, you may as well use OpenOffice.

warwagon said,
Why spend the money on the new office of all you want to do is type. I mean Office 97 would work great for that. Though I spose in that case you could just use Abiword.

Why spend more money on windows 7 when windows xp can do the same and stick to office 97.

office 97 is kind of crapy office compared to office 2007 or 2003. Get some open office or upgrade to 2003 atleast.

warwagon said,
Why spend the money on the new office of all you want to do is type. I mean Office 97 would work great for that. Though I spose in that case you could just use Abiword.


If all you are going to do is type, Wordpad is good for that.

It's called backward compatibility; nothing to do with being either rich or poor. Not supporting older products is one thing, but having a legacy product break a critical security feature is a no no in my book.

It might be weird to have Office 97 alongside Windows 7, but those users have all the rights in the world to have that setup. And it's up to Microsoft to accommodate them.

If a Office 97 feature wouldn't be working because of Windows 7, then fine. The product isn't supported anymore anyway.

In this case it's Windows 7 that has a problem and thus it should be supported.

Why should they?

If Office 97 *works* for them why should they need to shell out a couple of hundred for office as well regardless of how much money they have. Poor people are poor and rich people don't get rich by talking a "F**k it its only $£XXX" approach to things. Especially if like the former they have been saving for their pc for a while.

Unplugged said,
If Office 97 *works* for them why should they need to shell out a couple of hundred for office as well regardless of how much money they have.

I would at least point out Office 97 is getting on for 13 years old - well over a decade.

There's a limit to what you can reasonably support.

I know people who run Office 97 because it is FAST and it does everything they want.

No need to give Microsoft money for something they don't need!

Unplugged said,
Why should they?

If Office 97 *works* for them why should they need to shell out a couple of hundred for office as well regardless of how much money they have. Poor people are poor and rich people don't get rich by talking a "F**k it its only $£XXX" approach to things. Especially if like the former they have been saving for their pc for a while.

if office 97 *works* for them and is so freaking critical for their work, maybe they should have researched if the brand new windows 7 fully supports it before upgrading, or better yet, just stick to the thing that *works*, why change?

warwagon said,
Why spend the money on the new office of all you want to do is type. I mean Office 97 would work great for that. Though I spose in that case you could just use Abiword.

Then use notepad/wordpad if all you want to do is "type".

chago12 said,

if office 97 *works* for them and is so freaking critical for their work, maybe they should have researched if the brand new windows 7 fully supports it before upgrading, or better yet, just stick to the thing that *works*, why change?

I think the point is, this shouldn't be breaking security in windows. They should be able to try to install it without breaking windows 7.

Baked said,
Who let this piece of crap get published ??? The news articles are getting worse and worse....

In what way? Seems kinda newsworthy to me, and it's a legitimate discussion topic.

Kirkburn said,
I would at least point out Office 97 is getting on for 13 years old - well over a decade.

There's a limit to what you can reasonably support.

Exactly. +1. It's one thing if we were talking about Office 2007, or even Office 2003... But 97? At this point I don't feel Microsoft should have to support every version of a software product. How about Word 1.0? It doesn't make any sense to be upset with Microsoft because you chose to stick with an office product for that long. You probably wouldn't be able to open half the files people sent to you anyway... LOL

warwagon said,
I think the point is, this shouldn't be breaking security in windows. They should be able to try to install it without breaking windows 7.

Or just have Windows kill the install when you try to install Office 97... Who knows what other issues might exist from installing a software that old on a new OS...

I see no reason why this should be supported...