Shortly after the MacBU released Office 2008 SP1 yesterday, we started to receive reports that the update caused the Office Setup Assistant to launch every time, instead of their desired Office application. We started looking into it right away, and found that in nearly every case, the problem happens when users are running Office 2008 with an expired product license key.
When Office 2008 was released in January, all of the keys used in our private beta program expired, but it wasn’t until the SP1 update that we added code to enforce the expiration. While we communicated to all of the users in our beta program that their license keys were going to expire when the product became publicly available, one of the beta versions did escape onto the Internet in November and we didn’t know who was using it. During our work yesterday we found that some of our users installed their retail copy of Office 2008 over that beta version and ended up running the final release of Office with the beta key.
Our testing and user assistance team scrambled today and have put a new help topic about the problem up on Mactopia, along with another link to how to remove the old product key information and re-enter your valid key. This is about the fastest we’ve put up new help content — about 26 hours from first report of the problem to active help content!
Also, the English and Japanese versions of the SP1 update are now live in the Microsoft AutoUpdate tool, so rather than finding them on Mactopia for manual download, you can simply go to the Help menu in your favorite Office 2008 app and select “Check for Updates”. The autoupdaters for the European languages should be available soon.
Lastly, we actually put up a very minor revision to the SP1 installer today. The new package has a fix so that the update can actually be deployed via Apple Remote Desktop or via the command-line. If you want to deploy SP1 via ARD and downloaded the update yesterday, please redownload it. If your install is already done and working, there’s no need to redownload and reinstall the update — the fix was in the installer only, not in any of the actual application bits.