Yesterday Microsoft (News - Alert) acknowledged that it had another issue with its Sept. 10 updates. The company has confirmed that one of the fixes for Office 2010 Starter Edition changed the file associations of documents that were already created.
A Microsoft Office team member posted on the company blog, "After installing this update, some users have reported they are unable to open files by double-clicking them, that the file type icons have changed, and that they must go to the application to open files."
Several customers reported that they were told they needed to purchase a copy of the full scale Office. Office Home & Student 2013 retails for a $140.00. Customers were upset because as their suite Office 2010 Starter Edition was included free when they purchased their PCs.
Users began reporting errors on Microsoft's support forum within hours of the Sept. 10 updates being used.
A user identified on the forum as Kloi posted, "I have Microsoft Office 2010 Starter. Suddenly, all my files are in .docx format, and I cannot open them. I get a message saying I need to purchase Office. Why has this suddenly happened? How can I change it back?"
Several other consumers stated that they could not open their documents by double clicking and that their icons had either gone blank or turned an odd shade of orange.
kjeld65 posted to the forum, saying, "Microsoft gets me to put all my files on Word Starter and then holds them hostage forcing me to pay. I was deceived, tricked, and now held hostage by Microsoft. I WILL NOT PAY MICROSOFT HOSTAGE MONEY, AND I WOULD ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO DO LIKEWISE."
The Microsoft office team replied with, "The operating system has lost the association between a file type and the application that it is supposed to open it. This does not change the file, this only affects the relationship between the operating system and the applications associated with the documents."
Microsoft was able to show its consumers how to reestablish file associations. They also warned them that some users may need to repair Office 2010 Starter Edition by simply using the "Uninstall or change a program" Control Panel tool.
Yesterday's incident is just another in a line of issues the company has had to deal with concerning its updates. Just last week, an Office 2013 stability and performance update blanked the folder pane in Outlook 2013. Other updates demanded that they be installed even though they were already deployed.
October 8 is the next scheduled shipping date for Microsoft's updates.