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As the PowerPoint Product Manager, I'm proud of Microsoft Office. It helps one billion people get work done around the world. With that breadth of usage comes great responsibility. So if we detect a security vulnerability, we must move quickly, but with an eye on stability - a balancing act that often presents us with some hard choices.
On April 12, we released a security fix via Windows Update that fixed a vulnerability in PowerPoint 2002 and PowerPoint 2003.
But in our effort to get those security issues resolved, we inadvertently introduced a data loss issue around background images on slide masters for our PowerPoint 2002 and PowerPoint 2003 customers. Some of you experienced hangs when opening PowerPoint files. And in some cases, this led to the corruption of the original file.
I and the rest of the PowerPoint team deeply regret these issues if you've experienced them. Know that we value you as a customer and don't take this lightly.
Teams from PowerPoint and our Sustained Engineering group worked around the clock to provide a solution, and we're happy to announce that the hard work paid off. The teams built hotfixes for both affected versions of PowerPoint, and to prevent any future problems, you should install a hotfix immediately.
Install the PowerPoint 2002 hotfix here.
Install the PowerPoint 2003 hotfix here.
Our advice remains the same as you may have seen on earlier blog posts: If you use PowerPoint 2002 or PowerPoint 2003 and have Windows updates applied to your computer automatically, you've already received the original security fix. Now, using the links above, please immediately install the hotfix for your version of PowerPoint.
Also, know that we're researching the problem of files that were corrupted by this issue. Keep an eye on this blog and on the Sustained Engineering blog for updates.
Again, thank you being a customer now and into the future. Stay tuned to the blogs to hear the latest on this issue - it's important that we keep you up to date.
-- Paul Cannon, Product Manager for PowerPoint