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February 26, 2010

Great Experience with MicroSoft OS & Office Software. Shame about the IE Browser!!

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Office 2003 Pro with BCM
I’ve recently been upgrading one of the many Dell PCs in the house.
The standard OS in the network remains MS XP Pro and none of the family, including the students, like ribbons so MS Office 2003 Professional remains the office product of choice. We inherited one machine with XP Home and I also wanted a second PC in the house to be legitimate for business use so I got some upgrade licences.

The Office installation was a dream. It came with the Business Contact Manager extension for Outlook which was a real bonus that brought together all the contacts, emails & documents together into one account view.

Upgrading the OS was a bigger problem. This loaded fine but refused to register. If fact the registration wizard failed to run and IE was broken.
The MS helpline failed to spot the problem so I went back to the Google approach and typed in the error message “The requested look up key was not found in any activation context”.

I found that the SP3 2009 copyright disk went back to IE6. Ok I knew that but the IE8 and IE7 engines were still under the bonnet causing IE to be broken. Answer uninstall them in order:

For Windows Internet Explorer 8
CD ie8\spuninst
batch Spuninst.txt
For Windows Internet Explorer 7
CD ie7\spuninst
batch Spuninst.txt

MS Office 2003 with BCMAfter cleaning these out then the OS registered and the update cycle back up to IE8 was set off. This one piece of integration has caused Microsoft endless problems in the courts and left maintainability landmines that will lurk for years to come.

The optional integration of BCM worked like a dream but can easily be uninstalled.

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