Many product strategists are, like me, old enough to remember software stores like Egghead. Those days are gone. Today, consumer packaged software represents a very limited market – the software aisle has shrunk, like the half-empty one at the Best Buy in Cambridge, MA (pictured).
Only a few packaged software categories still exist: Games. Utilities and security software. And Microsoft Office – which constitutes a category unto itself. Some 67% of US online consumers regularly use Office at home, according to Forrester’s Consumer TechnographicsPC And Gaming Online Survey, Q4 2009 (US). Office is the most ubiquitous – and therefore successful – consumer client program aside from Windows OS.
Office 2010, Microsoft’s latest release, will continue to succeed with consumers. On the shoulders of Office 2010 rests nothing less than the defense of packaged software in general. It’s also the most tangible example of Microsoft’s Software Plus Services approach to the cloud – a term that Microsoft seems to be de-emphasizing lately, but which captures the essence of the Office 2010 business goal:
To sell packaged client software and offer Web-based services to augment the experience.
Yesterday, June 8, 2010, Microsoft released 10 security bulletins, three rated as "critical" and seven rated as "important," to address a total of 34 software vulnerabilities. Of these bulletin items, users should prioritize these four:
MS10-033: Critical on all supported versions of Windows. This update addresses a Windows media file vulnerability that could potentially enable drive-by downloads.
S10-034: Addresses an ActiveX vulnerability.
MS10-035: A cumulative update for Internet Explorer.
MS10-038: Addresses critical vulnerabilities in Excel.
It’s important to note that MS10-038 addresses 14 CVE vulnerabilities, all related to Excel. Many of these vulnerabilities have a “critical” rating. Of the 14 vulnerabilities, only 11 affect Office 2002. Office 2010 is not impacted by any of these.
If you are still running MS Office 2002, it is time to upgrade! In addition to these newly announced vulnerabilities, Microsoft is ceasing support to Office 2002 next month. All the more reason to upgrade!
An important item to note: In addition to Office 2002, Microsoft will cease support for Windows XP service pack 2 and Windows 2000. Users should upgrade to a later version of Windows XP service pack 3.