It's terrible, I really don't care. I hear these stories advertised for the 11 o'clock news and I yawn. Another security hole in Microsoft's software? What-ever. We all know Microsoft is as full of holes as that bottle nipple my 14-month-old has been using as a teething toy, from Outlook to Explorer. Pop-ups and worms and spyware, oh my!
Somehow the stories about security holes in Excel are much more disconcerting. I heard the scary music and the shocked-sounding voice of the anchor fueling our desire to watch Live at 11!! and, well, I had to follow up. Immediately visions of those extraordinarily complex financial spreadsheets I've been hoarding came sharply into focus.
First there was news that a flaw in Excel could allow a wily hacker to take full control over a person's computer -- and, in fact, one such attack had been confirmed. Then another bug was announced today. This one would cause Excel to crash after a "malicious file" was opened, and the potential for additional PC commandeering (but none had been reported).
I'm not the only one yawning. Excel competitors are eager to exploit Microsoft's vulnerability and grab users who would be safer in less ubiquitous software. But really, will anyone seriously consider this a knock against Microsoft's profit potential? It's a vicious circle that always ends up with cash in Mr. Softie's bank: you're the most mainstream software provider, and naturally, hackers will find and exploit your flaws. It's just not worthwhile taking advantage of whatever bugs might exist in Open Office or one of the dozens of other competitive suites.
Microsoft stock budged not at all on the news, up a penny to $22.56.