Sporadic reports indicate that Microsoft's recent upgrade to Microsoft Office 2000, Service Release 1 (SR-1), is causing problems for some users. MSNBC broke the story, and one of our readers brought the problem to our attention after the SR-1 release. The problem isn't widespread, but it's showing up as people install new versions of Office 2000 and related software, such as Microsoft Project 2000, on their computers. When you install Office SR-1 or Project 2000 on some systems, particularly those running Windows 2000, Office closes down applications a few seconds after they launch. The Microsoft Knowledge Base article "OFF2000: Program Quits Immediately After Starting When SR-1 Update Is Applied", posted February 24, documents this problem. Apparently, some copies of Office 2000 contain product ID codes that SR-1 doesn't recognize properly. When an Office 2000 program, such as Word or Excel, opens, it displays a document and looks for the product ID code. Not finding a valid code, the application shuts down. I ran into the problem when I installed Project 2000 over my installation of Office 2000 Premium Edition on my Windows 98 system. The problem also appears on Windows 2000 systems. When this issue arose, Microsoft technical support told people to completely uninstall Office 2000 and reinstall the program suite, which isn't necessary. The Knowledge Base article documents a straightforward fix that takes only 2 or 3 minutes to apply. Remove the product ID number from the appropriate Office 2000 Registry key (as described in the Knowledge Base article above). When you restart the Office 2000 application, it will ask you for the product ID code. Once you enter it, the problem disappears. This problem arises infrequently, I'm told, so it escaped detection during the development cycle. Also, the problem only affects certain product ID codes, and apparently many of those were on the copies sent to the press early in the release cycle. In an unrelated problem, if you try to download SR-1—which can take 2 to 3 hours at 28.8Kbps modem speeds—from the Microsoft Web site, the download script asks you to insert the Office 2000 SR-1 CD-ROM into your computer. However, Microsoft hasn't released this CD-ROM yet. Microsoft said that releasing the SR-1 CD-ROM in quantity is, at most, 1 to 2 weeks away. My previous article, "Microsoft Announces Office 2000 Service Release 1", details how to order a copy of the SR-1 CD-ROM.