Office XP: all your hyperlinks are belong to MS

The software that thinks it's smarter than you are

One of the noted characteristics of Microsoft software is that it has a tendency to behave, with absolute assurance, as if it knows better than you. Our attention has been drawn to a particularly striking example of this unearthed by Woody's Watch - essentially, Office XP autocorrects hyperlinks you 'mistyped,' hides the correction from you, then doesn't correct it back when you try to correct it back.

If you've got Office XP you can verify this with the following routine. Type in this link in any of the apps, using Word as your email editor if you're using Outlook:

http://www.fred.com/trial//2345/

Note that double slash - it's not a typo, it's just not the way Microsoft servers handle things. Now hover the cursor over the link you've just made - only got a single slash, right? Right click on it and edit it to a double, OK. Check the link again - not fixed, is it?

According to Woody's, the only way out is to overtype it within FrontPage 2002 in HTML mode. Taking it up with MS PR, Woody's was told that the change was in the interests of "cleanliness and consistency," and that "we don't change the parameter data, only the path part of the URL." The site has a suitably ballistic report on the matter here, and is also currently running a detailed review of Office XP itself. ®

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