Microsoft Office 2007 Beta 2 and Norton AntiVirus won’t play well together

I spent much of last Friday installing and taking pictures of the latest Office Beta release—the Beta 2 Technical Refresh (B2TR). B2TR’s improved support for images when creating blog posts was one of several updates I wanted to examine. Unfortunately, each time I tried to open a new blog post, Word 2007 just refused. The application wouldn’t crash, but it wouldn’t open a blank blog post.

After a little more investigation, I also discovered that this latest Word 2007 version ran more slowly and hung more than the previous Beta. Something was definitely wrong. When I saw Word continuously display a "Running virus scan" message in the Status Bar, I knew what it was. My test machine, a Gateway M280 convertible tablet PC, came with Symantec’s Norton AntiVirus (NAV) preinstalled. It didn’t take too much effort for me to assume NAV was conflicting with Office 2007 Beta 2 TR. A few moments later I had confirmation from Microsoft's 2007 Office system preview site FAQ.

According to Microsoft, "users running Symantec's Norton Anti-Virus Scanner may find they are unable to open Microsoft Office documents in the Beta 2 Technical Refresh due to the way the anti-virus application programming interface (API) is implemented in the technical refresh. Microsoft expects this issue to be remedied in the RTM version. All Beta 2 customers have been notified of this issue and can find additional resources on Microsoft Office Online."

Although Microsoft provides instructions for disabling the Norton AntiVirus Office plug-in, I just decided to completely uninstall NAV—this is a test machine and I’ll soon reimage it. Problem solved. Word 2007 worked perfectly. I was able to open a new blog post and the annoying "Running virus scan" message no longer appeared in the Status Bar.

By Bill Detwiler

Bill Detwiler is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the ...