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Microsoft Patches Mac Office

Microsoft updated its Office suite for the Mac to quash several bugs in the Excel spreadsheet and get the software ready for new Daylight Savings Time rules that go into effect in March.

The updates to Office 2004 for Mac and Office v.X for Mac released Tuesday patched five vulnerabilities in the suites' Excel spreadsheet that could let attackers hijack a computer by duping users into opening malformed worksheets. Microsoft ranked the flaws as "important," the second-most dangerous rating in its four-level threat scoring system. These updates, said Microsoft, include "fixes for vulnerabilities that an attacker can use to overwrite the contents of your computer's memory with malicious code."

The Redmond, Wash., developer also patched the Windows versions of Excel Tuesday.

Both patches included a change to the suites' Entourage e-mail client so that the program's calendar properly accounts for the shift in Daylight Savings Time in the U.S. Under a bill passed by Congress in 2005, the spring time change moves from the first Sunday in April to the second Sunday in March.

The updates -- 57.6 Mbytes for Office 2004, 39 Mbytes for Office v.X -- can be downloaded in six different language editions from Microsoft's Mac Web site.