Microsoft tried to address the confusion about possible security problems in Office 97 and Windows 98 this week, by sending out an email newsletter that explained the issues. The newsletter, which was apparently sent to registered owners of Office 97, says that the unique identifiers generated by Windows 98 and Office 97 are not related. Microsoft says that users' privacy is not compromised by the existence of unique identifier numbers in Office and that Office 97 documents contain information that is derived partly from a network card, not from an individual user's identity. It is therefore impossible for someone to reliably determine the author of a document using the GUID that is encoded within that document.

If you'd like more information about this issue, please visit the Microsoft Web site. This page contains a link to the letter that was sent out to Office customers.