On August 9th, Microsoft released new updates aimed at alleviating the consequences caused by the Excel security updates from July 12th. To briefly recap our original blog post on this issue, the July 12th updates caused downloaded Excel files that were wrapped in HTML to be blocked and appear blank to End Users. While workarounds for this change in behavior were provided by Microsoft, they also pledged to continue working on a better solution to the security concerns they were trying to address.
Making good on that pledge, Freya, the Microsoft Office Newsroom Rep, announced the release of new updates in the same TechNet post where the concerns of the original changes were being discussed by the development community. The new updates allow End Users to trust Excel Workbooks first, which they can then enable for editing. This is a much welcomed move away from blocking the files outright; it’s also heartening to see Microsoft act swiftly on developer feedback.
To acquire the updates now versus waiting for them to be delivered automatically, see the links provided in Freya’s response:
Office 2016: https://support.microsoft.com/kb/3115438
Office 2013: https://support.microsoft.com/kb/3115455
Office 2010: https://support.microsoft.com/kb/3115476
If you are unable to download the updates, our original blog post on this issue includes several workarounds that should address the problem.