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A Challenge For Developers : Disabling Advertisement In Office 2010 Starter

Microsoft will be putting Office 2010 Starter for free in the newly purchased computers. But Starter is only the stripped-down version of the Office 2010. With Starter you can write, add charts, and edit documents, etc, but the most bothering thing you will notice is the right pane of the starter, which will contain adverts and keep the window stretched, to adjust advertisement pane.

Many user from around the world have already started using Office 2010 Beta which will be expired down the wire, but it give users a thorough look of what sort of new features Microsoft would be integrating in the final version. Microsoft Office Starter 2010 includes basic functionality so users can view, edit, and create documents. Microsoft claims they are “designed for casual Office users” who apparently will be perfectly fine with reduced-functionality and ad-supported software. But we all know that, Microsoft is looking forward to get a hold of market with giving-away free products to incite more customers.

For short period of time you will be able to use Microsoft Office Beta and Starter on your machine, Microsoft Office 2010 Starter will be containing less features than the original Office 2010. On the positive side Starter will be free for all users, featuring only Excel & Word.

In the past, as we have seen that whenever there is a very useful application launched in the market, which is not free to use, or bound customers with trial periods, licensing, or advertisements, it actually flare up the curiosity in developers to come up with some patch or any sort of script to get over the annoyances.

But it seems that, this time Microsoft is driving on the other side of road where it will not encounter too many crackers to get over the ads pane included in the Starter edition. It should be noticed that whenever a huge product hits the market, the developers also start to show up and start making rhetorical claims about unblocking or cracking, as it happened with Microsoft Windows 7, which is now taking more share of the market than any Windows version has taken up in this small interval of time. It is also not free, and RC has already expired, but you can observe that, many developers came up with patches and cracks for activating Windows, and amazingly some of the cracks are dealing with Microsoft activation process very tactfully.

Coming back to this version of Office, for novice users it will be astonishing that Starter folder will be residing in a very strange location that is in Virtualization Handler folder. Microsoft built an app launcher which actually invoke Word & Excel starter version. So it would be difficult for cracker to go about it as Microsoft embed the app in labyrinth of other apps. The developers who will be looking forward to disable advertisements, would caught in maze of files and facing a great challenge as core apps are embedded in other app, which apparently do nothing, besides invoking Word or Excel(and also updating them).

In retrospect, if we jump in to the details that, whenever users encountered any problem which was deliberately incorporated into the app, developers come up with an idea to get it over with, by building different scripts and patches, that eventually abets user to get rid of the problem, But the dev-team which Microsoft have been working with, must have built this version of office in a way, which would be difficult to hamper and elevate hindrance for crackers, preventing them to enter in to the Office Starter application code structure to start modifying code or changing its structure for adding more features. Whenever it comes to the acme of cracker’s desperation, they have proved that ‘nothing is impossible’.  So when Microsoft Starter would hit the market, developers will start to look up for a way to make adverts disappear from the app window. As we have seen many applications have been modified for providing easier use, far reach access, enhancing interactivity, and embedding plug-ins to make the app more productive.

So if you are a placid user who doesn’t care much about the annoyances, then it would be easier for you to get along, but down the line it is possible that Microsoft starts adding more advertisements in Starter version, as it will be used by millions of users around the world. So big corporations would never let this chance to slip through their hands, and eventually start compelling Microsoft to include their product’s advert, slogans etc, in the Office Starter version by shelling out a lot of bucks.

On installing Office 2010 Starter, you will notice that it need consistent upgrading, and it immediately connects with internet whenever you establish internet connection. The backtracking of the whole updating process is difficult. There are absolutely no options available for the user to stop any kind of update process, the fact of the matter is, this version of Office would covertly start updating and adding more advertisement from the back-end. This would lead to set-up a hidden kindle between the Microsoft and developers who will try their best to pry in to the application code/structure to place a script or lines of code that would eventually make the advertisement disappear permanently.

After a thorough research we came to realize that, it will not be an easy task for developers to add a script or to embed any code because of the location where Office 2010 Starter is residing.

C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\Virtualization Handler

Inferring from the location, we could assume that it would be consistently sharing data with it’s main server, that’s mean whenever you will go online, it would start making changes.

This is the target file location of Word 2010 Starter, this seems really tough to even find out where it is actually residing.

“C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\Virtualization Handler\CVH.EXE” “Microsoft Word Starter 2010 2014006604090000”

CVH.EXE is the app launcher for both Word and Excel 2010, when you will launch Word Starter 2010, it would refer to this executable file, and then CVH.EXE will invoke the app you needed to run, but on running it exclusively, this dialog box appears.


Nothing works on this window except Close button, which we bet, wouldn’t be helpful for anyone, the Help button can be seen, but there is absolutely no help associated with this executable file, as this dialog states “You can temporarily pause the active downloads”, actually it is a charade too, you will not be able to cease the updating process. On running Starter first time on your computer, it will consistently update the files and start disrupting you work as it becomes impassive and starting to show erratic response.

As shown in the screenshot below, Office 2010 Starter includes limited features, as you might have noticed that there are only few tabs, and the most bugging thing would be the advertisements at the right side of the window, which you will going to despise when you start using Starter version.

starter 1

Excel 2010 starter

Excel 2010 Starter version contains way less feature than the Excel that will be included in the final version of Office 2010.

Now users around the world are hoping for any developer to show up, providing them with the panacea of the problems, they will be facing with Office Starter 2010, and most importantly make the advertisement pane disappear from the window. We all are counting on the one who will be the first to break into Starter application code.

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