Windows 8 x64, Office 2013 and SharePoint 2013

I had an interesting chat with our Internal IT guys today about a strange behaviour found with the mixture of software versions that inevitably happen. In our case our desktop kit can be bang up to date, i.e. Windows 8 and Office 2013 or in our technical division our consultants love to install the latest and greatest, with quite a few looking at Windows 8.1. Our Intranet runs on SharePoint 2010 as space for hosting is limited and there is a little little bit of the cobbler’s children effect when it comes to making the upgrade.

Since the combination of Windows 8 and Office 2013 came about there have been reports in to our IT guys about a strange effect in SharePoint document libraries. Browsing in IE 10 to SharePoint would open a document in the registered application fine, but when you tried to open another document (or even the same document) you would get an error saying “The document could not be opened for editing. A Microsoft SharePoint Foundation compatible application could not be found to edit the document”.

The theory was that it was 64 bit related, we had all sorts of problems when our technical consultants (remember them earlier?) all installed 64 bit office to run on shiny 64 bit Windows 7. The control that provides the menu to items in document libraries (open documents class add-on) didn’t work in 64 bit IE, or work with 64 bit office. So we all run 32 bit these days.

Cue a search today and I dragged up a thread on the msdn forums which suggested an issue when you run a non-english US setup and an associated registry hack to fix it. A colleague suggested an alternative fix for Windows 8 which deals with 32 bit add-ins and 64 bit Internet Explorer.

The thread on the msdn forums also suggested that the June 2013 Cumulative Update for Office 2013 would contain a fix. It does, but unlike SharePoint cumulative updates which come in a nice big file, the June 2013 Cumulative Update for Office 2013 is just a big list of hotfixes which come with individual files. So if you are looking for the official fix (not a registry hack, well not directly) then look at Article ID 2726997