Bug shuts down Microsoft's SharePoint

Microsoft has warned users about a bug introduced in its SharePoint business software, by a service pack update that causes it to shut down after 180 days.

Jeff Teper, corporate vice president at Microsoft SharePoint, said that Service Pack 2 (SP2) deployed for SharePoint Server 2007 had a bug.

The error improperly activated a product end date and meant that the copy of SharePoint expired as a trial installation 180 days after SP2 was deployed.

Teper said on SharePoint's official blog that the software would not be affected until after the 180 days were up.

He said: "Furthermore, product expiration 180 days after SP2 installation will not affect customer's data, configuration or application code, but will render SharePoint inaccessible for end-users."

Teper said that Microsoft was working on a hotfix to automatically fix the problem, which also affects Project Server 2007, Form Server 2007, Search Server 2008 and Search Server 2008 Express.

There was also a manual workaround involving customers re-entering their product ID number.

In March, Microsoft offered hosted versions of Microsoft Sharepoint as well as Exchange.