I have encountered a very bad bug in Microsoft Office Word 2013 which requires an internet connection to work correctly with documents when you open them directly from a SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 sites and document libraries. The symptoms that I have observed include the following:
- you cannot check out documents through the desktop GUI Word application. This makes particular difficulties in case the document library requires check out prior to editing a document
- check in is not offered on documents that are opened checked out. Although Word is not able to check the document out itself, you can always do it manually using the web interface. But if you open the checked out document in Word 2013, make changes and close the document, Word should offer you to check the document in with a comment. This does not happen if Word does not have an internet connection
- if there are any Lookup or Managed Metadata metadata columns/fields on documents in the library, you cannot configure their value in Word using the Document Panel (Document Information Panel). This prevents Word from saving a document if such a field is required and does not have a value yet. Although you can configure this through the browser, you cannot even save a new document without providing the column values first.
- message telling you "Microsoft Office cannot complete the operation because the network is unavailable" is sometimes displayed, for example when you try to check out the document.
- very slow application startup
I do not have a solution for this yet. Although I have disabled all internet communications in its Options - Trust Center Settings - particularly the Privacy Option called Allow Office to connect to the Internet, it still does not work without just enabling internet connection. Word goes to several internet addresses such as clientconfig.microsoftonline-p.net or some sites in microsoft.com such as watson.telemetry.microsoft.com, fe2.ws.microsoft.com and statsfe1.microsoft.com. and IPs in network range of 23.62.237.x.
What I have seen in Network Monitor is that Word makes extensive HTTPS traffic to watson.telemetry.microsoft.com, so I currently blame this feature for the problem. But I have also uninstalled the Office Telemetry feature using Programs and Features, but with no change in the behavior.