Background to the question is posted above. I was wondering if anyone on here has come up with a better solution than the ones listed by Freya at Technet. I personally called Microsoft's Office support and they did not have a better answer for me than the one provided.
None of the workarounds posted by Freya allowed Excel to open the files. The only thing that did was going to File>Options>Trust Center>Trust Center Settings>Protected View Menu and then uncheck the box "Enable Protected view for files originating from the internet". This has worked on most of the machines that I have come across on our network.
Our network admin doesn't want to implement a global policy change affecting protected view for security reasons, but we have been going around changing the protected view settings to allow files from the internet which has been allowing our employees to continue working.
I just was wondering if you guys have heard of any updates to this or know of any better fixes that are out there.