.doc ain't dead yet

by Giles Turnbull

The hoo-ha over Microsoft’s new Office 2007 default file format in Office 2007 seems to have calmed down a little, which is a great relief.

Of course people were going to get upset by headlines like “The lock-out begins for Office Mac users”, but in reality that was never on the cards in the first place. Microsoft is doing things the way it has always done; Mac users are not its first priority.


2006-12-07 10:29:31
And if it's a Word XML document, there's good odds you could always open / save it with TextEdit anyway.
2006-12-07 11:57:38
We went through the same thing with Office 97. All the formats changed and users couldn't remember to Save As the old versions.

That is until they got tired of getting emails saying "Can't read this file" from everyone they sent files. It was at least two years before we could think about sending anyone, outside of our company, the new file formats.

I agree, this is only going to be an issue for O2007 users. They are the ones that will have to worry about compatibility.

Chris Devers
2006-12-07 19:34:55
We won't even necessarily have to wait for an official solution to this.

Remember: the new zip/XML based Office formats are both Open and clearly specified. There's already converters out there to get the raw text out of a .docx file, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if before long we see either tools to convert these file formats to RTF, PDF, DOC, XLS, PPT, Keynote, Pages, OpenOffice, OpenDoc, etc.

Maybe these tools will be web based, like http://docx-converter.com/, maybe it'll be (probably open source) command line tools or plugins to MS Office or Open Office or iWork, but one way or another, I'd almost be more surprised if independently produced tools for these formats don't come along before the officially sanctioned ones from Microsoft next spring.

Kevin S.
2006-12-08 03:34:43
I can't imagine the .doc format ever dying in China. People here don't send jpegs, they send .doc files with embedded pictures.
Benjamin Huot
2006-12-08 11:57:32
If someone sends my a Word document, I open it in OpenOffice.org on my Linux box or NeoOffice on my Mac. If it doesn't open with that, then I just assume they didn't want me to read it. For those who can afford to buy Microsoft Office, money is obviously no object and they should buy Adobe Acrobat to convert their documents. It is not like anything important would be in a Word document anyway as anyone using it is opening all their data to be destroyed.