One of the less-appreciated features of Office 2007 — whose arrival was overshadowed by the hype over Windows Vista — is its XML-based file format. XML has a lot going for it, but Microsoft’s implementation isn’t compatible with file-formats in earlier versions of Word.
So even if you don’t switch to Office 2007 you’ll have to deal with the file-format problems eventually, as other people switch. SearchITChannel.com’s first “unrecognized file format” Word doc came in today — from Microsoft.
To read it we had to download the Office Compatibility Pack from Microsoft.com. It wasn’t difficult, but it did delay things a bit as we figured out why our versio of Word 2003 wouldn’t open a Word document from Microsoft.
Just a reminder to download it yourself, and to remind your customers. You might mention to them that the download is 27.1MB, just so they don’t have all their employees download it themselves, all at once.
Oh, but don’t launch it before you install whatever critical Windows updates you have not yet loaded. The site doesn’t say, but presumably Bad Things Could Happen.