Microsoft Offices’ backwards compatibility issue
March 7, 2008
Microsoft launched Office 12 some time ago with a new file standard and extension. The XML powered standard, which results in files ending .docx, .pptx etc was touted as the cure to incompatibility woes and promising portability and better standardisation.
I’m finding none of that to be true as a user of Office 2003!
During the average day I get sent many documents and presentations to review or collaborate on and I’m finding real issues with this move by Microsoft. I can’t open any documents saved in the new format in my version of Office. It’s now got to the stage where many partners have upgraded to Office 12 and I’m having to request new versions of documents on a regular basis.
This has got me to thinking. The issue is only going to get worse as more people upgrade and aren’t aware of the backwards compatibility issues. I believe Microsoft have made a massive mistake with this and really harmed the cause of data portability. What’s even worse is that sometimes when documents are saved as a compatible version they lose some formatting and bloat in file size hugely.
Surely I can’t be the only one encountering this problem and finding the frequency of occurrence rising?