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.
There will be a free converter app, and it will be with us next Spring. And in the meantime? In the meantime, you probably don’t need to worry.
Has anyone you know actually sent you an Open Office XML document yet? Do you even know anyone who has bought Office 2007 yet? I don’t.
Rather like the Mac transition to Intel architecture (and the resulting changes to software), this is going to be a gradual change, probably slower than the PowerPC-Intel switch. It’s going to be a couple of years before businesses are investing in Vista and Office 2007, and we’ll still be seeing .doc, .ppt and .xls files for a while.
And in the event that someone should send you a .docx file that you can’t open, you’ll have every right to ask them to re-send in another, more common, file format.