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Finextra blogger too angry to blog after MS Office let down

One of our community members told me today they were too incensed to be able to form a sentence and type it into our system. Shaking with rage they were. It transpires that they were upset to discover that if you are a Microsoft Office 2007 user and have all the service packs, you can't access some pre-Office 2003 documents. And they have an archive crammed full of older file formats archived - in particular Office 95 Powerpoints. 

My own problem with Office 2007 is the interface. Two of my colleagues here had it installed and I think it's fair to say they aren't fans - even three weeks into it. I think they'd chuck the machines through the window if they could. Not quite shaking with rage but getting there.

I digress. This backwards incompatibility sounds a bit rum for what isn't a cheap product to buy (and upgrade) but seems to be the case - so do any members have a workaround? 

And for a small fee I may reveal the name of the incensed blogger.... 

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Comments: (6)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 17 March, 2008, 03:29Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes I can add to this irony.  I have been sing Linux/OpenOffice for over a year now.  I have been happily opening docx and other Office 2007 files, and just hte other day realised that people on Office 2003 were unable to do so. 
Hans Hagen
Hans Hagen - Ferratum - Nantes 17 March, 2008, 08:52Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Complete agree with your article. I find it absolutely incredible that Microsoft has released products that are not backwards compatible.

But it seems to fit with the Microsoft philosophy. Having purchased a new computer with the Vista operating system and MS Office recently, I am baffled by the number of bugs and the (s)low performance of the system. Although there are quite a number of interesting new features (once you get used to the new interface and can find what you're searching for!), it is not enough to compensate for an incredible number of idiot bugs.

If they built cars like Microsoft build computer software, I believe we might have the solution to traffic congestion and CO2 emissions, as cars wouldn't even be able to leave the garage before breaking down.

When is Microsoft releasing the required patches to provide a stable, bug-free Vista/MS Office suite?

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 17 March, 2008, 09:52Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes While they're at it, perhaps Microsoft could sort out their file system so it doesn't need defragging. Perhaps they're too busy playing catch-up with Google?
A Finextra member
A Finextra member 17 March, 2008, 12:04Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

It's also interesting that Microsoft are 'giving away' the software free - well my wife's employer (a UK bank) has the 'benefit' of Home Use Programme.

Am I correct in recalling that Mircosoft have done this before? I think that when they moved from Office 4.2 to Office 97, there were compatibility issues then - or was that just forward i.e. 4.3 couldn't read a 97 doc?

I think that Chris Skinner's prediction in Dec07 may come true... https://www.finextra.com/blogs/fullblog.aspx?blogid=793

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 18 March, 2008, 12:33Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Microsoft does value the feedback from the users of its products so the issues discussed has been brought to the attention of one of the product managers. Below is his response:

"

·         Office 2007 by default blocked a large number of legacy formats – there is info here to help address this: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922849 ·         Office 2003 SP3 which was announced back in the fall does block pre-97 file formats (the kb to address and enable the files is here http://support.microsoft.com/kb/938810 ) As for converters (if applicable); ·         The file converter (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=CF196DF0-70E5-4595-8A98-370278F40C57&displaylang=en), provides converters/filters for Office 97 through Office 2003·         Office Compatibility Pack (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=941b3470-3ae9-4aee-8f43-c6bb74cd1466&displaylang=en) will provide the open, edit, save for the 2007 file formats 

A summary of the above is available here in Dave LeBlanc’s blog entry: http://blogs.msdn.com/david_leblanc/archive/2008/01/04/office-sp3-and-file-formats.aspx  Note, will be important to run Microsoft Update given a number of fixes recently released."

 

As far as the user-interface users are encouraged to look at the interactive guides http://office.microsoft.com/en-ca/training/HA102295841033.aspx

 

 

Sujan Menezes

Industry Manger, Financial Services (Canada)

Microsoft

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 18 March, 2008, 15:10Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes Thanks for that - I've forwarded your comment to the Finextra community member who originally pointed out the problem to me. A registry hack seems a curious way to fix the problem - but if it works he'll be happier.