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For six years, the Internet Nexus served as my technology blog, but I've since started blogging at the SuperSite Blog instead. If you're looking for the blog, please head there. --Paul

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Non-issue of the year: MacBU's delayed release of Office 2007-compatible document filters

As the Mac BU itelf notes:
There's been some pretty alarmist news stories about file format converters and Office for Mac. Because some of these stories seem designed more to inflame than inform, I want to reiterate our previously reported intention to provide free converters, clarify our timing for their release, and also give some direction on how best to avoid incompatibility until they are available.

The Mac BU WILL issue free, downloadable file format converters that allow users to read the new Microsoft Office Open XML Format. We announced that publicly at WWDC, and nothing has changed.

We are running on target and expect to release a free public beta version of the file format converters in Spring 2007, with final converters available six to eight weeks after we launch our next version of Office for Mac (which, as previously reported, will be available 6-8 months after general availability of Win Office.) The next version of Office for Mac will natively read the Open XML Format; users of the current version of Office will have converters in order to maintain compatibility with the new Office for Windows.
So there's some kind of conspiracy theory that the Mac BU, despite being part of the company that made the new Office formats, is clearly delaying the release of the format filters in order to ... something. I don't know, keep the Mac down or whatever.


You won't find a group more loyal to the Mac than the Mac BU. Conversely, you won't find a group at Microsoft more outside the loop at the company than the Mac BU (well, the Xbox, Zune, and MSN teams are actually as physically and mentally separated from the main campus as is the Mac BU, but you get the idea).

Furthermore, anyone who believes that the January release of Office 2007 is going to suddenly kick off an era in which all Windows users (and thus 95 percent of the overall computing base) are instantly using new, Mac-incompatible Office formats has no idea what they're talking about. I've been using Office 2007 in beta (and now final) form for about a year, and I only save in the "legacy" document formats that work with previous Office versions (Mac or PC). So does everyone else I know. These new formats may have some advantages, but most people are going to stick with the old formats, especially for the next few years.

In short, this is a non-issue. Anyone who says otherwise doesn't understand the issues involved or is trying to get you riled up for no good reason. Case closed.
[ Posted at 1:33 PM | Permalink ]


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