Microsoft’s Office 2007 for Windows saves documents in Mac-incompatible format

“Microsoft’s Office 2007 for Windows saves documents in a format that’s incompatible the company’s Mac Office application,” Macworld reports.

Macworld reports, “By default, Office 2007 saves documents in what the company calls ‘Microsoft Office Open XML.’ The new format applies across Word, Excel and PowerPoint applications on PCs using Office 2007. The formats are specifically termed: docx, xlsx and pptx.”

Microsoft’s “Mac Business Unit hasn’t yet delivered similar software for existing Mac installations of Office. It has promised to ship them, but hasn’t yet committed to a specific date for this.,” Macworld reports.

Full article here.

APC reports, “A spokesperson for the MBU reminded APC of its promise at WWDC that ‘free downloadable converters would be available’ following the release of Office 2007 for Windows, but was unable to tell us when. ‘Unfortunately it is still to early for us to say when the converters will be available,’ she said.”

“Of course, Office 2007 applications can save their documents in ‘backward compatible’ formats, but that be a pain for co-workers and Mac users alike,” APC reports.

“Perhaps the only good news to come out of the announcement is the reluctance of businesses to upgrade. According to some sources, businesses will wait up to two years to make the switch,” APC reports. “Perhaps Mac users will have the converters they need by then.”

Full article here.


  1. To Jake and others,

    Hmmmm. I have to wonder, then this new MS word format is not compatiable with older MS word programs. You have to upgragde your existing MS work 2003, 98, whatever, to be able to read these new files?????

    So that means that if you buy MS word 2007, no one can read your files???

    Am I understanding this right???

    Is that like Zune? MS is expecting the world to suddenly run out and buy MS word 2007 just so it can talk to each other, when they can do so now without changing? If you buy MS word 2007, and do not save in old format, no one else can open your files???

    really weird.!!!

    MS word 2007. . . . . Zuned. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />


  2. Dutch,

    Perhaps you don’t care, but there are millions that have to interface with the rest of the world that uses Office on Windows. Let’s not ignore the facts just because we want to operate in an Apple vacuum.

    The only reason I am able to use my MacBook Pro in a Wall Street business (with Dells and Lenovos everywhere) is that I can be COMPLETELY compatible with MS Office. And even though I am running Parallels, doing all of my Office work there is not a way to be efficient.

    Also, iWork will NEVER be totally compatible with MS Office. Let’s not try and move mountains when a tunnel will do.

    Get real!

  3. Often when file formats are modernized, they become incompatible with the old formats. This is because the new formats allow you to incorporate features that had not been envisioned when the old format was invented.

    The only reason this surprises us is that IT’S BEEN SO LONG SINCE MICROSOFT HAS UPDATED ANYTHING that we just assume that all MS formats are compatible with each other.

    WHAT REALLY TICKS ME OFF is when they DON’T include a way to save documents in the old format. At work I use Visio 2003 on XP. But Visio 2003 can’t save files in a format readable by my coworker with Visio 2002! Seriously! M$ wants to force everybody to upgrade, and by making the file formats incompatible, it just might work. What a bunch of crooks!

  4. “Microsoft Office Open XML”.

    So it needs special converter’s that Microsoft will write for everyone else when they get around to it, for everyone else to read their supposed ‘open’ format.

    Not very ‘open’ is it?

    Typical, this is open-source, Microsoft-style.

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