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. @norm e

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

    Am I understanding this right???”

    Yes, you are.

    MS has done this for years and years and years.

    Sure, you might be able to get by on some kind of converter, but basically this is the ENTIRE MODEL MS uses to drive Office upgrades.

    Each new version of Office can open old files, but will save by default to the new, improved, and CLOSED format.

    Soon people start emailing you files and you can’t open them. And then you start bugging your corporate tech support about it and they decide to upgrade everyone.

    In fact, I think I read somewhere that part of this strategy involved giving free copies of the new Office to top-level executives. Those excecutives would start sending people incompatible docs, and NO WAY is anyone going to tell the execs to save in an old format. This forces everyone under them to upgrade.

    It’s brilliant, really.

    How can Apple break this cycle?

  2. And another thing…

    Does anyone else think that this is a ‘shot-across-the-bows’ to Apple for daring to even hint at the possibility of the fact that they might, someday release their Office-killer?

    Microsoft will, eventually get around to writing the converter’s to Mac, but is this ‘delay’ really Microsoft flexing it’s muscles towards Apple?

  3. MadMac,

    MS has switched to an XML format for the underlying document format for a reason…. so it can be an open format and easily adopted by other companies. Apple or any company will be able to read/write the new .____x formats. You can relax.

  4. So when are the Mac folks going to get it through there minds – M$$$$ is not our cup of tea anymore! Even in the world of business, there are better and more Mac friendly solutions out there!

    With all of the other application chooses out there, these days why even have M$$$ even on your Mac? I don’t!

    Lets see now there always Applework (albeit a little long in the tooth), iWorks new “Pages” which just keep getting better and better.

    Now if one really needs to be able to read and write Word and it’s counter parts, from time to time, as I do, then there something out there called “NeoOffice’, based on “OpenOffice”, which take cares of any longing on my part for Word or other like minded M$$$ offerings! And the best part is it’s free and Mac friendly! can’t bet that…

  5. Come on people, MS doing this sort of thing is nothing new. How many times has MS released a new version of Office for windows but the older versions of word, for example, cannot read the new files? Actually I have always found it funny how people used to complain about mac office not being compatible with windows office when switching between windows versions of office was just as bad. Try opening newer versions of files in Office 97 and you will see what I mean. This is typical MS but only gets headlines so media outlets can try and paint the mac in a bad light by saying this mac isn’t compatible.

  6. Making iTunes Mac-only would be a very bad idea. Based on installed OS percentages, I’ll bet more tunes are downloaded to peecees than Macs; at the least a very high percentage are. It would be too much business to lose for Apple.

  7. I don’t see what all the excitement is about here. Mac Office is and has been outdated for a while now. Undoubtably, the soon-to-be released upgrade (Universal Binary) will support this new file format. So, don’t get your panties all up in a wad; this is just business as usual. Things changes, things improve, Microsoft builds upgrade incentives into their products. Next story.

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