Office 365 provider Microsoft (News - Alert) said this week that it will include new file format options in its next release of Office, giving users more choice of document interoperability.
In the next upgrade of Microsoft Office, the software giant has added two additional formats for use: Strict Open XML and Open Document Format (ODF) 1.2
“By adding support for these standardized document formats, Microsoft Office 2013 provides users with more choice for office document interoperability,” Microsoft Office Standards Chief, Jim Thatcher explained in this blog post. “Regardless of your preferred document file format, the new Microsoft Office gives you more options for sharing, collaborating, and archiving office documents.
In addition to providing updated support for the Open XML and ODF standards, the new Office adds new features around PDF files as well including the option called “PDF Reflow,” to open PDF files as editable office documents.
“With this functionality, you can transform your PDFs back into fully editable Word documents, rehydrating headings, bulleted/numbered lists, tables, footnotes, etc. by analyzing the contents of the PDF file,” explained Tristan Davis, senior lead program manager for Word.
According to Thatcher, the goal is not to make Word into a PDF reader or PDF editor, but rather to help users bring the contents of PDF files back into an editable format using Word 2013.
With Windows 8 due out soon, and the ubiquitous productivity suiteOffice 365 due for an upgrade, speculation about the future of Microsoft is at an all-time high.
According to Rob Helms, an analyst for Directions on Microsoft, “Microsoft is trying to extend Office through the Web and on portable devices and that’s forced it to rethink how it extends Office, so that it has a solution that extends to all these different places that Office runs. But, that means saying goodbye to a lot of old buddies for a lot of Office users,” TMCnet recently reported.
When Helms uses the term “buddies,” he is referring to many of the tweaks that companies have make to the enterprise versions of their Office software to customize functionality. Much of that flexibility is on the chopping block for the new versions of Office, in order to make room for the cloud computing power of Office 365.
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Edited by Jamie Epstein