Over the years, Microsoft Office has added a lot of new features and applications to its suite, as well as introduced new formats. For instance, with Office 2007, the software giant added completely new file formats for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. As a result, the documents were designated by an “x” at the end of the file extension, explains PCWorld Contributing Editor Lincoln Spector. So, .doc became .docx and so on. Unfortunately for users, they were not backward compatible.
Because everyone in the Office software business has been supporting the popular and established formats of .doc and .xls for years, Office users were not happy with the new file format designation. To ensure that both the old and the new formats remain readable,
Microsoft (News - Alert) has done an excellent job of making this transition as easy as possible..
As a result, a user will have no trouble loading an old .doc file into a modern version of Word and the same applies to Excel and PowerPoint software. Consequently, the PCWorld report shows that the user can also save a .doc file to enable people using older versions to read it.
For those using older versions of Office, Microsoft is offering you some help. As per the PCWorld report, users of Office 2003 or even Office 2002 or 2000 can download and install the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint File Formats. It will enable you' to open, edit, save, and create the newer x formats, wrote Spector.
For those of you holding onto legacy programs and refusing to migrate to next generation platforms, there are some advantages of newer formats. As a general rule, the .docx files are about half the size of .doc files with the same content. According to Microsoft, the new formats are also more secure and recoverable. Plus, they have designed to be easily supported by other non-Microsoft programs as they are built upon open file formats.
Now, if you are the one who likes to use the latest Office version, then Office 365 is a natural progression for you. Accessible via he cloud using a subscription based service, Office 365 helps you keep pace with progress. Some new capabilities over desktop versions include no additional investment in infrastructure, its less expensive to operate, automatic updates, you can share documents across the company, easy access by login, and all data is backed up. In addition, communication is also aided by messaging and audio/video conferencing features available through the Lync 2010 client.
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