The latest editions of Microsoft Office might have made some welcome interface and functionality improvements, but the newer .docx file formats can leave your co-workers (and your other computers) struggling to open its files.
I guess my stubborn refusal to run Vista longer than it took to download and burn the Ubuntu 7.1 cd meant that I missed Microsoft’s new file format, .docx. The above article on Lifehacker about how to deal with it was the first I’d heard of this wonderful, wonderful, super-awesome, customer-focused idea. I mean, the people who use Office have been just clamoring for a new file format to meet their needs. Now that most MS Office alternatives can deal pretty well with .doc files, of course we need a new format to once again throw interoperability out the window.
And of course, since so many people use Windows and MS Office, it will become the new standard. And then the open source community will toil away and update all the software to deal with .docx. And then Microsoft will undoubtedly come out with some other format, and we’ll start all over again. I don’t know how this benefits anyone but Microsoft. It certainly doesn’t help consumers.