Feeds

Google spikes old MS file formats

Withdraws support for .doc, .xls, .ppt

The essential guide to IT transformation

If you’re the nostalgic type who still has much of your office content stored in Microsoft binary formats, get ready for a busy weekend: the Chocolate Factory has decided that users of older Microsoft Office versions are an anachronism, and on Monday will kill off support for .doc, .xls and .ppt file formats.

The changes to Google Apps will apply to all editions.

The move is troublesome not only for stick-in-the-muds who haven’t upgraded their Office installs: it’s perfectly feasible that much of a large business’s corporate memory will be in the old binary formats (along with spreadsheets containing large, custom macros that nobody’s rewritten in the newer versions yet).

As BetaNews puts it, if you worked in Microsoft marketing, “October 1 would be champagne day, baby.” The move at the very least gives Redmond a gold-standard product differentiator: backwards compatibility.

Google Apps users now have only a handful of options: convert every document to the new .docx/.xlsx/.pptx formats before uploading them to Google; stick with Microsoft for backwards compatibility; or abandon both entirely in favour of something like LibreOffice.

The question now is whether Google presses ahead with the decision, or changes its mind in the face of an almost-certain outcry from users. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.