Office 2007 victim

This morning I received an important document on email. I had been waiting for it since Friday. But I couldn’t open it.

The document was in PowerPoint 2007 (PPTX) format and we use Office 2003 here.

Great. A quick Google search brought up several PPTX to PPT converters. However, I couldn’t get any to download or run.

Our Websense filtering stopped me from going to the shareware sites; other sites which weren’t filtered involved me having to upload this valuable document onto a web service – as such, it was out of the question. And to add insult to injury, I did not have suitable privileges on my PC to install the converter.

The thing is, Microsoft calls this progress. But I lost 20 minutes in a vain attempt to open a file. I found the whole situation unacceptable.

Had I resorted to calling our IS Services helpdesk, it would have added to to our IT department’s workload.

In the end I asked my contact to save the file in PowerPoint 2003 format and resend it, which not only inconvenienced him but also made me and the organisation I work for look somewhat behind the times.

Surely Microsoft cannot expect everyone to run Orffice 2007…that’s simply ridiculous. I’ve written previosly that old file formats need to be supported. Today, I am saying that any new file formats must be backwards compatible with older versions.

It may seem logical to upgrade to Office 2007, but you could be opening yourself to a whole lot of pain. Many of your customers and suppliers will inevitably be running older versions of the Microsoft Office suite.