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  1. #1
    sirstaunch's Avatar
    sirstaunch is offline Registered User
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    Use MS Office On A Mac? You’re About To Get Screwed

    As you may or may not know, Microsoft has launched Office 2007. The suite is a vast improvement over previous versions and now uses new file formats for when you save a Word (.docx), Excel (.xlsx), or Powerpoint (.pptx) document. Dubbed “Microsoft Office Open XML Formats”, these new file types don’t seem to be working in Mac OS X. Trying to open a document in Word 2004 for OS X gives you a bunch of random characters and undecipherable garbage like the picture above.

    Those using the previous version of Office on Windows XP can download a converter and compatibility pack as a work around, but Mac users are left in the cold it seems. Apparently, no one can say when an OS X version of the conversion tools will be available either. What gives Microsoft? Either support your OS X users 100% or don’t bother at all. We want to be able to collaborate between Office-documents but this new file format is going to kill us!
    Thoughts.....?

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  2. #2
    ora's Avatar
    ora
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    I heard about this and am worried. That said I basically use office via Parallels now, so as long as they don't try and stop me using office 2007 under emulation like they plan to do with most of the versions of Vista, I'll be ok. That or I'll just use the compatibility pack or whatever on my XP Word installation.

    That said I'll be irritated not to be abel to open Word files in TextEdit, its soooo much faster than word and deals with almost all files perfectly.
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  3. #3
    nixgeek's Avatar
    nixgeek is offline Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
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    Yeah, I saw this on Digg.com today. Unbelievable. People say that Microsoft sets standards.....the only standards they set are their own and then because of their monopoly they force people to use their platform. And of course, they take advantage of the ignorance of people when it comes to office suites. Soon, you'll find the same people who reject other suites because they believe that they will be "incompatible with the rest of the world if they don't use MS Office" being incompatible themselves unless they upgrade to the Office 2K7. And those people that have upgraded to Office 2007 will end up making those that haven't upgraded yet to do so. Microsoft plays off of the laziness of users since users don't want to go through the hassle of saving the document in another format (it's a simple process, but even THAT'S too much for the mass of MS-using drones out there).

    Plus, the fact that Novell is backing them up with a fork of the OpenOffice suite isn't helping much (turncoats). I understand that Novell is a company, but their short-term gain doesn't benefit anyone except Microsoft. Personally I think this will negatively affect Novell in the long-term.

    I've heard people complain here about the interface usability of OpenOffice and even NeoOffice. Regardless of the interface, these apps are important for all platforms because they adhere to interoperability and open standards, not closed standards like those set by Microsoft. Plus, the increase in popularity for OpenOffice and NeoOffice only serve to help the other third-party suites from smaller developers that DO have better interfaces. To complain about interface problems on these open apps does not offer a solution. If you have a problem, and you are a developer, do something about it. I'm not a coder so I don't know the level of difficulty this would entail, but I know that complaining about interface problems on the Mac with OpenOffice and NeoOffice doesn't help at all.

    I guess that's it for my rant....take it or leave it as you like.
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  4. #4
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    Last January, Microsoft said they would do an update to Office 2004 to allow these formats to be opened and saved. No worries. Besides: Worst case scenario you have to educate users to use .doc and .xls instead.
    Mac user since 1987. Running Mac OS X 10.9 "Mavericks" on a MacBook Pro Retina 13" & an iMac 27" and whatever's newest for my iPhone 5s, iPad Air and AppleTV 3.

  5. #5
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    Sirtovin is offline Senior Switcher Tech Guru
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    Quote Originally Posted by fryke View Post
    Last January, Microsoft said they would do an update to Office 2004 to allow these formats to be opened and saved. No worries. Besides: Worst case scenario you have to educate users to use .doc and .xls instead.
    Agreed...

    As an Old Windows user M$ does try to set the standards to BE THEIRS and only theirs... IE when it first came out tried to take the market away from Netscape... Etc... but Luckily Mozilla beat the hell out of them... Thus FireFox...

    When I listened to the first keynote when Intel chips were introduced to Macs... They said Microsoft Office 2007, will be ported to Mac... So I am guessing that will have the extensions in question...

    If M$ decides to make a Mac opener for those documents than that is a plus... Office 2007 isn't suppose to hit till after January... So they got plenty of time to do it for Mac.
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  6. #6
    nixgeek's Avatar
    nixgeek is offline Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
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    Quote Originally Posted by fryke View Post
    Last January, Microsoft said they would do an update to Office 2004 to allow these formats to be opened and saved. No worries. Besides: Worst case scenario you have to educate users to use .doc and .xls instead.
    That's a task in and of itself, to be honest, especially in the educational field here in Miami (not sure about anywhere else). I tried to get a user to use OpenOffice (albeit the 1.x series) way back and they said that it sucked compared to MS Office, and the only reason was because they were used to MS Office's interface and formats as opposed to OpenOffice's interface and format (which on the Windows platform isn't that much different...just a few things in a diferent location). And this was a young teacher, not some old fuddy duddy that's afraid of technology. This is the kind of stuff that I believe Microsoft plays on....the ignorance of its user base. And the fact that they're doing this with the file formats is another sign.

    On the flip side, I introduced another friend of mine who is doing her doctorate in Psychology to use OpenOffice (also at the 1.x series at the time) because her trial run with MS Office expired. To this day, she still uses it for school and work and has no problems. She was able to free herself from the lock-in that Microsoft puts in people's minds with their FUD and with their actions. I've since then upgraded her to the 2.x version of OpenOffice and the experience has been much better.

    It's a matter of the user, IMO. But unfortunately, just like the saying where 20% of the people do 80% of the work, only 20% of the people are daring enough to even bother giving something new a try. This is something that MS knows and hopes to keep alive.
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  7. #7
    Viro's Avatar
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    Err... how is this a major issue? Not many people are using Office 2007, which is due to be released for the Mac sometime in 2007. Those who do have Office 2007 will know to save in formats readable in previous versions.

    Just wait till Office 2007 is released, or for $YOUR_FAV_OFFICE_SUITE to support the format.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by nixgeek View Post
    Plus, the increase in popularity for OpenOffice and NeoOffice only serve to help the other third-party suites from smaller developers that DO have better interfaces.
    That's a rather perverse way of thinking. How does the popularity of Open Office help the developers of applications like Mellel, Nisus Writer Express, Mesa, etc?

 

 
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