I have experienced the problem mentioned in Jamies post of receiving an MS Office 2007 document in the new *.docx format.
I know about Microsoft's Open XML format, which enables developers to create applications that use the Microsoft file format, but am not clear of the advantages in reality. Wouldn't it have been easier if the new format was the option rather than the other way round?
We are now in the position where we might receive a document we can't read without downloading and installing a 'compatibility pack' from Microsoft, (which is blocked on our networks anyway). We could of course just delete the files, and reply to the sender asking them to send it in a readable format, and I have now done this on two occasions. Is this aimed at driving up adoption of Word 2007? Its all rather tedious, and hard to justify.
Becta concluded in their recent report that that there is currently no reason to upgrade to 2007, as there are "no must have features". Home users are far less likely to have the latest Office products, if any at all.
"recognising the limitations regarding Microsoft’s implementation of the ODF
standard and the limited uptake of Microsoft’s new Office 2007 file format,
we recommend that in the short term users should continue to use the
older Microsoft binary formats (such as .doc)"
There are schools who may look at this and consider whether they want to continue to be hitched to Microsoft, and wonder if it is time to look to the open document formats of Open Office etc. This would be a shame, as Microsoft 'previous version' compatibility has been a powerful argument, and kept us all using it.
PS I would have posted my comment directly on The Innovation Blog, but they don't allow comments ... (I must admit I thought that one of the points of
blogging was to allow dialogue and comment).