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Office 2007 Mac Converters Coming Soon

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Microsoft’s Mac Business Unit announced Tuesday that their timetable has them releasing file converters to read Office 2007 file formats in older Mac versions of Office sometime this Spring, probably late March/early April.

While this is a little later than most users would like, given that Office will be on store shelves the end of January, the announcement was in response to some alarmist articles suggesting that Mac Office users were being screwed, when these file converters had been promised months ago. Note the coverage on TechMeme, and how hard it is to get out the honest message when everyone is yelling about the sky falling. Joe Wilcox calls this “The Pointless Converter Debate”.

Until the converters do show up, here’s my suggestion: If you are sharing Office 2007 files with a Mac Office colleague, save two copies of each file, one in an older, Office 2003/XP format. Then, since all the Office 2007 files are secretly ZIP files, place the backwards compatible copy in the ZIP of the 2007 copy (by changing the file extension to ZIP, adding the file, and changing it back), and share just the single copy. Just make sure to explain to your Mac buddy how to get his copy. It’s a little extra work, but you did know that being an early adopter comes with a few hoops, right?

Now, if Microsoft made this an option in the Save As dialog, they’d be saving everyone some time and headaches.
(via Todd Bishop)

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