If you use Microsoft Word, I hope you will read this.
Microsoft Word makes and saves documents in a file type called Doc. Every version of Word uses Doc just fine, including all the newest versions of Word.
Microsoft has added a new format, called DocX. For 99.9% of us, it’s not better, it’s just new. It’s an option for those who need it, but most people don’t.
Now they have original Doc and new DocX, both just as good.
To make new money, Microsoft makes new versions of their software, right? People who don’t have the software they need will buy the new, especially when they get new computers.
But how to convince people who already have perfectly good software to buy the new stuff for $150 – $450?
By creating the illusion that their existing software is becoming obsolete.
Being sorta evil, Microsoft programmed new Word to make the new DocX format by default. And it still makes good old Doc too.
Microsoft could have made the new software to keep using good old Doc as the default, and everybody using any version of Word could keeping working together fine. But they didn’t.
When you make a document with the new Word, you can save is as either DocX or Doc. The option is there when you save the document. Piece of cake.
People with the newer Word don’t know this, so they’re out there making DocX files, and the people with older versions of Word can’t open them.
If you have new Word, you can change it to always make Doc files as the default. It’s really easy to change, only takes about a minute.
A lot of people don’t like it. I got a fee trial version of Office 2010, I tried it and it’s OK. But it looks a lot different, so you have to learn some new ways of doing things. And it’s not more powerful, it’s just more cool. It’s got fancy ribbons instead of simple buttons and toolbars…. That’s just a matter of taste I guess.
Word 2003 and the rest of Office 2003 are still a powerhouse. It does everything I need and a thousand things I never will need.
It’s perpetuating Microsoft’s proprietary monopoly. They’re just going to keep making newer and cooler, and tempting us to stay on their hamster wheel.
Bill Gates has enough money. Do you?
1. Use a converter. Microsoft, being only sorta evil, makes a little piece of software you can download. People using older Word can use it to convert DocX into Doc. It’s free gratis.