Microsoft Office 2007 uses a new standard to save documents. You might have noticed that the documents saved by Microsoft Word 2007 are no longer named document.doc but document.docx. While this is not per se a problem for users with Office 2007 it is a major one for everyone else as older versions of Office or third party document viewers do not support these formats necessarily.
Microsoft released a compatibility patch for older Office versions which adds the functionality to those products but those who rely on Open Office for instance are facing a huge problem. Because, at the moment, Open Office does not support the docx format at all. If you open it you will only see lots of unreadable garbage.
Users have a few possibilities though. They can use the updated Word Viewer from the Microsoft website and use it to open the docx document. This document can then be copied and pasted into Open Office.
Another possibility would be to use the free online service called docx converter which converts docx documents into doc format readable by Open Office.
Update: Please note that most third party applications, including Open Office, Libre Office and Google Docs, support the new formats that Microsoft introduced in Office 2007 now. You can load docx, xlsx and pptx documents just fine in Open Office for instance just like you can load the older Office document formats into the application suite.
Just make sure you download and install the latest version of Apache OpenOffice on your system so that you can be sure that you can load those document formats into the program.
Note that services like Word Viewer or Docx Converter are still available so that you can use them as well to display or convert those new document types.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.