The article in Wired was pretty much clear: Microsoft OFfice 2003 service pack 3 will drop support for older microsoft office formats. In other words, when the service pack 3 is installed, older files such as powerpoint before office 97, lotus and quattro files, word and excel files will not open by default and access to these files will be denied on account of security risks and concerns.
This is half the truth. The other half is that these files will open if the user rolls up his/her sleeves, signs a written affidavit that he/she has nothing better to do than waste precious productive time and did not curse several expletive towards Pacific Northwest corporation headquarters of microsoft, delves into the pc registry and manually hacks the registry values to allow for such files to open. Now, of course, converters may do the trick, but large corporations and academic institutions with large libraries of legacy files may run into trouble.
Of course, OpenOffice.org has no problem opening these older files and newer ones, too. Yes, I am referring to the newer marketing stint from microsoft with the docx and xlsx files which do not open with older versions of office, say office xp.
Happy New Year Open Office and Free Software. (No, I am not one of the many who anticipate that this will definitely be the year of linux and open source and free software. For me, this year came several years ago when I made the switch from proprietary to open source and never looked back).
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