Google Apps axes export support for .doc and other old Microsoft Office formats

Google Apps axes export support for .doc and other old Microsoft Office formats

Summary: The cloud-based office suite will, from 1 October, only be able to export to newer Office Open XML formats such as .docx. This will affect anyone collaborating with users of pre-2003 Office versions, although Microsoft does have a compatibility pack to help out users of some earlier iterations.

TOPICS: Google, Microsoft

Google Apps users are about to lose their ability to export Google Docs format files to the classic Microsoft Office formats, .doc, .xls and.ppt.

Google said in a terse blog post on Wednesday that the option would disappear on 1 October, affecting users of the plain Google Apps and the versions for business, government and education. Users will still be able to export to the Office Open XML formats, .docx, .xlsx and .pptx, as well as various other options such as rich text, .csv and so on

The change will affect anyone using Google Apps to generate documents for use by those who are still on older versions of Microsoft Office, specifically versions prior to Office 2003. Since then, Microsoft Office has been able to support .docx and the other XML formats.

That said, Microsoft does offer a compatibility pack to help users of Office 2000 and 2002 work with the newer formats.

Topics: Google, Microsoft

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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  • As long as it is only exporting that is affected

    Backward compatilibity is pretty important as far as DOCs are concerned
  • Why?

    What does it cost to leave the support there? It's already there...

    I never understood the desire to remove older formats when the libraries needed to open/save is already there...
    • Well...

      It doesn't cost anything to leave the support there. However, EVERYONE (including Microsoft) is pushing for people to stop using DOC and XLS and start using more open formats (even DOCX and XLSX, as questionable as their openness actually is, are better), and this is likely Google trying to force people's hands. Which is why it's only exporting to the formats, as opposed to handling the formats period.
  • Hardly anyone uses Google Apps anyway

    Microsoft Office is on over a billion computers. Whether it be Office 2003, 2007 or 2010, its on a PC somewhere.
    • Where did you come up with that?

      “Hardly anyone uses Google Apps anyway”
    • Are you serious?

      Many schools here in the US have dropped Microsoft Office and began using Google Docs due to the licensing fees and the budget concerns that all of education has. There are many companies that use Google Docs for the same reason.
      • My University has went full-in with Google

        They've all given us Google accounts and we are have to use Google Docs. However with that being said, we have not in anyway dropped Microsoft Office. It's still pre-installed on the thousand + computers on campus. And I personally find Google Docs frustrating. For example, if I try to insert a video on a document, it only has to be a Google/Youtube video, nothing else. I've tried Office Webapps, which is free, and I personally like it much better than Google Docs. But that's only my opinion.
        Free From Apple
    • Re: Microsoft Office is on over a billion computers.

      Seems unlikely, given that there are only a billion Windows PCs, and most of them don’t have Office...
  • Waiting for the bus...

    The group most likely to objext to this move is the government sector. They're usually 5 years behind and most likely still need this ability. I'll take a "wait and see".
  • XML and 2003, or .???x and 2007?

    XML documents may have started in MSO 2003, but the .???x formats started in MSO 2007; MSO 2003 can't read those, unless a free add-on from MS is installed. OpenOffice and LibreOffice can open the new formats, but while they can save XML-based MSO formats to the 2003 level, I don't know if they can save as the 2007/2010 .???x formats as yet.
  • Microsoft, Google, CollateBox, Grid- Race for the best tool..

    I always thought this would happen. With the growing user base its for sure that these firms does not want their users to keep shifting from one tool to other.
    But the best part about spreadsheet usage is that, the number of options available today. Be it with new one such as GRID and COLLATEBOX or even the previous ones such as OpenOffice or LibreOffice. It just gives users to make the choice of their own.