Microsoft: great for open source

I’m not a hardware bigot — I’ve taught hundreds of people to use Apple computers and applications; I’ve taught thousands to use IBM-compatible computers and applications.  I’m too lazy to get involved in the theological discussions of the genius of Bill Gates or the sainthood of Steve Jobs.

I don’t work much with open-source versions of office applications.  I have nothing against them; I’ve just had too many persnickety clients, including one who was running Windows 95 on some computers and Windows 98 on others.

Today, I’m trying to dig up some old documents I created that will be useful for a new project that’s about to launch.  As I attempt to open documents, I get a cheerful message like this one (cribbed from someone who had the same problem, only in Excel):

What this means in English:

  • Word 2007 no longer supports documents written in Word for Windows 1.x, 2.x, Word for the Mac 4.x, 5.x, OR
  • An administrator has restricted the types of documents that you can open or save in Word 2007 or in Word 2003. An administrator can set a registry key to restrict this functionality.

I’m confident it’s not the first instance, since I don’t have Word 2007.  And I’m puzzled by the second situation, since I have a standalone computer and get no amusement from being my own administrator.

No doubt Word 2003 thinks I do like to play administrator.  My solution (to use an interesting synonym for “pointless exercise imposed by an outside party”) is to go prancing around in the Windows Registry and identify an “exempt location.”  Then I simply create that location and, each time the misbegotten, control-freak software decides it doesn’t want to open an ancient text created by its predecessors, move the document to that exempt location.

Microsoft: like General Motors, but without the dedication to customer service.

2 thoughts on “Microsoft: great for open source

  1. Wouldn’t do any good — they’d be the same documents.

    It passeth all understanding how, given the bloat that typifies Microsoft products, they can’t manage a few bytes to help figure out how to open files created by earlier versions of themselves.

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