Microsoft 'saves' digital archives

Microsoft has joined forces with The National Archives to help stop vital information being lost in a digital black hole.

The tie-up with the software giant means that Britain will be the first nation in the world that can convert old Microsoft documents to be read in modern technology.

Gordon Frazer, managing director UK and vice-president Microsoft International, said: "There is a real possibility of creating a huge digital black hole where all this information is no longer accessible because we cannot access them with old technology.

"We are facing the challenge of a digital dark age and have to make sure it does not happen."

Microsoft and The National Archives (NA) signed a memorandum of understanding to protect the nation's digital records from the past, present and into the future.

View: Channel 4 News

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or use one of the million and 3 converting applications out there. i don't get why this is an issue, especially for MS, if it comes down to it, they know the format of the files, so hence can quite easily whenever they want, even in 3 million years as long as they still have the files on a media that they can read, just write a new app that can read those files. all they need to archie is the format of the files, as long as the format is known it will never ever be an issue

Angel Blue01 said,
What format will they be saving in?

The only format that's completely futureproof is plaintext

If you read the article, MS is making it easier for them to read old MS formats using Virtual PC, not any format. The idea is that they would convert it to a new MS format.

Thanks for the "help", MS are such humanitarians, but would it be so hard to run VMware or similar instead? FOR FREE? Just business as usual from MS.

You do know that Virtual PC is free, right? Plus they are giving them the old versions of Windows as well. I really don't see what your complaint is.