PSA: Google Docs support of older Microsoft Office formats ends Jan. 31st

Last fall, Google announced Google Docs users would not be able to export files in certain Microsoft Office documents after October 1st, 2012. The documents were in the .doc, .xls, and .ppt formats, which were used by Microsoft Office from 1997 to 2003. After a major outcry from businesses and individuals who still use those older versions of Microsoft Office, Google decided to reverse its decision and extend the shutdown deadline to January 31st, 2013.

Now that the new cut off date is fast approaching, Google has repeated that it won't be extending its export file support for these older Office document files any longer in Google Docs. In a post on the Google Apps website, it states that the deadline will still be on January 31st.

However, for those people and businesses that are still using older versions of Microsoft Office, Google does have a workaround suggestion. Those users can download a compatibility plugin from Microsoft itself. The plugin should allow Google Docs users to view files in those affected formats.

Ironically, the deadline is coming the same week that Microsoft is expected to launch the new Office 2013 to the general public.

Source: Google Apps blog | Image via Google

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Rumor: Microsoft to support CardDAV-CalDAV protocols

Next Story

CNN launches official Windows 8 app; Microsoft Sports app updated

15 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I can open a document prepared in Word 97 in Word 2013 without problems. Same for the rest of the suite and I can even save in older formats.

Actually, I wish Microsoft would also do the same for the 97/2003 format.

It creates nothing but issues, and would force people to adopt the new format.

obvious fact that office format 97 to 2003 are propetiary formats,
less obvious fact: google need to pay license fee to M$ just to able working with that format.
transparent action: as there free format available, start dropping support for the costly propetiary formats.

in a few years the import WILL be dropped too.

They are old and outdated If you haven't had the need for the Microsoft converters by now, you probably don't need Office at all.

Not to mention, Word format is not an "open" standard. That's what Google likes to support.

farmeunit said,
They are old and outdated If you haven't had the need for the Microsoft converters by now, you probably don't need Office at all.

Not to mention, Word format is not an "open" standard. That's what Google likes to support.


FWIW, even 10 year old versions of Office can still do things OO.o/LO simply cannot.

The newer Microsoft office format is an open standard, they submitted it to the ISO a while ago. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_Open_XML

Office 2013 adds Open Document Format (ODF) 1.2 support as well (OpenOffice, and LibreOffice use). Google is using ODF, but not sure which version.

Office 2010 supported ODF 1.1, that's why if you have files being opened between Office 2010 and Libre/Open Office may of had some issues.

Edited by Jason Stillion, Jan 22 2013, 4:19am :

Joshie said,

FWIW, even 10 year old versions of Office can still do things OO.o/LO simply cannot.

I'm sorry, I didn't realise Office 97 could open ODF files...

Raa said,

I'm sorry, I didn't realise Office 97 could open ODF files...

The fact that you couldn't come up with a single actual feature in this...thing you consider a retort, says more than you probably realize.

While I'm at it, I'd like to introduce you to first grade math. 2013 - 10 = ___

I'll give you a minute.

Hint: It's not 1997.

Actually, it's just removing export support for an old standard, that's all. They still support the newer, better standard.

The issue is that businesses are still sitting around, using Office 2003 (or earlier) and, likewise, the older file format.

Typo in this article, Import != Export

Google are dropping export support for the 1997-2003 formats. Import/upload support will still remain, you'll just have to convert them into the new office format when you're done.

Misleading title and article. They're removing the ability to export 97/2003 files; they aren't removing the ability to import them.

It is stated clearly in the article. Headlines are meant to be shorter. Hence the information in the article.

EDIT: Maybe it got changed . . . That's probably why they have a place to "Report a problem with the article" instead of clogging up the comments . . .

Yes it has changed.

And I use the the Report a Problem thing for small errors. This article however was giving totally inaccurate information so I posted it here for anybody that happened to read it in it's original state.