Google Delays End of Export Support for Old Microsoft Office Formats
Google Docs customers were apparently not happy about file export changes that were announced in September, so Google has extended the timeframe for customers to continue to export their Docs files into old Microsoft Office formats until Jan. 31.In late September, Google Docs announced plans to stop allowing users to save and export their Google Docs-created files using older 1997 to 2003 Microsoft Office file formats as of Oct. 1. But those plans have now been delayed until Jan. 31, 2013 due to complaints from users that they weren't given enough time to make the transition. "Surprised how many of you want to stay on Office 2003 and use Docs to interoperate," wrote Amit Singh, vice president of enterprise at Google, in an Oct. 10 post on Google+. "We are extending support for export .doc files till January to help this transition." The Google Docs built-in exporting feature allows users to directly export Docs files into Microsoft Office using formats recognized by Office. Google Docs had planned, however, to stop allow file exports using the older formats supported by Microsoft Office versions from 1997 through 2003. Google was trying to transition Google Docs users to only do file exports directly to newer versions of Microsoft Office. The proposed changes will only relate to the use of the Google Docs file exports, however, meaning that users would still be able to import Microsoft Office files of any format into Google Docs on their own, according to a Sept. 26 post on the Google Apps Blog. The move is being touted by Google as a way to make it easier for Docs users to be able to export their Google Docs files into the latest Microsoft Office formats automatically for easier transfers with users of later editions of the Microsoft Office suite.
The built-in file export changes mean that files ending in older 1997 to 2003 Office formats, including .doc, .xls and .ppt, would have to be converted into the latest Microsoft Office formats, including .docx, .xlsx and .pptx, before they can be exported from Google Docs to Microsoft Office users.