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10/10/2012
06:13 PM
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Google Puts Some Microsoft Office Exports On Life Support

Google says ability to export Google Apps files in legacy Office formats will continue until the end of January.

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Google has done just about everything it can to wean its customers from Microsoft Office, but many of its business customers just can't kick the habit or don't want to bother.

On October 1, Google had planned to drop the option to export Google Apps documents in older, proprietary Microsoft Office formats (.doc, .xls, .ppt). These file formats were used in Office 97-2003 and Google assumed that Apps customers interested in exporting files would be satisfied with more modern, open Office formats (docx, .xlsx, .pptx).

But Google erred in that assumption. Last week's scheduled removal of older Office export formats was never implemented, due to customer complaints.

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Google hasn't said how many customers objected, but in a brief post on Google+, Amit Singh, VP of Google Enterprise, noted that he was "surprised [at] how many of you want to stay on Office 2003 and use [Google] Docs to interoperate."

Singh noted that Google has extended support for exporting files in older Office formats until January 31, 2013, for scheduled release track customers.

Google introduced its scheduled release track last year because many of the company's business customers objected to its practice of updating its software as rapidly as possible. For companies with complicated IT systems, unanticipated technical changes can wreak havoc. The scheduled release track provides administrators with at least a week to test new features in Google's online applications.

For older Office formats, maybe three more months will suffice.

Supporting ancient Office formats may be necessary at the moment, but Google isn't giving up on its belief that it can convince companies to "go Google." It's reinforcing its siege of Office by empowering the allies it has been gathering through its reseller program. On Wednesday, Google introduced a Reseller API to help IT service providers and business tool developers create software that interoperates with Google Apps for Business, Google Drive, and Google Apps Vault. In so doing, it makes its partners better able to add value to Google Apps and to make Google's cloud services more compelling.

Resellers can use this API to add customer accounts, transfer customers, and access customer subscription information, among other activities.

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AustinIT
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AustinIT,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/11/2012 | 8:02:04 PM
re: Google Puts Some Microsoft Office Exports On Life Support
Yet another reason NOT to use Google as an office replacement. Why would anyone want to do the document conversion dance over and over again? Especially in light of what Microsoft has planned with the upcoming hybrid functionality in Office 2013 and Office365. Run it on premises, run it in the cloud, run it in both. No document conversion needed. File access anywhere. What more could you ask for. And, with SkyDrive, you don't even have to jump to Office 2013 yet. Use it today with what you already have.

@mmuldoon52501, No one is going to move "en masse" to Linux - no matter what Microsoft does or does not do with office. Likewise, anyone still griping about the Ribbon interface in Office needs to get a life. Get over it and move on. The rest of the world already has.
mmuldoon52501
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mmuldoon52501,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/11/2012 | 5:14:45 PM
re: Google Puts Some Microsoft Office Exports On Life Support
" Amit Singh, VP of Google Enterprise, noted that he was "surprised [at] how many of you want to stay on Office 2003 and use [Google] Docs to interoperate." " It's not a surprise to me. Everyone I talk to wants to stay with Office 2003. The reason? The "ribbon" is an unmitigated disaster. It has made Office almost unusable. The only way we can get people in our office to use 2007 or 2010 is to install the Ubit menu add-on. This gives you a good old fashioned menu. Between the ribbon and pasting a tablet UI onto a desktop operating system (Windows 8) it's about time to for the industry to say goodbye to Microsoft and move en mass to Linux.
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