Till now Google docs were supporting a variety of file formats. But now Google docs removes support for older office formats.
We all have been using Google docs (Now called Google drive) to edit or share our documents with our colleagues for official and personal purposes. Till now Google Docs were supporting a variety of file formats. But Google has recently made a very important announcement according to which soon you will not be able to export spreadsheets, presentations and documents in the older Microsoft Office formats such as .ppt, .doc or .xls. This will be applicable to Google apps including its business, government and education editions, valid from October 1st, 2012.
While the Google spokesperson clarified that the masses will have the ability to import all Microsoft formats files and will be able to open them as well, nothing has been changed here. People can send you files in the older Microsoft Office formats including, .ppt, .xls and, .doc. So in a way Google Docs will be supporting these Office 97–2003 formats very much.
But the difference is when you try to export files. If you have created a file using Google Docs, it can only be saved and exported in Modern Office formats like (.pptx, .xlsx and .docx), or in open XML formats or other non–Microsoft Office formats.
If you were planning to synchronize your documents with the Google Drive, then also you may face the same problem. If you look at the documents that have been synchronized on your local machine, you will see that the formats are different. The only way left now is to allow offline access in your browser while opening these files online so that you may use them for later reference.
Though Google is trying to modernize its format database but it can be a bolt form the blue to those organizations and businesses which still rely on the older and conventional Office 97 – 2003 formats using older Microsoft Office suites. They may lose potential information and data because of the consequences or they have to upgrade to the newer Office suites which would largely increase their investments.
But there is good news also. As per the latest buzz, Microsoft offers a compatibility pack or plugins for Office XP, 2000 or 2003. Utilizing this pack, one will get enabled to open, save and edit files with the .XXXx formats used in the newer versions of the Office, in their older Suites. The open source options for office such as Libre Office and Open office are also supporting all these formats pretty much.
This news may be a bit harsh for the users but it may prove to be a boon for the competitors. Rivals such as Sky Drive and Drop box, still support these older formats for online viewing and editing. They also do not automatically convert your files into newer formats so that you are not able to access them offline unless you do not have the latest Office Suite. We need to wait to speculate if the users will accept this drastic change introduced by Google or will they shift to some other online file sharing platform.