Barney's Blog

Blog archive

Mailbag: Microsoft and Standards, More

John writes that while new technology is great, backward compatibility is nothing to sneeze at:

I had a nightmare this past weekend. I dreamed that Office 2007 would not read all the old Microsoft Word documents. This was particularly terrifying, because I work at a courthouse and we have more than 10 years of historical and legal electronic documents from various Word versions that we may have to read and print. If the most recent version of Word won't do this, we will have to keep older systems and software versions for that purpose.

For 10 years, I have been telling people to move to a paper-less world, but the threat of unreadable electronic documents scares me. There has been a lot of noise in the past few years about electronic document standards. Microsoft seems resistant to the idea. The threat of having unreadable electronic documents in the public or private sector is very real and should scare people to think about standards. I have been using personal computers for almost 30 years and have many documents at home on hard-sectored 5 1/4-inch and 8-inch floppy disks. I suspect I may never see these documents again. Already, the 3 1/2-inch floppy is fading from use, but how many home computer users have photos and documents on such disks? New technology is great, but we must have a backward eye for both legal and personal reasons.
-John

And Dave thinks that you can pan Apple's Newton all you want -- it still had a few things going for it:

In a recent article, you spoke about Apple's Newton as a big mistake, and rightly so. Even so, take a moment to reflect on what Apple got right. No matter what else Apple missed with Newton, one thing it got right was the form factor. Right now, it would be the ideal size to replace my ultra-Micro PC and my iPhone. In landscape mode, we could have a virtual keyboard that we could actually type on. In either mode, we would have a screen big enough for useful free-hand drawing. Don't get me started about how much better it would be for videos or the maps we use in navigation. Ideally, we could have it use cellular IP for everything, including phone and answering service. With the newer technologies used in producing the MacBook Air, we could have the whole package in a slim, light tablet. Wow.

In the world of personal computing, the future's so bright, you gotta wear shades.
-Dave

Share your thoughts by filling out the comment form below, or sending an e-mail to [email protected].

Posted by Doug Barney on 09/09/2008 at 1:16 PM


Featured

  • Surface and ARM: Why Microsoft Shouldn't Follow Apple's Lead and Dump Intel

    Microsoft's current Surface flagship, the Surface Pro X, already runs on ARM. But as the ill-fated Surface RT showed, going all-in on ARM never did Microsoft many favors.

  • IT Security Isn't Supposed To Be Easy

    Joey explains why it's worth it to endure a little inconvenience for the long-term benefits of a password manager and multifactor authentication.

  • Microsoft Makes It Easier To Self-Provision PCs via Windows Autopilot When VPNs Are Used

    Microsoft announced this week that the Windows Autopilot service used with Microsoft Intune now supports enrolling devices, even in cases where virtual private networks (VPNs) might get in the way.

  • Most Microsoft Retail Locations To Shut Down

    Microsoft is pivoting its retail operations to focus more on online sales, a plan that would mean the closing of most physical Microsoft Store locations.

comments powered by Disqus

Office 365 Watch

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.