The Microsoft Business Unit (MacBU) announced Tuesday that the company will offer Mac users converters to make Windows Office 2007 files compatible with Mac Office, but that there will be a delay before the converters are released. The clarification came in a MacBU blog entry in a hastily prepared response to an article published on the Web about the file incompatibility.
First, the Mac BU resolved that downloadable file format converters that allow Mac users to read the MS Office Open XML format will be released in late March or early April.
The entry also pointed out that Win Office will ship in January 2007, using by default the Open XML format, and that as a result there will be a gap in time between when Win Office ships and the availability of converters for Mac users. The company recommend that Mac users who need compatibility ask their colleagues to save Win Office 2007 documents in "Word/Excel/PowerPoint 97-2004 Document" (.doc, .xls, .ppt) format to insure compatibility.
Finally, the blog states that the next version of Office for Mac, available six to eight months after Win Office ships, will natively open the Open XML formatted files.