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Don Burleson Blog 








Word 2015 docx file conversion

Office Tips by Donald BurlesonOctober 23, 2015


For years, Microsoft has been promising to offer-up XML tagged documents, a Godsend to business professionals who want interoperability when sharing documents with the non-Microsoft world.  The idea for XML tagging of documents is a great idea, a non-proprietary approach that would allow word processing documents to be shared in a variety of non-Microsoft products. 

But bend over and spread your cheeks, Bill Gates has done us again.

Now we see the new ?x? suffix, denoting the long-awaited XML tagging with file names like myfile.docx, but it's not the XML that a reasonable person would expect.

  • Documents - docx

  • PowerPoints - pptx

  • Excel Spreadsheets - xlsx 

Internally, the Microsoft Office 2015 pseudo XML is a collection of xml files (and images) that are zipped into one file, in a format unknown to any word processor on the planet except, of course Word 2015. What a coincidence.

In order to keep-up their mandate to sap American businesses out of zillions of dollars in lost productivity, Billy Gates has chosen to make millions of people upgrade to Word 2015, or go through a painful, time-consuming and annoying conversion processes.

When you are the 800 pound gorilla, I guess that you can make your own XML standard. . .

We have several options for dealing with this latest time-waster from Microsoft:

  • Microsoft converter - Download for the Word 2015 converter.
  • Purchase Word 2015 - Of course, you cannot download it, that would be too easy.
  • Unzip - Because a docx file is a zip, you can change the suffix to .zip.  In Word, choose file?/span> open and highlight the .docx extension and change it to a zip file.  It will then open.
  • Third party converter - This freeware will convert Word 2015 docx files to readable format.

We all expect vendors to have a vested interest in keeping proprietary formats, but this one is evil, even by Microsoft standards. 

As hundreds of millions of people struggle with this proprietary nonsense, the total waste will surpass hundreds of years, entire lifetimes wasted.  It's too bad that US law has no provision for prison for those who cost lives, 20 minutes at a time . . . .

Lets do the numbers and see how many lifetimes will be wasted in this forced docx document conversion.  If we choose a very conservative subset of MS Word users (say 80 million), and assume that each user looses a half hour of productivity converting documents to the new format we see a total hours loss of 5,000 lifetimes!




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