Introducing Office 2007 Windows Vista Countdown: Day 3

It's not only Windows Vista that's released on 30 January. Office 2007 also hits the streets. In case you haven't seen anything of it, the apps have a revolutionary new interface called the ribbon.

This changes depending on what you're doing at a particular moment in time. So, if you create a table, the toolbar commands change to ones relevant to creating a table.

Office 2007 also introduces new document formats . Among other benefits, the new XML-based format compresses the size of documents, so they're easier to email.

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Don't worry though, since you can open the new formats in Office 2003. Get the Office 2007 Compatibility Pack from Microsoft Downloads and you can open the .docx, (Word) .xlsx (Excel) and .pptx (Powerpoint) files.

Lest you think this is some sinister plan to force a new, proprietary document format on the world, .docx is actually far more open than .doc - in fact, it's just a zip file. You can see it for yourself: take any docx file, change the extension to zip, and you can open it and see the files inside.

You can still try out Office 2007 by downloading it and registering for a trial key . You can then either enter a full key when it goes on sale or uninstall the software, which stops working at the end of March.