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    Microsoft seems to have started its 2008 on the wrong foot and drawing criticism just a day after the New Year. The Register is reporting Microsoft’s Office 2003 Service Pack 3 to be blocking old file formats that were defined to be less secure.

    This includes legitimate file formats accessible to Microsoft’s own applications, such as MS Office Excel 2003, MS Office PowerPoint 2003, and MS Word 2003. This update also blocks file formats supported by Corel Draw, a graphics editing tool of software giant Corel.

    Below is a list of some of the file formats blocked by the Office 2003 update, which was launched last December:

    • .wk1
    • .wk4
    • .wj3
    • .wks
    • .wk3
    • .wj2
    • .wq1
    • .fm3
    • .wj1
    • .ppt
    • .pot
    • .pps
    • .ppa

    Microsoft advises their users to enable access to such files in case the need to use them arises. More of Microsoft’s information workaround regarding blocked files types are found here.

    David LeBlanc, Microsoft’s Senior Developer, prescribes a number of links where Office XP 2003 users can still use the blocked file formats.

    Much speculation about this blocking plan has been circulating for quite some time now, but official word is that Microsoft had done it for security’s sake. Some may not completely agree with this train of thought. Nevertheless, LeBlanc assured Microsoft clients (and his blog readers) that “this (the blocking of old file formats) is the right thing to do.”

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