Microsoft solves Office Mobile incompatibility issue

Microsoft released an Office Mobile update that solves a document incompatibility issue.

Microsoft quietly introduced on Wednesday an upgrade to Office Mobile that lets mobile users work with documents created in Office 2007.

The upgrade solves an issue that prevented users of Windows Mobile 6.0 devices, which began hitting the market in the middle of this year, from reading documents created by users of Office 2007, which was released in January.

The upgrade lets Windows Mobile phone users view and edit Word documents and Excel workbooks and view PowerPoint slideshows created in Office 2007, which is based on the Open XML format.

The upgrade also lets Windows Mobile users view and extract files from compressed .zip folders.

A free download is available for existing Windows Mobile users who have Office Mobile.

This upgrade was accidentally leaked by a Microsoft blogger who pointed to a live download page in late September. At the time, Microsoft said the update was made public accidentally and would be officially available in a couple of weeks.

The current upgrade Web page reads almost identical to the one that was accidentally posted and then removed two months ago. One notable exception is that the upgrade, according to the current page, is available to Office Mobile users of Windows Mobile 5.0 for Pocket PC as well as Windows Mobile 6. The page previously said it was available only for Windows Mobile 6 users.

Prior to this upgrade, Windows Mobile users could read Office 2007 documents using third-party software tools, like the one from DataViz.

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