Microsoft has released a new version of the Office Migration Planning Manager (OMPM) to go along with the latest major iteration of Office, which hit store shelves earlier this year. Microsoft Office Migration Planning Manager 2010 is now up for grabs via the Microsoft Download Center, a resource designed to streamline the transition to Office 2010. According to the Redmond company, the Office Migration Planning Manager 2010 will help IT professionals plan and test for the migration to the successor of Office 2008. The collection of tools is offered by Microsoft free of charge.

“OMPM helps IT Pros discover and assess the compatibility of existing Office documents for conversion from the binary document formats (Office 97-2003: .doc, .xls, etc.) to OpenXML formats (Office 2007 and beyond: .docx, .xlsx, etc.). Additionally, OMPM 2010 adds features that assess macro compatibility with Office 2010 and 64-bit Office compatibility. The toolkit also contains the Office File Converter (OFC), which enables bulk document conversions from binary to OpenXML formats,” revealed Jill Maguire, from the Office team. More »

Once upon a time the Word .doc format was the de facto standard for word processing. Then Microsoft went and mucked it up with Word 2007, which introduced the XML based .docx format.

To be fair it is an improvement on clanky old .doc but it also meant that older versions of Word were unable to open document written in Word 2007 or later. Again, to be fair, there is the free Compatibility Pack available from Microsoft, but what if you haven’t got Word, and you get sent a .docx file? Well, there’s always OpenOffice or you could download the free Word Viewer, but this is an old program and it has a number of limitations.

There’s another alternative, how about TextMaker Viewer 2010. It will not only open password protected .docx files it also handles OpenOffice documents and a number of other popular word processor document formats.

Needless to say you can’t edit documents but they can be printed and exported as pdfs. There’s no catch, it’s free, though there is an annoying ‘nag screen’ but this can be disabled after the third time the program is opened by ticking the ‘Do not show again…’ box.