Microsoft's MacBU division recently launched a new Compatibility Center at http://www.microsoft.com/mac/. The Compatibility Center features case studies, success stories, how-to articles, plus key results from the Answer Research survey and a new IDC report "designed to provide education and awareness about the pitfalls of incompatibility and the solutions that can help make this problem a distant memory."
Spokesperson Jessica Sommer told us "Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit (Mac BU) has been looking closely at this issue. In a recent survey done with Answers Research, it was no surprise that 92 percent of Mac users reported that the ability to communicate and share files with Windows users is very important. The surprises were that:
- Compatibility is more than just opening a file: 81 percent of Mac users edit and save documents started on another platform and nearly two-thirds even change the layout.
- 80 percent of Mac users perform function requiring cross-platform compatibility at least once a week.
- While virtually all Office for Mac users rate it as the best in cross-platform compatibility - 71 percent of non-Office users feel that it's the choice for when compatibility really matters.
The new compatibility center includes one particularly useful article entitled "Word: Keys to cross-platform collaboration" that includes formatting and file-saving techniques to make documents look similar on both platforms. This is especially pertinent in light of our recent reports regarding improper fraction conversion across the Mac and Windows versions of Office v.X.