Microsoft has silently updated the official Office Compatibility Pack download page for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint file formats to declare that the new installation will take it out next month.
The Office suite was developed to allow users running older versions of Office to open documents created with newer versions of Office, as Microsoft changed file formats with the release of Office 2007.
While the company used DOC, XLS and PPT for Word, Excel and Power point, respectively, in Office 2003, the next update introduced a file format update to DOCX, XLSX, and PPTX. To allow users who rely on earlier versions of Office to Office 2013 to process new documents, the software giant has sent this Office compatibility pack that adds support for new file formats.
And now it turns out that Microsoft is ready to completely remove this packet, although no official announcement has been announced. As Woody Leonhard notes, everything will be done in April, so the package will no longer receive other security updates and patches.
Microsoft does not provide any other details about this decision, and the download page only includes general information about the compatibility package.
KB924074, which is the official documentation of the Office Compatibility Pack, contains no other details about the end date, but only the information that users need to open new file formats in earlier versions of Microsoft Office. The page was last updated on 8 January 2017.
Most likely, Microsoft's decision is based on the fact that only a few customers still have the old versions of Office and no longer needs a compatibility package to add support for new file formats.