"Check out this Microsoft KB article. It describes a (very
complicated, very technical) process for reconfiguring your
computer after Office 2003 Service Pack 3 quietly disables the
ability to open certain older file formats. I'm certain that my
grandma can follow that to access the old recipes she typed into
her computer 10 years ago, aren't you?
"I've been warning people for a long time about the danger of
relying upon proprietary software to maintain access to archived
data. If you don't control the format or the software, there's no
guarantee that you will be able to access your data in the future.
Case in point: I have a number of old school files created using
Lotus Word Pro 97. I still own a copy of the software, but the only
Windows operating system I have is XP, and LWP97 won't install on
Windows XP. So I have files, software to read the files, and yet I
can't get access to my own data. Presumably I could pay someone to
make conversion software, but why should I pay a second time to
access my data...?"