I recently received an email from a Job Recruiter (thanks Monster.com [I guess??]). He obviously never read this or he would have realized my dislike for Word attachments. My response to him follows.
Due to Microsoft Word’s proprietary nature, I was unable to reliably read, edit and save back your Word attachment. It should be noted that sending people Word documents puts pressure on your receiver to purchase Microsoft Software to reliably communicate with you and to others.
There have been several, somewhat successful attempts to create Free and Open editors for this proprietary format, and even a push to create a new Open Document Format. Unfortunately, Microsoft has failed to cooperate with the community and consistently changes and adds new things to it’s format, making it unreliable to use the Free and Open replacements. Microsoft has also failed to recognize the Open Document Format and will not support it.
There are however a few options for reliable communication between us.
You could save your document as HTML, plain text, or under normal circumstances PDF. However, since I need to edit and send back, PDF is not the right choice. HTML and plain text are editable and would suffice.
I could purchase Microsoft Office for Mac, or buy a new computer to run Microsoft Windows on and buy it for Windows.
Since option (b) is pretty unlikely (either part of it), my suggestion would be option (a).
Please note that I have nothing against you. I have lots against Microsoft and proprietary formats for storing information.
If you would like to read more on this subject, I urge you to take a look at http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/no-word-attachments.html
UPDATE May 11, 2006 9:23am I’ve received a new copy of the attachment in HTML. I guess complaining really does work.