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MS Project 2010 compatibility issue with older versions

I recently received a request from a user where they were having issues opening a Microsoft Project file and I thought I would share my findings. It’s not that it is so much a complex or difficult issue as it is a frustrating one, and shows you how sometimes people get a sour taste in their mouth about Microsoft.

The issue started when the user received a MS project file and tried opening it with MS Project 2007 which we have installed on our terminal servers. Project threw an error saying that this file was created in a new version and that we could download the converter in order to make it work. Well here is where the issue comes in. When we went to the link with the recommended fix, it took us to a site where we could download MS Project 2003 SP3 which contains a converter tool. I thought really?? Why would I install a service pack for an older version that does not even exist on my system?

Apparently the only converter tool available for Project 2007 is to open and convert Project 2003 files, which is rather annoying because you would think a compatibility patch or something would have been released when Project 2010 was. Probably asking too much right?

The funny part of the whole situation is the actual solution Microsoft proposes on the Project 2010 website (see below).

Now wouldn’t it just be easier to ask the sender to save it as an older version?