Is Microsoft Office 2003 still decent for general use on Windows 7, 8.1 and 10

I have noticed how when people claim that Microsoft Office 2003 doesn't work at all on Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, they don't have evidence to say so.

Microsoft says that they don't support it anymore, not that it isn't compatible with the later version of Windows.

I have managed to get Office 2003 Pro to work with ease, no bugs or glitches, on Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 without using compatibility mode.

When people claim it can't open newer formats such as docx, you can if you install the official compatibility pack and you can save, edit and create new documents in that format.

But what I have noticed is how ridiculously fast Office 2003 performs its actions, such as booting up or saving. It performs and responds significantly faster than later versions. Later versions hog up more ram and take forever booting up. Isn't having all the options in front of you at once logically faster and more efficient than having it all hidden in the "Ribbon"?

Therefore, even today, Office 2003 decent enough for general day usage?

Is it worth upgrading?

(I have attached some screenshot of it in Windows 8.1 and 10)


Discussion Info

Last updated October 5, 2018 Views 865 Applies to:

Many of the claims of incompatibility are just people copying and pasting a FALSE statement from Microsoft that said it doesn't work. It's likely that many posting about the issue don't even have a copy of Office 2003 to test anymore.

However, errors are always possible with computers, and there are probably people who have had issues with running Office 2003 on 10 or 8. There are also people having issues running it on 7, Vista, XP, or 2000. Tech happens.

I've had success installing both Office 2003 and Office 97 on Windows 7, 8.0, 8.1, and 10. Didn't have to use compatibility mode or any other hocus-pocus to make it work.

The Office Assistant even works if you download and install MSAgent 2.0 from The screenshot shows Rover, from Windows XP. I copied over the Rover.exe file from XP to C:\Windows\msagent\chars. The only "issue" is the color box around the character.

Yes, it runs on a tablet. Seems to be battery-friendly too!

Files from Office 2016 (and presumably from later versions) will open with the compatibility pack. Still, there are some limits to what 2003 can do. It doesn't edit SmartArt, have all the transition and animation effects, or offer as many data editing features in Excel. While I prefer 2003, I sometimes have to use 2010 or 2016 for work. 2003's primary advantages are the simplicity, energy-friendliness, and Clippy (if you like him).

Whether you decide to upgrade to 2007 or later depends on 2 things:

1) Do you need advanced and specialized features?

2) Do you like the ribbon better than the drop-down menus and Office Assistant?

Studies show that most new Office users find the ribbon helpful and more organized (, but at the end of the day it's your choice whether it makes more sense than the drop-downs.

Thanks for the reply JG24 I completely agree with your answer. Thanks