Googleblog notes that today is Document Freedom Day. This reminds me that I should stop locking up my work and other information in Microsoft's .doc format, and instead use the standardized open document formats (.odt), which are universal rather than vendor-specific.
Imagine if we all wrote in invisible ink that could only be read by wearing special Microsoft-designed glasses. That would seem unwise, at least if there were better alternatives available (i.e. 'open inks' that anyone's glasses could read). What if not everyone has the special glasses? (Do you really want to make being a Microsoft customer a precondition for communicating with you?) Further: how can we be sure that these special glasses will continue to be made in future? We would be needlessly exposing ourselves to the risk of being unable to read our own words a few decades down the line.
Do yourself and your non-Microsoft-using friends a favour, and download an open document application today. (I personally recommend Open Office, a free and high-powered alternative to Microsoft's entire office suite.)