Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Office 2007 introduces a new XML based file format for its documents. There's a download for older versions off office to read and write the new format.
I have Microsoft Office 2003 on my computer. Friends of mine are sending me e-mail with attachments but are using Office 2007. Is there any way to convert Office 2003 to open e-mails from Office 2007?
Office 2007 introduces a new file format which is, of course, incompatible with previous versions of Microsoft office. So if you receive a document that someone has saved in Office 2007 format, but all you have is an earlier version of Office that can't read it, there are some steps you need to take.
But I also need to nit-pick one part of your question as well.
You asked "Is there any way to convert Office 2003 to open e-mails from Office 2007?" Emails should open just fine. Email messages are sent and received in a format common to all mail programs, and no conversion should be necessary.
You should also be able to save any attached documents. Again, attachments themselves are encoded into email in a standard way that has not changed. It's the format of the attached files themselves that has changed, and the program that's used to open the attached files needs to be able to handle their new file format.
You could, of course, ask your friends to save their files in the older format. This isn't the first time Office has changed formats, Microsoft Office has a fine track record of being able to save in older formats each time they change to new ones. Your friend could save his file in Office 2003 format before he sends it to you and you'd be able to read it like nothing changed.
What's unique this time is that Microsoft has made converters available for older versions of Office.
Download and install the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats. (Take special care to read the Overview on that page - it's important that you have all High Priority updates from Microsoft Update installed before you install the converters.)
The compatibility pack works with Office 2000, Office XP and Office 2003.