We have documents on our network going back many years. Migrating these old files to newer formats hasn't been a big problem, we've always been able do them on an as-needed basis. But we had to open a Word 5.0 document a while back and that required a bit of work to get 2003 to handle it (and only gave us the text, minimal formatting) and it got me to thinking.
I see it as being two related problems:
Opening very old documents just to get the information out. For us, it's mostly a matter of getting the text out, I've never been asked to convert an old 123 file.
Converting old, but not ancient documents to a newer format for easy access. Most of what I consider "old documents" are WP6.1, and Word, Excel, PPT files from Office 95 or 97. These all open in 2003, but we do run into formatting issues. One think I'll be doing soon is testing how well the old docs open in 2007.
I'm considering two main approaches:
Set up some VMs with Windows XP and appropriate versions of software to be able to open old documents. At this point, it would probably only take one VM that could have Office 2003 and WordPerfect Office 6.1.
Are there any good batch tools that will convert older .doc .xls .ppt files to 2007 format? If there are, I'd certainly consider running all the old files through one.