MS Word 2000 and Visual Studio 2003 Interop

The other day a friend of mine was asking me about reading content from a Word document. To me, this was an interesting question. I'd previously been exposed to Excel Interop and was somewhat intrigued by his problem.

After a quick search of the web I came across numerous solutions on how to write to a Word document but nothing on reading from one.

So, I put together a small VS2003 solution in VB with some NUnit 2.2.2 tests as a "spike" solution. I am making available the solution at for a limited time? (maybe) I hope that other's might find the simple class and unit tests handy.

Note: updated based on feedback. Better clean up with finally block.

NewsGator sucks

Right now I am harboring a lot of ill will towards the Newsgator folks. I was one of those that bought the Outlook version early on. You know the one that you'll never have to update again? Well, it didn't take 'em long to figure out that wasn't going to work so they switched their business model to where the Outlook version is part of the business package. But hey, we'll give the existing users a "free" upgrade to the 2.5 version and 2 years of service. After that though you have to pay every year. In a bit of a revolt? many people were sounding off with, whatever, I'll just keeping using this version with out all of the other new features. I simply don't need them. That's the camp I fall in to. Well the folks at NewsGator put their thinking camps on and figured out that they could turn off service to 2.0 clients.
The online synchronization support for NewsGator Outlook edition 2.0 will be switched off on Tuesday, November 8, at approximately 5pm MST.

If you are using Outlook edition 2.0 in synchronized mode, you will need to upgrade to Outlook edition 2.5, which has greatly enhanced synchronization capabilities.

Existing 2.0 customers can get a free upgrade to 2.5, along with a free 2-year premium NewsGator Online subscription, by following these instructions.

But, hey, what am I complaining about, they gave me a whole 34 or so hours notice from the date/time on the email to turning the service off. To frustrate me even further the install process nuked all of my default folder settings for the feeds I'm subscribed too. Nice huh? Then, they proceeded to download the ENTIRE CONTENTS of ALL the feeds. Only about 800 items to wade through. GRRRRR. And guess what else, they didn't fix the post to Blogger bug. I'll have to reinstall that. IS THIS THE FUTURE OF WEB SERVICES? You thought Microsoft had a monopoly with Office, etc. At least they can't turn off your Office 97 installation.

I'll definitely be looking around for a different service.

Update: Now neither of my Outlook Edition machines are synching. Lovely.

Update 2: After having the synch fail, ALL of my specified folder settings have been lost AGAIN.

Update 3: After 3 days, I got an email back from NG tech support. They pointed me to "Greg's" blog where he says it's just the synching which will quit working. One of the main reasons people bought the lifetime Outlook version.

My favorite part of the response: "If you still have 2.5 installed can you describe the problems which you have?" I thought I had outlined them pretty well here. But as of this moment, I don't have NewsGator installed.

NewsGator really screwed up on this whole deal. They should have just sucked it up and let the 2.0 folks continue on with what they have. And then try and entice them to switch to one of the newer plans with better features and service. Depending on what we see in OutLook 12 or Windows Vista RSS, the need for NewsGator Outlook edition will be obviated. The NG WebEdition and Synch Service is where they will be making money down the road. That's why they had to figure out a way to pull the plug on the existing lifetimers. It all smacks of the PayPal "free now and free forever"