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I just discovered the forum today...I have been fumbling around with the surface for a few months now...It is my first tablet and first new tech ever...so I am not sure what all to be expecting. I like having the windows compatibility...but the new MS word etc...does not play with the archaic versions at school...
I am hoping for more...
Welcome! What version of Word are you using at school? If you are trying to maintain compatibility to an older version of Word then you need to Save As and choose the "Word 97-2003 Document (*.doc)" from the Save As drop down. This will save your document in the older format, which should be compatible. You need to save this way each time you edit the document on your Surface. There must be a way to have it default that way, but I'm not sure.
Word 2013 does allow a Default Save setting.

Go to File/Options. This brings up a Word Options box. Choose Save, and the first item in the box is "Save Files in this format." Word 97-2003 is one of the choices.

Welcome to the forum, and don't be shy about asking stuff. We are all in a learning mode here. That's why we're here.

Take care,
Welcome to the forum. Read around and you will find lots of great advice in the threads here :)