Open XML Format for MS Office Means New Opportunities for Service Providers

June 9, 2005
June 9, 2005 - (HOSTSEARCH.COM) - Web hosting providers and content management system service providers will be interested to know that Microsoft is now offering a royalty-free licensing program for the Microsoft Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas. That is, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint will all get new file formats based on XML. The extensions will change from .DOC, .XLS, and .PPT to .DOCX, .XLSX, and .PPTX. The change will enable organizations of all sizes to use industry-standard XML technology in managing spreadsheets, documents, and forms. Microsoft announced today that the licensing program is designed to promote the use and benefits of XML technologies, as well as encourage broader industry adoption of XML. This new technological and legal change should open a whole range of collaborative information services for enterprising development teams.

For the first time, the default file format will be open and accessible by anyone. (In legal terms, the rights granted under the licenses for the Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas are perpetual in nature, and Microsoft will provide non-discriminatory access to future versions of those specifications.)

“The new file format will enable everyone to improve file and data management and achieve greater interoperability and integration with disparate systems,” said co-creator of the XML 1.0 format and Senior Director of XML Architecture at Microsoft Jean Paoli on the Microsoft website, “The new format will be fully documented and available ahead of the release date of “Office 12” so customers and partners can provide us early feedback. By taking advantage of XML, people and organizations will benefit from enhanced data recovery capabilities, greater security and smaller file size due to the use of ZIP compression.”

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