XML File Formats, Office 12 and Office for Mac 12

Microsoft said Thursday that it will introduce new XML-based file formats for its Excel, PowerPoint and Word applications when the company launches its Office 12 software package next year.


Company officials said the move to replace Microsoft’s traditional binary file formats with XML-based versions as the default in Office 12 will let people more easily share information.

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From Microsoft-Watch 

Microsoft is making XML-based file formats the default in its next-generation Office suite. Will users bite or take flight?

Microsoft continues to slowly trickle out bits of information about its Office 12 suite. On Thursday the company will announce that it plans to make XML-based file formats the default in the version of Office due to ship in the latter half of 2006.

Microsoft is introducing the new formats as part of Office 12, officials said, and will share more details about them at next week’s Tech Ed 2005 conference in Orlando, Fla.

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From Rick Schaut
Scoble dropped the hint, and Mary Jo Foley spilled the beans. C|New has also jumped the gun on this. There’s a piece on Channel 9 over here, and it won’t be long before the official press release is here. (I waited more than 10 minutes past the deadline, folks.) Lastly, Brian Jones, PM in the Win Office team, has a post here.

Just in case you’re wondering about the story with Mac Office 12, Mac Office 12 will support the new file formats as well. Also, as with Win Office, we’ll be producing converters for Office X and Office 2004. Some details have yet to be fully finalized, but we expect to ship converters that will provide full round-trip support for the new file formats in Office X and Office 2004.

For us in Mac BU, this represents an enormous undertaking on two fronts. Win Office is already well ahead of Mac Office in terms of support for XML, and the state of XML parsing on Panther is, well, less than desirable (among other things, the version of libXML that ships on Panther doesn’t support SAX 2.0’s namespace changes).

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The new file formats for the three core apps, Word, Excel and PowerPoint will be renamed .docx, .xlsx and .pptx. It is strange that Microsoft Office Access and Publisher are not mentioned in this. There will be a converter for folder versions of Office, versions 2000, XP and 2003, which I say will just give users more reasons to stay with those older versions.

Brian Jones – New Office File Formats announced

My Articles:
Microsoft Office, stand by your man, Windows that is.


Filed under Office Productivity

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