Microsoft Office 12 To Use XML

If you read Scoble, you probably know that there was going to be a big announcement about Microsoft Office around midnight tonight (Eastern time).

Well, it looks like a few news outlets have already let the cat out of the bag. The big news was that Microsoft Office 12, due out as a beta in the fall and public release in 2006, is going to use XML as the default file format for Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.

Microsoft says that its new XML formats will be royalty-free, so the documents should be easily accessible in other applications that support XML. In addition, the XML files will compress everything via Zip compression technology, which will make typical files 50 percent to 75 percent smaller than they would be in today’s default Office formats (.doc for Word, .xls for Excel, and .ppt for PowerPoint).

To ease the transition to this new file format, Microsoft will also release a converter to allow users of Office 2000, 2003, and XP files to open up files created in older versions of office, and save them in the new XML formats.

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