"Microsoft says it's opening its Office desktop software by
adding support for XML--a move that should help companies free up
access to shared information. But there's a catch: It has yet to
disclose the underlying XML dialect.
"The software giant intends to make Extensible Markup Language
(XML) a supported file format--in addition to existing proprietary
formats--for its upcoming Office 11 desktop software, which is in
the hands of about 12,000 beta testers. XML is a widely used
standard for Web data exchange.
"With the Office 11 update, Microsoft is allowing files saved in
the XML format to be viewable through any standard Web browser.
That's a big change from the company's previous stance of using
only proprietary file formats. But Office's XML support will allow
larger companies to extract and use data from documents more
efficiently, according to Microsoft..."