Mac BU Pledges MS XML File Format Support

Microsoftis Macintosh Business Unit announced late Wednesday it will support the new XML-based file format announced by Microsoft for its soon-to-be-released Office 12 software package and recently endorsed by an open standards group.

The Microsoft Office XML Open Format is based on an open standard with a royalty-free license that is broadly accessible to any technology provider. The Mac BU will provide Office for Mac users with the ability to take advantage of benefits of the new file format and container technology, which will include easier recovery of corrupted documents, improved security and smaller file sizes.

Microsoftis decision to support the new standard comes after a standards committee approved a new open-standard-based XML format late last month. The OpenDocument format for office applications was meant to provide an open alternative to Microsoftis formats, but with Microsoft now endorsing the standard is appears open source advocates as well as Microsoft on the same page that the XML Open Format is good for everyone.

The Open Document Format for Office Applications v.10 specification, commonly known as OpenDocument, is based on the XML schema developed by the open source applications community. It will be used in the forthcoming 2.0, as well as Sunis StarOffice 8, which is due for release in the summer. A royalty-free XML-based file format, OpenDocument, covers text, spreadsheets, charts, and graphical documents.