Microsoft to Create Open XML Standards For Office Documents

Microsoft will create open XML (Extensible Markup Language) standards for Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents, starting with the next release of Office. The company will work with a group of corporations, including Apple and Intel, to co-sponsor a submission to Ecma International, the standards organization based in Geneva.

The move will enable broader use of Microsoft Office documents with more solutions. Microsoft also said that it will release tools allowing users to open old files with applications that support the new standard.

Phil Schiller, Appleis senior vice-president of worldwide product marketing, said in a statement: "Apple is pleased to support an Ecma standard for Microsoft Office Open XML document formats, which will make them more open and widely available to all. Apple and Microsoft will continue to work closely together to deliver great products to Mac users and application developers for many years to come."