Opening up Microsoft Office formats

There’s not much in the way of details yet, but the FT is reporting that MS Office file formats are to be opened up.

Within about 18 months, customers, competitors and developers should be able to download detailed files from Ecma on how to create a Microsoft Word, Powerpoint or Excel document.

This is good news, but I hope it refers to the default binary formats and not just to the new XML-based ones.

Update: It looks as if it’s just the XML ones – more info here. They’ll become the default in the long run, I guess, but this is really something MS has been forced to do because of the growing support for ODF, over which they have no control.

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