OOXML projects bolster Microsoft's interoperability efforts

Microsoft on Monday unveiled projects to improve data portability between Office 2007 and other document file formats as part of an interoperability promise

Microsoft on Monday unveiled projects to improve data portability between Office 2007 and other document file formats, including the design of a new translator for exchanging OOXML (Office Open XML) and HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) documents.

The company also posted the 1.0 version of technical documentation for protocols in Office and other software that enable those applications to interact with third-party programs.

The moves are part of a companywide commitment, unveiled in February, to foster interoperability, an initiative launched under pressure from an ongoing antitrust case in the European Union and competition from Linux and open-source software.

On Monday Microsoft also outlined some efforts it's been making to work in the community to help third parties develop interoperable technologies and promote data portability between its products and others, notably between its controversial OOXML file format and other formats for exchanging documents.

For example, the company is working on a new translator to read from documents in the Open XML file format to HTML. The company has posted information about the project on its Codeplex site.

OOXML is the XML-based document format in Office 2007. The ISO (International Organization for Standardization) recently approved it as an international standard in a vote that is still being contested by some countries that took part in the decision.

Microsoft has said it will support a rival file format and ISO standard, ODF (OpenDocument Format), in Office 2007 in a service pack to be released early next year. It has slated support for OOXML in Office for the next version of Office, code-named Office 14, but no official release date has been set for that product. Many expect it will be released next year as well, however.

In another data-portability effort, Microsoft is working with Beihang University in Beijing to develop translators between Uniform Office Format (UOF), an open standard in China for office documents, and Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint so users have more options to open and save UOF documents in Microsoft Office 2007 and 2003.

Also on Codeplex is information about a project to develop PowerTools PowerShell commands for OpenXML to enable IT managers to perform document management tasks. PowerShell is a command-line shell and task-based scripting technology for Windows Server that provides control and automation of system administration tasks.

As part of its efforts to post information about connection protocols for its software, Microsoft also posted online Version 1.0 of technology documentation for protocols built into Office 2007, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2007. Nearly 5,000 pages of new technical documentation for the Office binary file formats -- doc, .xls, .xlsb and .ppt -- for Word, Excel and PowerPoint also went up online.

Microsoft posted a preview of some of the documentation in April to receive feedback from the community about it. Monday's documents are the company's final version of that documentation.

Microsoft has limped toward a more open development and data-exchange policy for some time. However, repeated fines from the EU for not complying with an antitrust settlement and increased competitive pressure from open-source software and Linux pressured the company to launch February's formal interoperability and expansive technical-documentation effort.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Elizabeth Montalbano

IDG News Service
Show Comments



Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?