Office goes XML
24th October 2002
Co-Inventor of XML Says Office 11 is “A Huge Step Forward for Microsoft” (via Slashdot). The comments are full of speculation over why Microsoft would open up their file format in this way having gained so much from having an obfuscated format.
I’ve got my own theory. I don’t use Word very often, but when I do I use Word ’97—the same version of Word I’ve been using on and off for the past 5 years. My girlfriend uses ’97, the PCs in the Library at University use ’97 and I’m guessing it has a pretty large penetration. Why? Because as far as I can tell Word really hasn’t improved that much since then. Word ’97 has all the features most people could possibly want from a word processor, leaving very little incentive to upgrade.
Enter XML. With the XMLisation of the Word format Microsoft has suddenly provided people with a real incentive to move away from older versions of Word—XML is (still) the ultimate buzzword and IT departments and those who make the buying decisions for big companies are likely to instantly spot the benefits of the new format: Better (potential) interoperability and less lock-in to MS products. Meanwhile, Microsoft can concentrate on locking up the filesystem instead.
More recent articles
- Weeknotes: datasette-enrichments, datasette-comments, sqlite-chronicle - 8th December 2023
- Datasette Enrichments: a new plugin framework for augmenting your data - 1st December 2023
- llamafile is the new best way to run a LLM on your own computer - 29th November 2023
- Prompt injection explained, November 2023 edition - 27th November 2023
- I'm on the Newsroom Robots podcast, with thoughts on the OpenAI board - 25th November 2023
- Weeknotes: DevDay, GitHub Universe, OpenAI chaos - 22nd November 2023
- Deciphering clues in a news article to understand how it was reported - 22nd November 2023
- Exploring GPTs: ChatGPT in a trench coat? - 15th November 2023
- Financial sustainability for open source projects at GitHub Universe - 10th November 2023
- ospeak: a CLI tool for speaking text in the terminal via OpenAI - 7th November 2023