Talking with Scoble about the XML formats on Channel9

Robert Scoble swung by last week and we talked a bit about these new formats (very cool guy). He recorded the interview and it's posted up here on Channel 9: 


Comments (12)
  1. Todd R says:

    Awesome video – this technology looks very cool… can’t wait till the beta 🙂

  2. James Sellwood says:

    Wow, it sure looks like you guys have been working hard. This stuff is awesome. The possibilites seem huge and I’ve only just seen the video and I’m sure theres loads more.

    I love the idea / application of backward compatability with previous versions and I love the relationship interaction involved in bringing in other resources like images and embedded objects.

    I’m sure there a lot of developers who are going to love getting their greasy little paws on this stuff, me included.

  3. Congrats on your announcement.

    I’m subscribed to your blog. Thanks for starting one.

    I was just curious if there was any plans to XMLize the Visio file format.

  4. BrianJones says:

    Alan – Visio has have the ability to save as XML for a couple versions now. If you select the file type dropdown from the save as dialog you’ll see they have XML equivalents for their different file types.

  5. I posted about visio on your previous post as well, but while Visio has had XML-ability for some time, it’s kind of along the lines of the WordML. When are you going to do for that format what you’ve done for the other Office Apps?

  6. malx says:


    You mentioned on the video about the patches being shipped for Office 2000+. Will these be standard converter DLLs? If so, wouldn’t these also work with 97 and non-Microsoft applications? Or are these updates hard coded into Office?

  7. BrianJones says:

    malx – The updates that I refer to for O2000+ are not just standard converters. We are updating the applications themselves to support the 2way functionality (being able to both read and write the files). That was already possible with converters in Word, but not in Excel and PowerPoint. We want these file types to behave just like the other native file formats for the applications.

  8. EnronHaliburton2004 says:

    Most of the posts here are about how this new XML format will open the MS Office formats.

    This is partially wrong.

    XML is composed of two pieces: XML, which is open; and an XML schema such as a DTD or even the w3c’s "XML Schema" schema, which will be closed and propietary. Microsoft has APIs which supposedly give access to MS Office, but those APIs are very poorly documented and are full of errors. I expect the documentation of the XML schema will be of a similar low quality.

    An XML document that lacks a well-documented XML schema is not usable by other applications. The Car Hood may no longer be welded shut, but all the little components under the hood will be hidden or welded in place.

    So please don’t go around pretending that Microsoft’s "XML" will let people open Word documents with other applications. It won’t.

    They are still maintaining their closed formats and will continue to lock-in the customers.

  9. BrianJones says:

    For more information on access to the schemas:

  10. Evan Erwin says:

    Awesome stuff Brian!

    I wrote a blog post about it which sums up my thoughts:


  11. Senkwe says:

    Hi Brian, any idea on how soon the format updates for previous versions of Office will arrive? I mean would the updates get here before or after Office 12?

  12. BrianJones says:

    Senke – There isn’t a time yet on when the updates will be available, but they most likely wouldn’t be available before Office 12 ships. The schemas will still be shifting as we finalize the products, so we would need to account for that in the updates as well.

    There will be beta versions of them available earlier, so you’d at least get a chance to work with them and see the output. I don’t have a date on when the betas will be available though.


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