Office Open XML Formats at TechEd

I hope I'll get a chance to see everyone down in Orlando next week! I'll be down at teched from Sunday to Friday. I have a session on the new formats on Tuesday at 3:

The session is on the new XML formats. We actually had to post the title and description before the file format announcement, so it doesn't actually directly reference the new formats, but that's what I'm going to cover (I think Joe submitted an update for the description & title the other day, so it may reference the new formats by now).

In addition to the session on Tuesday, we have a chalk talk thing later in the day on Wednesday (but I'm not positive on the timing). In general though I'll be hanging out at the cabana when I'm not presenting so feel free to swing by and we can talk. There are also a few other guys coming down who worked on the formats. Chad Rothschiller will be there from Excel, and Shawn Villaron will be there from PowerPoint. Scott Walker's team did the work on the container (ZIP, relationships, etc.), and he's going to be there too. Between the four of us, we should have you all pretty covered on any questions you'll have.

Let me know if there is anything you guys think would be good to have us prepared to talk about. We can try to get some demos together (heck, I'm still trying to narrow down what to demo at my session).

I'm really looking forward to being down there, it should be a lot of fun (although it's the first time my wife & I have been apart since we got married last fall, and 6 days feels like a long time to be away).


Comments (9)

  1. sulu says:

    Why Microsoft don’t use the OASIS OpenDocument standard? What’s wrong with it?

  2. sulu – I’ll try to pull something together that does a good job of describing that, since there have been a number of people asking that same question.

  3. Anon says:

    Hey it’s great that you guys are finally doing a default open format. A killer tool would be an open source converter to which I could feed an old binary word document, and it will spit it out in this new xml format. I have plenty of old documents from school projects and from friends that I like to be able to still look at. Seeing as I don’t use Windows and Office anymore, I don’t want to go and spend several hundred dollars just to look at my own documents. This would be a great liberating tool, and it would go that extra mile toward clearing the forced lock-in perception that many people have of Microsoft. So how about it, will you please free my files?

    The other, not as important, part is: will you support the OASIS format as an additional format?

  4. JoeAndreshak says:

    Anon – We will be providing a bulk converter tool that will convert .doc files to .docx, for example. Too early to know anything about the specific capabilities or performance yet. We’d probably deliver this as part of the Office Resource Kit which is where we put many of our Office tools for IT use.

  5. Anon says:

    If this conversion tool requires Office or Windows then it won’t do much for reducing lock-in. All it will do is help those too lazy to do the conversions by hand or by VBS.

  6. Andrew says:

    Definitely a conversion tool would be excellent, but I would more look forward to a lightweight .NET library for conversion of documents to and from the new format. So that new .NET applications that we build have a simple way of reading/writing the old document formats. We had a situation where we needed to convert a Word 2003 file into a .doc file on a web server, and had have an install of Word on the server and get ASP.NET controlling an instance of word (horrible and slow by the way)

  7. Ignace Lamine says:

    Two questions:

    Is the Office 2003 xml format still supported in the new office version?

    We will be able to save documents in the old binary format, so does this mean the new format will not introduce new document features in order to be able to convert lossless between formats?

  8. Cindy says:

    No chance I can be at TechEd. After seeing this information, I’m rather sorry about that :-)… But I’m hoping you’ll continue with this blog and that I’ll be able to pick a lot of the information through this channel. I do have a couple of questions that came up while reading the whitepapers:

    1. Will WordProcessingML and SpreadsheetML change significantly? (It looks like it, but it’s hard to determine to what extent. Basically, I’m asking if it even makes any sense to look at these any more…)

    2. The new file extensions are four-lettered. Has anyone considered what happens when these hit an OS barrier that still relies on 8.3 file names?

    3. What’s an "Excel binary workbook"? One saved in the old binary file format? If yes, why aren’t there equivalents for Word and Powerpoint?

    4. Will technology for accessing ZIP archives be included in VBA? In the .NET Framework? (Maybe it’s already in the latter, and I just don’t realize it…)

  9. Dating says:

    I hope I’ll get a chance to see everyone down in Orlando next week! I’ll be down at teched from Sunday to Friday. I have a session on the new formats on Tuesday at 3:

Skip to main content