Standards, Patents, and the OSP

Arthur C. Clarke famously wrote that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”  Another characteristic of advanced technologies is that they often contain intellectual property (IP) that may be covered by patents. When such a technology becomes standardized, though, implementers need to feel comfortable that they have access to the technology on a non…

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Open XML support in new tools, apps, and custom solutions

One of the more interesting aspects of my job is meeting people who are developing software that interoperates with Office through the various formats that we support.  It’s exciting to hear their plans, work with them on the details of how our products can collaborate or share data, and then see the final solutions, whether…

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DII workshop, Brussels

Last week I participated in the DII workshop that took place in Brussels.  Attendees included a variety of document-format experts from the ODF and Open XML worlds, including members of SC34 working groups, the OASIS ODF and OIC TCs, ODF and Open XML implementers, public-sector experts in interoperability and archiving, and others. The roundtable discussions…

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ODF plugfest and OOoCon, Orvieto

I’ve spent the last week in the city of Orvieto, perched atop a hill in Umbria, Italy.  Monday and Tuesday I particpated in the second ODF Plugfest, and then Wednesday through Friday I attended OOoCon, the annual OpenOffice.org conference.  I gave a presentation on Wednesday about Office’s approach to interoperability with OpenOffice.org, which you can…

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DII workshop – Brussels, November 12

The next DII (Document Interoperability Initiative) workshop will take place in Brussels on November 12.  As always, the goal of the DII workshops is to share information with the developer community and solicit feedback on how we can work together to improve interoperability. Much has changed since the last DII workshop in Brussels, when we…

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DII Workshop on Office 2010 Extensions

If you’re using the Office 2010 Technical Preview and you’re the type of person who likes to look closely at the markup of documents that you’ve created (as most readers of this blog are), you may have noticed some new namespaces that Word, Excel, and PowerPoint used for new functionality such as sparklines in spreadsheets…

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SC34 WG4 Meeting, Bellevue

WG4 has been meeting in Bellevue, Washington the last three days, as part of a full week of activities around the upcoming SC34 plenary here this Thursday.  We wrapped up the meeting with a half-day this morning (Tuesday), after meeting all day on Sunday and Monday. WG4 covered a variety of topics in this week’s…

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DII Workshop: MCE Deep Dive, Redmond

We’ll be hosting another DII workshop soon, and this one will be of special interest to those who want to understand the inner workings of MCE (Markup Compatibility and Extensibility) as defined in Part 3 of ISO/IEC 29500.  We’ve used MCE for new functionality in documents created by Office 2010, and members of SC34 WG4…

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Open XML developers: where to get answers

I recently returned from a long business trip, and while working through my email backlog I’ve come across several questions from developers who are working with the Open XML formats.  I’ve responded to each of them with some tips on how to best get such questions answered, and I  thought I’d summarize that information here…

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WG4/WG5 Meetings

I’ve just returned last night from a week in Copenhagen, where I attended the SC34 WG4/WG5 meetings that were hosted by Danish Standards.  As usual, it was several days of non-stop document format discussions, in the meetings as well as over breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Carlsbergs.  A typical comment from one of the delegates Wednesday…

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