Scoble has announced that Microsoft is creating new XML-based file formats for Office 12.
On the surface, this looks really bad (anyone in the IT industry remembers the havoc the file format change in Office 97 caused). However…it may very well be one of the best decisions Microsoft has ever made.
- Open Format: Sounds like ANY program can create 100% fully compatible documents, spreadsheets, presentations, etc. and have Office read them. That also means any program in theory can open and view these files. A long time coming.
- Compressed: The file format is compressed with ZIP, saving a ton of space. Quicker to e-mail, transfer, etc.
- Robust: Less likely to have file corruption. I’m going to faint.
- Backwards compatible: Versions 2000 and higher will be able to read this format with just a minor update. This will spread adoption real quick.
I never thought I’d say it, but Microsoft has made my day.