Brian Jones, program manager on the Word team posted news about the new XML file formats in Office 12. I have posted a few times on XML file formats, so I am interested in what Office is doing. Some interesting points:
- Full fidelity. As good as the binary format.
- Compressed. Lots of file parts stored in a structured ZIP archive, similar to OpenDocument
- Fully documented. Whitepapers, documentation and XSD schemas.
- Robust. A lot less likely to get a corrupt file that can’t have pieces recovered.
IMO, the above points could be true for any product using an XML package format, but the fact that Office is doing it means millions of users can escape the data roach motel.
Granted, Office is following OpenDocument here, but this is a really good thing.