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Microsoft Office And Its XML-Based Formats

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This week, Microsoft launched Office 15 and Office 365 for Windows 8. As Zach Walton writes:

The traditional Office 15 will come in multiple flavors depending on the user’s needs. The three versions available include Office Home & Student 2013, Office Home & Business 2013, and Office Professional 2013. What makes these stand out over previous versions of Office is that they’re built specifically for Windows 8 and its new touch controls. Working on a text document or spreadsheet with touch controls doesn’t sound super exciting, but at least it’s an option.

If you want a cheaper option, you’ll want to go for Office 365 Home Premium. With the service, users will have access the entire software suite included in Office for $99.99 a year. With the annual subscription, you can also install Office on up to five devices. Students have it even better as Microsoft offers special pricing of only $80 for a four year subscription. University students, staff and faculty are eligible for the promotion.

Tim Anderson at The Register brings up some interesting points about Microsoft and XML in an article where he asks, “What’s the Point of Microsoft Office 2013?”:

Office 2007 also brought in new and controversial default document formats, based on XML. Office Open XML was eventually standardised by ISO, a process that was opposed by advocates of OpenDocument, an alternative XML standard used by OpenOffice.

Microsoft made a lot of noise about Office Open XML at the time, and has made very little since, which may be evidence that the company’s main goal was to tick a standards box for its customers in government departments. Nevertheless, the new format has advantages, especially for programmatic document processing, and some features of SharePoint require it.

What do you think?

Microsoft is offering a month of Office 365 Home Premium for free.

Microsoft Office And Its XML-Based Formats
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