Speaker various
Time 2008-02-05 19:00
Conference LUV

Sarah Bond sarahbon@microsoft.com
Andrew Coates andrew.coates@microsoft.com
Chris Louloudakis chrilou@microsoft.com

Not present: Micheal Kleef mkleef@microsoft.com

Other resources:

Slug have a wiki with questions and answers.

Platform strategy manager. Take feedback from local industry as to what you would like to see in our products.

Feedback on the OpenXML, draft ISO standard.

You can do anything with VisualExpress, except one or two things.

MSDN subscription. Not the development environment, all the other bits. Allow you to run all your stuff in a virtualised environment. SDKs, etc.

Development environment. Separate.

Open document formats, how interoperable are we?

Significant change, last couple of years.

Community: take feedback, answer questions.

Access: licensing, open specifications promise; guarantee that specifications can be implemented without worrying about legal action from Microsoft.

Standards: OpenXML, etc. 50 standards bodies.

Workflows, take out redundancy, use appropriate tools.

How well does the Microsoft website comply with W3C standards? Pretty good, accept for two minor issues. W3C standards just a rubber stamp anyway.

Why hasn’t Microsoft got involved in ODF?

  • Backwards compatibility an issue.
  • Issues Microsoft raised excluded from ODF.

We look at the demand to support ODF natively, and it isn’t there. It is a commercial decision. Office does support PDF because there is sufficient demand.

Market demand, evolution of IT

Community says open standards are required.

OpenXML, anyone can download standards.

Even Apple cannot do a good a job of parsing OpenXML as Microsoft. Rendered product not as good.

  • Apple implemented it before Microsoft.
  • Google implemented it before Microsoft.
  • Rendered products never the same between different versions of Microsoft’s products either.

ODF format doesn’t provide ability to represent some of the things required in older versions of Office products.

Why OpenXML?

  • document use and information sharing
  • providing access to all document versions ever produced by Microsoft Office
  • implementation of the OpenXML formats by the widest set of tools and platforms.
  • Our goals are different to ODF

Wouldn’t it be better to convert to ODF format instead of creating new format with old cruft? No, lots of semantics in old versions that cannot be represented with ODF. Do we really want to keep this old cruft?

Small repagination can cost industry thousands of dollars.

Billions of older documents out there. We need to represent them in a way that old documents can be represented. You can’t; you don’t know what printer driver they used. Changing the printer driver can repaginate the entire document.

Intellectual property

  • Open Specification Promise
  • You can implement this without fear of legal action from 15th Feb 2008.
  • Includes older file formats. .doc, .xls, .ppt.
  • Office ‘96, Office ‘97, and upwards.
  • Available for download via the Microsoft website.

Is Open Specification Promise legally binding? It is not revocable.

Sponsoring project on Sourceforge. Translator project.

Harmonisation with ODF

  • ODF, explicit design goal not to provide backwards compatibility.
  • ODF does not include:
    • spreadsheet formulas: The 1.0 ISO standard doesn’t specify it. Open Office does this with an extension to the standard. ODF are looking to address this. 1.1 and 1.2 are looking to address this.
    • accessibility features
    • custom define schema support
    • custom metadata

Why hasn’t Microsoft been more bold, and tried to be part of ODF. Microsoft felt lack of backwards compatibility would not be fair to their consumers.

Any open source applications that read/write OpenXML. OpenOffice, Novells version. Translator is an open source project. Open source Java and PHP library.

ISO Standardisation. Up to 25th February. 30 days to resolve and make a vote. Positive, negative, and critical feedback welcome.

OpenXML running on a Linux Box.

“My friends are running Vista on their Mac computers”

Redhat box, Apache, Linux. Revision management system. Automatically generate a OpenXML .docx file. Rename to a *.zip file, open as a zip file. Contains directories, XML files, and images in native formats. No need to store images as bitmap format, and bloat document anymore.

Can embed other information, which Word doesn’t know about.

Track changes was turned on by Linux application that created the document.

Website not as pretty as it could be.

Upload changed file back to website.

View unpublished version rendered straight out on to browser window.

Publish, now can search through documents, and can render document as a HTML document.


https://openxmldeveloper.org/ download link.

ECMA Office Open XML Spec

VML backwards compatibility only, DrawingML is the current standard recommended.

Binary blobs, are bitmaps to signify if things are turned on or off, these have now been officially documented.

All 3,500 comments have been addressed.

WordprocessingML architecture

Stored in separate XML documents in the ZIP file.

  • comments
  • images
  • footnotes/end notes
  • numberingDefinitions
  • headers/footers
  • styles
  • properties
  • customXML

Easy for firewalls to intercept and filter, also easy to intercept and modify. Malicious content could get in. Encrypting it is also possible.

Can somebody not from Microsoft implement this stuff and be legally safe? Anybody can implement this stuff, it is now OSP. Exclusions is if other people own the patents, e.g. jpeg file format.

Paragraphs, run, and text.

Strings are shared if the same string is stored multiple times in the sharedStrings table.



Can this represents non-Dec based slides? Anything you can do in Power point is possible. Something that is not page based, e.g. page scrolls around, page you can zoom in and zoom out.

Does it support null terminated strings? Yes.

SVG can be referenced, and representation is up to application to render.

Office support is different to Standard support.

Do the implementations use the GPL license? Some GPL, some Microsoft permissive license.

https://connect.microsoft.com/ - choose product, submit bug report.

Issue of identity, been a rough ride integrating with Microsoft (or any other vendor). What is changing, and what is different? I would like OpenLDAP to talk to Active Directory to interoperate.

Two competing technologies. LDAP is an authentication system.

Microsoft gave Samba extensive documentation. Is Microsoft going to continue this process?

Why Windows Mobile 6 is better the blackberry? Is it interoperable with Linux as a modem? Yes. PPP is obsolete and not supported, every single howto will be broken, need to use pan stuff. Does it support OpenXML? Yes, with update.

Office for Linux? Source code? No, about commercial realities for business, it depends what happens to business. If we found out we were missing out on a significant amount of market.

What was the demand for the flight simulator in Office Excel 2003.

What happens if it starts making business sense not to open up newer formats and decide to use a new format? It is a commercial question?

Microsoft will not fully implement OpenXML now in the future, according to comments heard from Microsoft.