Hassles of moving on to XML for Microsoft

Hassles of moving on to XML for Microsoft

Analysts have said that the crucial step Microsoft has taken to move onto the XML format for their next generation office suite codenamed Office 12 would be good for the consumer in the long run. Reason being the content saved in the XML format would make it more accessible in a collaborative environment as the standard becomes more popular.

However, the step is risky for the company in the situation where its customers struggle to manage their internal setup to cope up with the new standards. The format would most likely incompatible with most of the older versions of the MS Office suite and the company would have to be quick to release the converters so that these versions can save and open files in this new format.

The last time Microsoft made a major change in their file formats was way back with their Office 97 Suite. That step became a nuisance for the end user as people struggled to maintain file compatibility across multiple platforms. The company is expected to have learnt lessons from that debacle and should be able to ensure a smoother transition this time.

Office 12 of course would be able to save files in the current standards. However, user would have to change the file format manually for that to happen. Current generation of MS Office also has an option to save files as XML though not many consumers would be using it to store data. The big point however is… if the customer thinks Office 12 is going to become a problem for them with file format compatibility, they might consider moving onto Open Source offerings like OpenOffice considering the community is also expected to add on the support to all the new standards of the new office suite as soon as possible.

It would however depend upon individual customer’s preference. Microsoft would have to play a safe game if they want to ensure that a lot of customers would be enticed onto upgrading onto their latest offering expected to arrive sometime next year.

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