So according to the folks at Channel9, Microsoft has just announced their new XML-based file formats. This goes a long way towards finally reaching a documentation standard for all office suite vendors. No doubt OpenOffice will be able to read these documents (the idea for zipped XML was swiped from them anyway) , as will KOffice and AbiWord et al.

What worries me now is that in effect Microsoft has very cleverly made themselves the standards-owner for XML documents. Notice that they did not fully comply with any third party XML format – they made their own. By opening their format to a “friendly XML format” and using the weight of 400 million users they can now more easily dictate what happens in this space, and others will feel compelled to be compatible because the format is an open one.

Very, very clever Darth Sidious. Now quick, go build a DEATHtoSTARoffice.