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That's an improved position.
"Microsoft on Monday said it will license the XML-based file formats used in
the latest edition of its Office applications on a royalty-free basis.
The move is designed to give companies better access to documents that are
created using Office 2003, the latest edition of Microsoft's desktop
application suite. Microsoft said it is taking the action in response to
requests from its software partners as well as from corporate and government
customers who demanded a way to better interoperate with Microsoft's
dominant suite of desktop applications.
The Redmond, Wash.-based company's XML reference schemas for Excel, and the
InfoPath forms application will be available starting December 5.
WordprocessingML for Word, the XML schema for Word, will be available online