Bedtime reading? Microsoft releases 5,000 pages of Office specs

Microsoft claims to be making good on its promise to be more open by releasing thousands of pages of technical documentation about its Office software.

Bedtime reading? Microsoft releases 5,000 pages of Office specs

The company has posted 5,000 pages of new technical documentation for the Microsoft Office binary file formats on to the MSDN website, as part of its promise to be more open about its products.

The documents refer to the old Office file formats (.doc, .xls, .xlsb and .ppt), as well as the protocols built into Office 2007, SharePoint Server 2007 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2007.

The files are published as PDFs on the Microsoft site, with some of the documents running to hundreds of pages, giving interested parties plenty of bedtime reading.

“Today’s actions represent Microsoft’s continued fulfillment of the commitments it made in its Interoperability Principles,” claims Craig Shank, general manager of Interoperability at Microsoft. “Our work with partners, competitors and customers to engage in the technical nuts-and-bolts of real-world interoperability provides great ongoing opportunities for collaboration to address the challenges of today’s diverse IT environment.”

Microsoft insists developers won’t need a patent licence for implementations of the published protocols.

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