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December 15, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 7:17pm

MICROSOFT CHOOSES HTML FOR FUTURE VERSIONS OF OFFICE

By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft Corp says it will adopt the HTML standard as a file format in the next major release of Microsoft Office. HTML, an open format, will become a companion file format to other Microsoft formats such as the RTF Rich Text Format, and the .DOC, XLS and PPT formats. Although current editions of Office have some HTML compatibility, it currently supports only one way publishing of HTML documents. The new version, available when Office ships, probably some time at the end of next year, will support round trip publishing, meaning that HTML documents can be loaded back into Word without any loss of information. Microsoft sees the move as one way to combat the so-called dead web – where up to 80% of internet sites are not upgraded, due to a lack of easy to use authoring tools. But Word users who have battled with arbitrarily changing Microsoft proprietary file formats will welcome the move as a more predictable way of storing and retrieving documents that shouldn’t become obsolete. Microsoft says it will also support the XML Extensible Markup Language to preserve all the Office-specific formatting in a document. XML is the Standard General Markup Language SGML-based web language widely regarded as the successor to HTML. Microsoft has sold over 20 million licenses for Office 97 in its first year.

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