I hear you Jason. Sorry there isn't anything currently available, but we are definitely undergoing an evolution in Office. As I talked about at the beginning of
this post in my blog, we've been doing work with XML since back in Office 2000 (development for that started in 1997). The new format in Word is just an evolution on what we did
in Word 2003. While Word, Excel and PowerPoint are the only three moving to new default XML formats in Office 12, you can definitely expect us to continue in this direction with future releases of Office. Jean actually talks about this a bit towards the end
of this video: http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=76169
Freney - We've heard this request from a number of different customers. I'll have more information over the next several months around the schemas and what our formats are going to look like. In addition, I'm trying to find out what types of things people
would want to get out of our files, so we can look at providing good documentation and tools for transforming from our formats into other formats. MathML is definitely a common request.
What's the story with VBA and VSTO customisations?
For development, will we be able to store the xml and VBA inside it in plain text, so we can easily use source-code control, merging changes etc?
For production, will we be able to protect the file, such that the VBA code can't be viewed?
Will we be able to store VSTO assemblies in the file, so they can be distributed much more easily than at present?
Will I be able to digitally sign parts of the xml file, use DRM on bits of it etc?
Hey Stephen, I answered a few of these questions back on
You have access to each part since it's just ZIP, so if you wanted you could sign and/or encrypt each part. We aren't going to have any built in functionality though for that level of granularity from directly within Office though. It would need to be part
of a seperate solution.
eddwo - We have a mechanism where we look at the the object being persisted and see if it we should be using an iStorage as the persistance format or if it uses the ZIP archives (it's obviously a bit more complex than that, but that's how it generally
works). We also see if we can find the content type and extension associated with that object, and we use all that information to determine how to store it in the zip container.
So, if you have an Excel file embedded in a Word document, you could crack open that Word document and you would find a .xslx file. You could then crack that Excel file open too if you wanted and see what it has embedded.