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Microsoft buddies up with new Office

"Open to new ideas. Plays well with others."

Microsoft is getting this unexpectedly good feedback from other software companies as it readies the next version of its Office desktop application package.

The most notable new features in Office 2003 include the ability to save documents in XML (Extensible Markup Language) format in addition to in Office's native file format. This should allow data to be read by other software, such as corporate databases and customer relationship management (CRM) tools.

The Redmond, Wash.-based company is counting on those XML advantages to convince businesses that it's worth the investment to upgrade this time, given that many of them passed on the last few less-than-revolutionary Office upgrades.

Despite Microsoft's growing interest in markets for back-end software such as CRM, many of the programs the new Office will need to share data with will come from companies other than Microsoft.

News source: News.com

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