Microsoft Launches Office Developer Conference

Microsoft plans to hold its first-ever conference for Microsoft Office software developers, the company announced this week. The conference, scheduled for February 2005, is part of a growing effort by the software maker to build a thriving software development community around its popular suite of productivity software.

Though developers have been able to build custom software called macros within Office applications for years, these macros were not typically used to share data between applications. With the release of Office 2003, and its support of XML (Extensible Markup Language) that equation has changed, and the company has begun promoting Office as a platform for writing applications that are integrated with server software, says Dan Leach, group product manager with Microsoft's Information Worker Product Management Group.

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