Compressed XML based files formats in Microsoft Office 12
Microsoft, has been talking about Key Benefits and Functionality in Office 12 XML formats. The first item in the 6 item list says:
Compact file format. Documents are automatically compressed—up to 75 percent smaller in some cases.
Microsoft’s official FAQ on XML office formats has this to say:
Q. Why do these file formats produce smaller document sizes?
A. Internal data storage of the Office XML Formats is segmented into discreet components—for example, embedded code is stored separately from the document content inside the file. Each component within a single file is compressed using ZIP compression technology. In addition to the compression of each document segment, the entire document is also compressed using ZIP compression. As a result, the sizes of Microsoft Office Word documents, Microsoft Office Excel spreadsheets, and Microsoft Office PowerPoint presentations are reduced. The amount of compression and size savings varies per file.
Q. Does this mean I will have to unzip my files before I open them in Microsoft Office applications?
A. No. When opening the documents in Microsoft Office, the compression and de-compression happens automatically; users are not required to manually apply compression, and they are never asked to unzip a document.
Q. Will the file compression reduce the quality of images stored in my documents?
A. No. The ZIP compression technology will not compress images.
There has been a recent wave of commercial products for compressing PowerPoint files. Is microsoft planning to put out of business all the Office file compressors available today? It seems they are.
If you are thinking older Office formats will still stay for a while, think again. Here is what microsoft has to say on this, “By installing a simple update, users of Microsoft Office 2000, Microsoft Office XP, and Office 2003 Editions can open, edit, and save documents in one of the Office XML Formats.”
Also, unlike older days, this format will have a open and royalty-free specification.