RzUpAnmsCwrds writes "According to an MSDN Channel 9 interview with an Office file-format developer, the next version of Microsoft Office (Office 12) will default to newly-developed XML file formats in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The new formats will apparently include XML files along with other files (images, etc) inside of a Zip file. Microsoft will also be providing extensive documentation of the new format to the public through MSDN. The developer likewise announced that Microsoft would be releasing updates for Office 2000, XP, and 2003 to read and write the new formats when the new version of Office is released. If this interview is correct, it could mean the beginning of the end of Microsoft's proprietary file formats." Coverage at Beta News, Information Week, and the Washington Post.