MS Office (2007) Open XML File Formats
The 2007 Microsoft Office system has adopted an XML-based file format for Microsoft Office Excel 2007, Microsoft Office Word 2007, and Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007. The new file format, called Microsoft Office Open XML Formats (Office XML Formats), addresses the workplace issues like easily moving data between disparate applications, and allowing users to glean business insight from that data with changes that affect the way that you approach solutions based on Microsoft Office documents.
The new formats improve file and data management, data recovery, and interoperability with line-of-business systems. They extend what is possible with the binary files of earlier versions. Any application that supports XML can access and work with data in the new file format. The application does not need to be part of the Microsoft Office system or even a Microsoft product. Users can also use standard transformations to extract or repurpose the data. In addition, security concerns are drastically reduced because the information is stored in XML, which is essentially plain text. Thus, the data can pass through corporate firewalls without hindrance.