Microsoft's first development kit for Open XML
Microsoft has released version 1 of an SDK (Software Development Kit) for its own Open XML format for downloading. The SDK allows you to search, create, check, and modify documents. In addition, there are functions to remove comments and other "personal data" from documents in Open XML, as well as in Office Open XML, aka OOXML. Microsoft says that this interface can be used with all languages supported by .Net.
Either.Net 3.0, Excel, PowerPoint or Word 2007 is required, and the operating system has to be either Windows Server 2003, Windows XP with Service Pack 3, or Vista. A pre-release version of SDK 2.0 is expected to be published in the late summer, with the final version being released along with the next generation of Microsoft's Office products.
Open XML is the storage format for documents in all of Microsoft's current Office products, though Microsoft's current implementation does not comply with the version of OOXML adopted as ISO 29500. For some months controversy has raged over this ISO standard. Recently, the ISO announced it would be postponing publication of the standard after four member states filed objections. Critics accuse Microsoft of making the specification both too complex – it is 6000 pages long – and in parts, insufficiently exact.