Microsoft moves to open up Outlook formatting

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Microsoft moves to open up Outlook formatting

Releases developer documents for dot pst format.

Microsoft is to release more developer documents on the dot pst format used by Outlook in an effort to make the files more open.

While the Microsoft Office Interoperability team said that the eventual goal was to make the format open to all third party developers in whatever programming language. But the documentation released was in early stages and they were working with industry figures before releasing it all under its Open Specification Promise.

“Data portability has become an increasing need for our customers and partners as more information is stored and shared in digital formats,” said the team in a blog posting.

“Designing our high volume products to enable such data portability is a key commitment under our Interoperability Principles, which we announced in early 2008. We support this commitment through our product features, documented formats, and implementation of standards. The move to open up the portability of data in .pst files is another step in putting these principles in action.”

The team has set out no time scale for the full opening of the .pst format. Developers can currently access .pst file data but have to have a copy of Outlook installed.

Microsoft is making moves towards opening up some of its more popular formats, in part because government orders in some countries have included a demand for open file formats. However the open source community have so far yet to be won over.

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