From Microsoft Announces Availability of Open and Royalty-Free License For Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas

Microsoft Corp. today announced the availability of a royalty-free licensing program for its Microsoft® Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas and accompanying documentation. ... Microsoft's new Office 2003 versions of Word, Excel and the InfoPath (TM) information-gathering program utilize schemas that describe how information is stored when documents are saved as XML....

To ensure broad availability and access, Microsoft is offering the royalty-free license using XML Schema Definitions (XSDs), the cross-industry standard developed by the W3C. The license provides access to the schemas and full documentation to interested parties and is designed for ease of use and adoption. The Microsoft Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas include WordprocessingML (Microsoft Office Word 2003), SpreadsheetML (Microsoft Office Excel 2003) and FormTemplate XML schemas (Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003).

The biggest gripe when Office 2003's XML support was announced was that the schemas for WordprocessingML (aka WordML) and co. were proprietary. This was reported in a number of fora including Slashdot & C|Net news. I wonder how many will carry the announcements that these schemas are available for all to peruse and reuse in a royalty free manner?

Update: On C|Net news: Microsoft pries open Office 2003

Update2: On Slashdot: Microsoft Word Document ML Schemas Published