Finally what the open-source community has been asking from Microsoft has come to fruition, we've released the Office Binary Format in it's entirety and put it under our IRREVOCABLE, GPL-compatible, legally binding Open Specification Promise. This is an honest gesture by Microsoft to the developer and academic community. This release will allow anyone curious enough to examine, develop, and integrate over 15 years of iterative document specification into their projects. To quote popular New York developer/blogger, Joel Spolsky, "over a thousand developer years," have been used to get the format to the point where it is today. I'll be giving some more in-depth analysis on this new development and what it means to developers and IT pros who dabble in office productivity. At the moment I'm on an antique train headed to Brighton...not the most conducive environment to write a scholarly piece of work.
Also, no, this isn't the surprise that Scoble shed a tear about, that is coming next week :)