Turning to new products, Gates said Office is one of the biggest products for Microsoft, which is on the verge of releasing a major new version, Office 11, which has been advanced through the use of XML and the new way in which Outlook deals with connectivity. But two new modules, or applications, are also pioneering new territory. "One Note goes beyond the journal application thats built in the Tablet and can let you do lots of outlining things," Gates said. "It also records the audio so that if you go to your notes, you can listen to what was being said at the meeting when you took that note."XML Web services architecture with its ability to discover things, to distribute events around things and to store things in a very rich format, is key to interoperability at many different levels, and that is why it is an architecture that Gates said he is driving into all the work of the different product groups. "Its profound effect on Windows, SQL Server and Office is hard to overstate. Office needs to understand XML in a native way. SQL needs to not, like all databases, convert things into tabular form and back to XML, but rather store the XML natively, and thats what the next major release of SQL is aimed at doing," Gates told the MVPs.
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The second application, InfoPath, is part of the XML revolution being reflected across all Microsoft products. But for the XML revolution to happen, the ability to have rich viewing has to be there, as well as the ability to create rich schemas and have users interact with XML documents. InfoPath provides that critical piece, he said.