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Microsoft, ArborText and Inso Submit XSL Proposal to W3C

Stylesheets for XML Are Compatible With Cascading Style Sheets, Go Beyond CSS to Handle Unique Characteristics of XML

REDMOND, Wash. - Sept. 11, 1997 - - Microsoft Corp., ArborText Inc. and Inso Corp. today announced that the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has acknowledged their submission of an eXtensible stylesheet language (XSL). XSL provides rich style sheet information for eXtensible markup language (XML) data. In particular, XSL allows XML data to be reordered as it is displayed, making Web sites and Web applications more powerful and flexible.

XSL extends beyond Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), enabling developers to handle the full richness of XML data and documents. CSS will remain the style sheet language of choice for HTML and simply structured XML documents, but XSL is required for formatting highly structured XML data, especially where the data's presentation order may change between delivery and display.

XML, the universal language for structured data on the Web, complements HTML, which is used to define Web pages. Both XML and HTML are defined by the W3C and are forms of SGML, a generic markup language. For example, a table of stocks, stock prices and trading information might be sent to a browser using XML. Using an XML-enabled browser such as Microsoft® Internet Explorer 4.0, users could sort, filter and display the stock information based on their own preferences.

This ability to change the display order dynamically creates the need for a new style sheet language. Unlike data in HTML, which generally arrives at a Web page in the same order in which it will be displayed, XML data may arrive in one order and be displayed in another.

"Our customers' applications require the intelligent display of structured information," said P.G. Bartlett, vice president, marketing at ArborText. "XSL will be key to delivering mass-customized information to the desktop."

Using XSL, Web site authors and developers will be able to translate XML data into HTML for display on the user's desktop.

"Data, delivered in XML and formatted using XSL, will fuel a whole generation of applications that provide friendlier and more meaningful experiences on the Web through custom delivery of information," said Sebastian Holst, vice president of product management at Inso Corp.'s electronic publishing solutions unit. "Data and documents are most valuable when the desktop client can account for and reinforce the user's perspective, while preserving the integrity and context for proper knowledge-based processing. XML and XSL are the one-two punch that will make this a near-term reality for the Web."

XSL Is Compatible With CSS and Based on DSSSL

XSL is compatible with Cascading Style Sheets. All CSS properties and values are supported in XSL, ensuring that it's easy to incorporate both HTML and XML in a Web page. Furthermore, XSL is based on the document style semantics and specification language (DSSSL), as recommended by the W3C XML Activity Charter.

"XML is the language that organizations will use to exchange information on the Web," said David Cole, vice president of the Internet client and collaboration division at Microsoft. "We're pleased to be submitting XSL to the W3C with ArborText and Inso to move the display of this rich data language forward."

Additional information on XML and the XSL specification can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/standards/XML/.

Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., ArborText is the leading supplier of software that makes formal processes for capturing and delivering knowledge more effective. Global 5,000 organizations use the company's products to author, catalog, and reuse information stored in document databases.

Headquartered in Boston, Inso Corp. (NASDAQ "INSO") is a leading provider of dynamic electronic publishing and information access software products that operate in environments ranging from computer desktops to the Internet. Inso employees are heavily involved in electronic publishing standards development and include the co-editor of the XLL specification, the editor of DSSSL, and the lead on the XSL initiative.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft is either a registered trademark or trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/corpinfo/ on Microsoft's corporate information pages. For information on ArborText, visit the companies Web site at (http://www. arbortext.com/). For additional information about Inso or its products, visit the company's Web site at (http://www.inso.com/).

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