Microsoft Corp. released a preview version of its XML parser. The XML parser delivers on Microsoft’s commitment to support the W3C’s latest recommendations of XSL Transformations (XSLTs) and XML Path Language (XPath) and includes new features that increase performance and efficiency. Today’s preview release is available for immediate download at . Microsoft plans on releasing technology previews regularly to allow products and services to be updated in “Web time” and to be compliant with the latest industry standards. In addition, this vehicle will be used to introduce new features with the intent of soliciting feedback from the developer community. These releases do not replace shipping product; rather, they are technology previews that allow early adopters to build prototype applications. Microsoft plans to use the feedback received from users of these releases in the integration of new features into mainstream product cycles. Growing use of XML in business-to-business solutions means increased demands on server-side processing of XML. Microsoft continues its ongoing focus on server-side optimization with this version of the XML parser, which has resulted in performance gains of 200 percent to 300 percent in some common scenarios. In addition, developers will be able to install this preview release with their existing solutions and run their current applications as before, because it runs side by side with their existing parser, allowing developers to build new applications that take advantage of the XML services and features in the preview release.