About a month ago Microsoft anounced that a future version of office (code name office12) would support open XML based formats for Word, Excel and Powerpoint. If you currently use these formats then this could be a big deal for you.
Our document production module at Redline Software makes extensive use of the Word object model but has hit a performance brick wall which we have solved by using lots of servers to render documents. The announcement that MS intend to open up the .doc format means that we will be able to manipulate Word files as text (XML) which should be much faster and give us greater control over the output and remove this brick wall.
Brian Jones is on the Microsoft Office team and keeps a blog here, both he and Jean Paoli have asked for feedback from developers about the new format specifications. If you think you will make extensive use of these it may pay dividends to check them out whilst they are still in development and give the office team your feedback when they can incorporate it.