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Microsoft to support ODF, aid OSS community

By   |  May 22, 2008

Fresh from a bruising battle with the open source community over document formats, Microsoft says it is ready to support the Open Document Format in its Office suite. With the release of Office 2007 Service Pack 2 (SP2) in the first half of 2009, the productivity suite will include native ODF, XPS and PDF support. The company has also laid out plans to implement support for its own Office Open XML (OOXML) format in its products.

From SP2 users will be able to open, edit and save documents using ODF and save documents into the XPS (XML Paper Specification) and PDF fixed formats directly within the application without having to install any other code. It will also allow customers to set the default file format for Office 2007.

Microsoft says it will also work with the open source community to provide ODF support for users of earlier versions of Microsoft Office – including Office 2000, Office XP and Office 2003.

“We’re committed to giving Office users greater choice among document formats and enhanced interoperability between those formats and the applications that implement them,” said Paulo Ferreira, platform strategy manager at Microsoft SA. “By increasing the openness of our products and participating actively in the development and maintenance of document format standards, we believe we can help create opportunities for developers and competitors, including members of open source communities, to innovate and deliver new value for customers.”

Office Open XML

Microsoft has also announced its plans for implementing support for its own Office Open XML (OOXML) standard. The company recently won a hard-fought battle with open source advocates to have OOXML approved as a standard by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

OOXML is not yet fully supported by Microsoft’s own products but the company plans to update that support in the next major version of Office, codenamed Office 14.

The company says it plans to be an active participant in the future evolution of ODF, Open XML, XPS and PDF standards. One of its plans is to join the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) technical committee working on the next version of ODF and will take part in the ISO/IEC working group that is being formed to work on ODF maintenance.

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2 Responses to “Microsoft to support ODF, aid OSS community”

  1. Stewart Moss
    July 4th, 2008 @ 12:07 pm

    There is an article about a add-on for MS Office which will allow you (right now) to open ODF files from Open Office. It is an opensource plug in which is greally great.

    Check it out!

  2. Tectonic » Microsoft sponsors Apache
    July 28th, 2008 @ 5:47 pm

    […] increasing number of ways it plans to develop closer ties with the open source community including supporting ODF in Microsoft Office, playing a role in the future development of ODF, and improving document interoperability. […]

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