Microsoft adds ODF support to Office 2007
In a big step forward for interoperability, Microsoft’s recently-released Service Pack 2 for Office 2007 includes built-in support for a range of additional file formats including the OpenDocument Format (ODF).
The inclusion of ODF support in Office 2007 not only improves interoperability for users sharing documents between Office and open source alternatives such as OpenOffice.org but also brings Office in line with South African government interoperability standards. The Minimum Interoperability Standards (MIOS) for government departments includes ODF as a standard.
Albie Bester, head of the Information Worker unit at Microsoft South Africa, says that South Africa is one of many governments around the world to have a clear ODF preference, and with the addition of ODF in Office, it is now possible for public sector users to use Office and still adhere to government mandates.
Office 2007 SP2 implements ODF 1.1, the most widely adopted version of ODF in the market today. While only ODF 1.0 has been approved as an ISO standard, Bester says that Microsoft decided to implement ODF 1.1 to enable the broadest interoperability with other ODF implementations.
“Customers want the ability to choose the best file format to meet their needs, with SP2 we’re showing our commitment to giving customers this choice,” he says. “SP2 includes built-in support for a wider range of file formats than any other productivity suite – over 18 different file formats, including Open XML, ODF, XPS and PDF.”