Microsoft adds ODF support to Office 2007

By   |  May 20, 2009

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.”

Comments

3 Responses to “Microsoft adds ODF support to Office 2007”

  1. Anon
    May 20th, 2009 @ 1:04 pm

    Interoperability? Doubtful – the implementation is apparently badly broken and in a worse shape than any of the third-party plugins for MS Office. See any of these sites (preferably all) for details:

    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=200905192217532
    http://www.odfalliance.org/resources/fact-sheet-Microsoft-ODF-support.pdf
    http://www.robweir.com/blog/2009/05/battle-for-odf-interoperability.html

    Compliance with the MIOS would, at best, be in name only. Certainly not in form or function.

  2. Dwayne Bailey
    May 20th, 2009 @ 4:56 pm

    What are Microsoft’s plans in terms of fixing the problems with spreadsheet formula support that have emerged and been widely reported on in the press. Will these be fixed before the final SP2 release?

    It seems that Microsoft’s earlier plug-in converters have better interoperability then the SP2 effort, which is a concern if not a disappointment for interoperability and would seem to go against the companies stated efforts of working hard at interoperabilty.

    If we really want to see interoperability in South Africa that aligns with the spirit and intention of MIOS then those bugs really need to get fixed before the public ends up with broken interoperability.

  3. MandalaReopens
    May 21st, 2009 @ 10:28 am

    This is typical M$ FUD …
    http://www.odfalliance.org/blog/index.php/site/microsofts_odf_support_falls_short/

    The usual Embrace, extend, exterminate cr*p that made them (in)famous…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embrace,_extend_and_extinguish

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