Microsoft Adding More Formats To Office 2007
According to a Microsoft press release, the company's office applications suite will gain support for OpenDocument Format (ODF) v. 1.1, Portable Document Format (PDF), and other formats in an update next year.
The 2007 Microsoft Office system already provides support for 20 different document formats within Microsoft Office Word, Office Excel and Office PowerPoint. With the release of Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 2 (SP2) scheduled for the first half of 2009, the list will grow to include support for XML Paper Specification (XPS), Portable Document Format (PDF) 1.5, PDF/A and Open Document Format (ODF) v1.1.
When using SP2, customers will be able to open, edit and save documents using ODF and save documents into the XPS and PDF fixed formats from directly within the application without having to install any other code. It will also allow customers to set ODF as the default file format for Office 2007. To also provide ODF support for users of earlier versions of Microsoft Office (Office XP and Office 2003), Microsoft will continue to collaborate with the open source community in the ongoing development of the Open XML-ODF translator project on SourceForge.net.
I have to commend the company. I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt and hope that they are truly committed to becoming a good standards citizen. In the past, such optimism has been misplaced, but I am still going to give them a chance. I am not anti-Microsoft, I am pro-competition and pro-user, which has often meant almost the same thing.
Consistent with its interoperability principles, in which the company committed to work with others toward robust, consistent and interoperable implementations across a broad range of widely deployed products, the company has also announced it will be an active participant in the future evolution of ODF, Open XML, XPS and PDF standards.
Microsoft will 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 being formed to work on ODF maintenance. Microsoft employees will also take part in the ISO/IEC working group that is being formed to maintain Open XML and the ISO/IEC working group that is being formed to improve interoperability between these and other ISO/IEC-recognized document formats. The company will also be an active participant in the ongoing standardization and maintenance activities for XPS and PDF. It will also continue to work with the IT community to promote interoperability between document file formats, including Open XML and ODF, as well as Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY XML), the foundation of the globally accepted DAISY standard for reading and publishing navigable multimedia content.
Well, good. Does this mean that the company will stop opposing the use of citizen-friendly file formats in state governments? Will this help Microsoft hold on to its monopoly hold on the market even if states decide to choose ODF and other open standard file formats?
Thanks to the OpenDocument Format Online Community for the tip.