Microsoft Supports Rival Office Document Format

Microsoft is supporting a chief rival to its Office suite for approval to a national standards board.

The company announced yesterday that it voted to add the Open Document Format (ODF) 1.0 to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) list. ANSI is a private, nonprofit organization that coordinates and develops U.S. standards for products and processes.

ODF is used by open source Office competitors in the Linux space, including the OpenOffice.org suite and the KOffice suite. It is supported by IBM, Sun Microsystems, Oracle, Corel, Novell, Opera Software and Red Hat.

"We have listened to our customers, and they have told us they want choice, they want interoperability, they want innovation," said Tom Robertson, general manager for Interoperability and Standards at Microsoft, in a press release. "The American National Standards list does not include a number of document format standards in wide use today, such as PDF, .DOC, RTF and HTML. The inclusion of ODF is just the beginning; we expect the list will grow in the future to reflect the choices customers already have in today's marketplace."

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12 Comments

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Just like to say "THANKS" to microsoft for their generousity. Hey microsoft please lay your hands off. Beacause once you get to know the product well you simply go ahead and patent that thing on your name (Rss technology is the latest example of that). Now you are eyeing on firefox with your so called media player too.

Its enough
Okay

we have "listned".....
good joke. MS was criticised by every sing standards organization in the world and EU is openly boycotting 2007 for not supporting ODF.
In actual I dont think they listned, they are forced to do so and MS is buckling under pressure.


avidracer said,
we have "listned".....
good joke. MS was criticised by every sing standards organization in the world and EU is openly boycotting 2007 for not supporting ODF.
In actual I dont think they listned, they are forced to do so and MS is buckling under pressure.

So if MS does something bad that's what they want, otherwise they're forced to.

How 'bout Apple? Did Steve Jobs invented iPod because he just loved to bring (DRM'ed) music to the world, or he's forced by their dwindling share of the personal computing market?

Miran said,
The question is, what does Microsoft gain with this move?

Maybe to get antiMicrosoft fanboys off their back on saying "MS doesn't care about it's costumers"


But again these are the same antiMicrosoft fanboys that say Microsoft = M$ so....

It allows the MS fanboys to say, "See I told you so!" :rolleyes:

Serious though, this will help MS compete against OO.o in environments (gov'ts and corps) where IT decision makers are requiring the use of ODF. IMHO this additional competition can only be a good thing as long as MS keeps its grubby little fingers out of the cookie jar.

It's not unlike Microsoft to help out its competitors when they really need it to survive. Like the time Apple nearly went under and Bill cut them a cheque. It's really sad that some of Microsoft's competitors can't survive without their support; yet Microsoft has to devote some resources to them otherwise they get labelled 'monopoly'.

This is nothing more than a strategic move, it has nothing to do with interoperability. It doesn't matter if ODF is a "standard" or not. It is up to the OpenOffice developers to ensure the format is readable by Microsoft Office. The only thing Microsoft has to do to maintain interoperability is allow competing developers to make their file formats readable by Office which they have obviously done.

Give me a minute to drive home from work and read before I get the chance to post! :P

I think it is great that Microsoft has done a reversal of their previous stance. They can support and promote their own standard, yet still support odf. Good on them!

Wow.. No comments from anyone?

After all the talk over the last few days about MS going after open source projects for possibly using their technology, this is odd event to happen so soon after.