Sun presents XML Office challenge to Microsoft

Sun Microsystems Corp has floated a series of XML-based specifications designed to crack-open Microsoft Corp's Office monopoly and improve interoperability with StarOffice.

Sun has lined-up partners to form a technical committee at the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) that will drive the proposed formats. Joining Sun are Corel Corp, XML publishing specialist Arbortext Inc, standards specialist Drake Certivo Inc and aircraft giant Boeing Corp among others.

Sun's goal is to successfully challenge Microsoft's monopoly of desktop productivity suites using StarOffice 6.0, which will ultimately support the formats. The file formats are already used in OpenOffice 1.0, the basis of StarOffice 6.0.

Vendors like Corel, meanwhile, are hoping for a larger slice of the desktop pie with increased interoperability between their own suites and those from Microsoft and Sun. Sun said the OASIS Open Office XML Format Technical Committee's work would enable exchange of data in XML-based formats while retaining a "high-level" of formatting between text, spreadsheets, charts and graphs.

Only one vital piece of the puzzle is missing - Microsoft. Sun said it has invited Microsoft to join, but that it is "not optimistic". Simon Marks, Product Manager for Microsoft Office, said in a statement that Microsoft is still evaluating the offer.

View: The full story

News source: The Reg

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