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 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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