In January, the U.K. government proposed switching from using Microsoft Office to an open-source solution for its official documents. The proposal claims it will save money by moving to documents that support the Open Document Format (ODF) used by free software programs such as OpenOffice and Google Docs.
This week, Microsoft responded to the proposal in a post from its U.K. office, stating that the government is leaving out the Open XML (OOXML) format. Microsoft says that OOXML is "the most widely supported and used open standard for document formats" and is supported not only by the most recent versions of Office but also other popular software, such as Pages for iOS and even Google Docs. Instead of using one format or the other, Microsoft wants the government to support both OOXML and ODF.
"Microsoft Office has supported ODF since 2007, but adoption of OOXML has been more widespread amongst other products than ODF," Microsoft's post states. "This move has the potential to impact businesses selling to government, who may be forced to comply."
The company added that a change to just supporting ODF will "increase costs, cause dissatisfaction amongst citizens and businesses, add complexity to the process of dealing with government and negatively impact some suppliers to government." The Standards Hub is currently accepting opinions from the public on the proposal on its website until Feb. 26.