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Sidebar: Microsoft Locks OpenDocument Out of Office

By Eric Lai, Simon Taylor and Elizabeth Montalbano
November 28, 2005 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Microsoft officials last week reiterated that they don't plan to include support for the OpenDocument file format in Office 12. In contrast, the beta version of the rival OpenOffice 2.0 suite, which uses OpenDocument as its default file format, can open and save files in all existing Microsoft formats.
Stephen O'Grady, an analyst at Denver-based consulting firm RedMonk, said it seems illogical that Microsoft would submit its own file formats to a standards body instead of simply adding support for OpenDocument to Office 12.
"I've never been one who says Microsoft should drop what they're doing," O'Grady said. "I just don't know why they can't add OpenDocument [support] alongside other formats, when they support WordPerfect and PDF."
But Alan Yates, general manager of Microsoft's information worker division, said that OpenDocument functions "very differently" from Open XML. Because of those differences, he added, it wouldn't be easy to build OpenDocument support into Office -- especially when Microsoft is already working to update its older file formats so they can work with Open XML.

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