Microsoft says support for Open XML is growing
New 'community' Web site touts document file format; Redmond plans converter for Mac Office
Comments backing the file format, coming mostly from groups and companies outside the U.S., have been posted on a new Microsoft-sponsored Web site called Open XML Community.
In a blog posting, Office program manager Brian Jones cited other evidence of growing interest in Open XML, including more than 4 million downloads since last November of software that lets users of earlier versions of Office read and then write to Open XML documents created in Office 2007.
Jones wrote that the so-called Office compatibility pack for Word, Excel and PowerPoint 2007 is the second most popular download on Microsoft's Web site, behind only Internet Explorer 7 for the Service Pack 2 release of Windows XP.
The existing compatibility pack supports Windows only. But sometime this spring, Microsoft plans to release similar software to enable users of all older versions of Office for Apple Inc.'s Macintosh systems to access Open XML files created in Office 2007 on Windows PCs. Meanwhile, an upcoming release of the Macintosh software, called Office 2008 for Mac, will use Open XML as its default file format.
Open XML was approved as a standard last December by ECMA International. The standards body then submitted the file format to the larger ISO standards organization in Geneva. The format currently is on a fast-track process for possible approval by the ISO as an open standard as early as August.
Earlier this week, a German standards body known as DIN announced the formation of a technical working group that will focus on defining how to make Open XML interoperable with the Open Document Format (ODF) for Office Applications, a rival file format supported by vendors such as IBM and Sun Microsystems Inc.
Governments are a key battleground for Microsoft and ODF supporters. For one thing, national governments possess a vote within the ISO on whether to approve Open XML as an international standard -- a designation that ODF achieved last May.
Microsoft's dominance of the multibillion-dollar office productivity software market is attributed in part to user reluctance to voluntarily convert legacy files to other document formats such as ODF. But governments that adopt rules requiring their agencies to publish documents in free, open formats such as ODF -- and several already have done so -- could become a wedge that gives desktop application suites like Sun's StarOffice or its OpenOffice.org open-source offshoot a chance to break Office's monopoly.
The battle over file formats also has spilled into the state legislative arena in the U.S., where both Microsoft and IBM are trying to influence politicians crafting similar document format laws in states such as Florida, Texas and California.
To join the Open XML Community, applicants must "register" their support for the file format by filling out an online form and providing an optional quote that Microsoft is free to publish and distribute. They can also sign an online petition supporting Open XML that is aimed at ISO, although they aren't required to do so.
The new community site parallels another one created by Microsoft for developers that want to use Open XML in their software.
Read more about Desktop Apps in Computerworld's Desktop Apps Topic Center.
- 18 Hot IT Certifications for 2014
- CIOs Opting for IT Contractors Over Hiring Full-Time Staff
- 12 Best Free iOS 7 Holiday Shopping Apps
- For CMOs Big Data Can Lead to Big Profits
- Slideshow: 5 ways to lock down your mobile device
- Slideshow: 10 mistakes companies make after a data breach
- How to rob a bank: A social engineering walk through
- Which smartphone is the most secure?
If you think getting it right from day one is always what matters, you probably haven't been following technology too closely.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Bring Networks and Applications Closer--Cisco ONE
- A series of sweeping trends is placing new requirements on the tried-and-true network model--requiring network infrastructure and applications to communicate. Get the open...
- Lippis Research Reviews the Cisco Catalyst 2960-X
- In this Lippis Report Research Note, Lippis Research reviews the latest edition of the "most popular access switch on the planet" -- the...
- Design Guide--Scaling Up to a Campus-Wide LAN
- Is it time to scale your network environment to a campus wired LAN? Here's the framework you need to set up your LAN...
- Comprehensive Security: Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series
- With a rich and comprehensive set of security features, Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series Switches can help you address networking megatrends such...
- Be Energy Efficient--The Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series
- How much energy could be saved if all 230 million Layer 2 and 3 fixed managed switch ports sold in 2012 were as... All Government IT White Papers
- Modernizing SAP environments with minimum risk - a path to Big Data Hear from top IDC analyst, Richard Villars, about the path you can start taking now to enable your organization to get the benefits...
- Vblock™ Specialized System for SAP HANA® Overview video from DJ Long about the new Vblock Specialized System for SAP HANA®.
- The Power of the Citrix Mobility Solution, XenMobile Does everything become a smartphone? Or does the smartphone begin to do everything? How can we afford to support BYOD? Rather, how can...
- BYOD Happens: How to Secure Mobility How to navigate the journey of securing mobility, including the BYOD corruption of IT, the top ten mobility strategies, and the mobility management...
- Fighting Fraud Videos: IBM Intelligent Investigation Manager Short videos about IBM Intelligent Investigation Manager (IIM) for Fraud. IIM optimizes the investigation of fraud for customers across many industries in both...
- All Government IT Webcasts
Does your organization offer extensive benefits, cool perks, competitive salaries, opportunities for training and advancement? Then get it recognized!
Nominate your company or another deserving organization for Computerworld's 2014 Best Places to Work in IT list now through Dec. 20, 2013.