Microsoft's ODF support points to Open XML challenges
IDG News Service - Microsoft Corp.'s plan to add ODF support to its Office applications suite next year reflects continued challenges for the software vendor's own Office Open XML file format, as the industry moves ahead with adopting ODF and sorts out Open XML's troubles.
Though Open XML was ratified as an open standard by the ISO international standards body on April 1, it continues to face impediments to widespread adoption. On Friday, it was revealed that South Africa is appealing ISO's approval of the standard. And earlier this week, New York's state government officially promoted ODF — formally, the Open Document Format for Office Applications — as a standard file format based on customer demand, as it launched a new initiative for technology openness and open standards.
"If all that proprietary vendors are waiting for before they directly support ODF is a 'broad-based customer request,' then they should be aware that such a demand already exists in New York state," according to a report that was written by the state's IT office and posted online.
Even Microsoft is holding off on fully supporting the version of the Open XML specification approved by ISO, yet it will support ODF in Office 2007 Service Pack 2 when that update is released released early next year, a plan that the company announced Wednesday. By comparison, Office won't natively support the current Open XML spec until the next major version code-named Office 14, a release date for which has not been announced.
Jay Lyman, an analyst at The 451 Group, said the fact that Microsoft has come out in favor of supporting ODF first shows that it "is being steered toward greater support for open source, open standards and interoperability" by customers, "which in this case are primarily governments in the U.S. and around the world."
Although Open XML will certainly be adopted and used in the future, ODF has a head start because it was approved by ISO first — two years ago, in fact — and is not plagued by lingering questions or doubts about its merit as an international standard.
"Governments that must move now on their format plans are seeing benefits in ODF, which is approved, backed by a number of large vendors and being adopted around the globe," Lyman said.
South Africa's decision to appeal ISO's ratification of Open XML casts doubt on that format as a viable alternative to ODF, said Andrew Updegrove, an open-source advocate and an attorney at Gesmer Updegrove LLP in Boston. "No one can now say, until this is resolved, that OOXML 'is a global standard,'" he said.
- Five Steps to Achieve Success in your Application Security Program This white paper provides a general framework your organization can use to create or build upon an application security program. It includes guidelines...
- Unlock the Value of Enterprise Mobility Download this guide and learn how to manage the secure deployment of enterprise mobile apps and data, while still encouraging the levels of...
- Rebranded Quadmark revamps its IT solutions with Google Apps Switching to Google Apps halved Quadmark's IT admin costs while achieving 10% time savings per employee. The global consulting firm now spends 80%...
- Manufacturing Outlook: Improving time to market, operational effectiveness and innovation in a highly competitive environment An enterprise project portfolio management solution can help manufacturers position themselves in the new competitive landscape.
- Live Webcast
Transforming Finance, Procurement and Supply Chain Effectiveness with Cross-Functional Analytics
Date: May 6th, 2014
Time: 1 PM EDT
Attend this Webcast to find out how Oracle's packaged analytic applications enable line-of-business managers to examine all...
- Video Stream Quality Impacts Viewer Behavior This scientific white paper, using statistical data from Amakai's streaming network, analyzes how changes in video quality cause changes in viewer behavior.
- Service-Enabling CICS Applications: Best Practices This informative webcast provides an informed, thorough look into CICS service-enablement options and how they can affect your environment. You'll learn how to... All Applications White Papers | Webcasts