Bob Sutor is referecing an SD Times article which indicates that Microsoft is planning to support the ISO-approved Open Document Format 1.1 and join the OASIS technical committee.  

Wow.  As I run out the door to the airport, I wanted to at least capture the news.  This is a validation and big win for customers, and means that products like Lotus Symphony are now even stronger options in the market -- customers no longer have to wonder, "will I be able to interoperate with my customers/partners/suppliers?"

The SD Times story says the ODF support will come around the same time as any implementation of the officially-approved version of Microsoft's own Open XML format.  So, at some point in 2009, it looks like customers will really get to a point of choice and flexibility -- with Microsoft as a leader.

I have to say I'm not as practiced at writing blog entries like this one as the last many I've written on OOXML "versus" ODF :-)

For customers expecting an ISO-conformant Office Open XML (OOXML) in Microsoft Office, the wait will continue: Microsoft will not implement the standardized version of its own document format until Office 14 ships. Meanwhile, a service pack due in 2009 is expected to expand the formats supported by Office 2007.

Today, Microsoft announced that it was making new commitments to document interoperability within its Office product line for Windows. Office 2007 Service Pack 2 will add native support for OpenDocument Format (ODF) 1.1, PDF 1.5, PDF/A and XML Paper Specification, an XML-based fixed-document format created by Microsoft.

Microsoft did not say in the announcement whether the Macintosh editions of Office would support any additional document formats. Office 2004 for Mac still lacks a full implementation of the Ecma 376 version of OOXML that Microsoft introduced with Office 2007.

In a surprise move, the company also announced that it intends to participate in the OASIS ODF working group and the corresponding ISO/IEC Joint Technical Committee 1 Subcommittee 34 working groups for ODF, as well as the ISO Technical Committee 171 working group for PDF, said Doug Mahugh, senior product manager for Microsoft Office.

Link: Bob Sutor: Microsoft says they will support ODF natively, join OASIS ODF committee? >
Link: SD Times: Office 2007 won't support ISO's OOXML  >

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