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MS Office to support outside open formats

updated 04:00 pm EDT, Wed May 21, 2008

MS Office Supports ODF

Microsoft today broke from its tradition of primarily endorsing in-house formats by revealing that it will add support to Office for a number of universal standards outside of its own. Office 2007 Service Pack 2 will support the Open Document Format (ODF) touted by OpenOffice, Sun's StarOffice, and other third-party tools as well as similarly universal document types such as PDF 1.5 and PDF/A. The upgrade will let users both open and create files in the formats without requiring either a plugin or an outside utility to convert the formats.

Owners of Office XP and 2003 will receive continued help through a jointly-developed SourceForge project that translates between Microsoft's Open XML format and ODF. The company's own XML Paper Specification (XPS) will also be supported natively in newer versions of Office, the company says. No mention has been made as to whether Office for Mac 2008 also receives the ODF support.

The company further plans to become an "active participant" in the development of ODF and PDF in addition to collaborating with others to advance its Open XML and XPS standards in the larger community.

The combined efforts are described as part of Microsoft's larger movement towards free APIs, which the company instituted to make its formats more transparent and accessible to competing developers and the public. Most industry observers believe the movement and the associated creation of the Document Interoperability Initiative to be reactions to the European Commission's $1.4 billion fine levied against Microsoft for its alleged failure to give adequate access to its formats to competitors.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2002


    Desperate measures...

    ...for desperate times...? ...between VirtualBox Ubuntu and there may be many with little reason to use MS anything unless one simply wants to spend hundreds of dollars per seat...

  1. dimmer

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Feb 2006


    God Bless

    The European Union: now, if only our US gubmental bodies started to act in favor of people, not corporations.

  1. Zkatz007

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 1999



    Makes OpenOffice that much better.

  1. slapppy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008



    I can't wait for OF to be officially released for OS X. NeoOffice is great, but you're forced to use resource hogging Java for it.

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