EU Watching MS Open Move
European Union officials will be watching Microsoft's open format support to ensure the developer's move remains honest, the European Commission said on Thursday. The regulatory body says it will specifically monitor the newly added support for the universal Open Document Format (ODF) to determine if it delivers on Microsoft's promises of interoperability with other programs, many of which already support ODF but until now have been unable to send those files to users of Microsoft's software, forcing them to choose a more restrictive format such as Microsoft's DOC format for Word files.
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.
MS open document plans
Microsoft has launched what it calls the Document Interoperability Initiative, a program to test and improve how well certain document formats work across multiple platforms and operating systems. The company will host a series of lab events around the world for this purpose, and today met with other outfits such as Novell, Nuance and Quickoffice at a first event, which was set in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The focus of the meeting was on the open ODF format, most famously used in OpenOffice, and Microsoft's less popular Open XML standard, supported almost exclusively by the company's Office suites.