Microsoft Office to support OpenDocument · FileFormat.Info

Microsoft Office to support OpenDocument

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7/7/2006

Microsoft has announced that they will support the OpenDocument file format in MSOffice 2007. While I thought it was inevitable, it is still a gutsy move by Microsoft.

This is a key piece for digital preservation. Anyone planning on keeping their documents long-term should be using OpenDocument. Developers who need more functionality than HTML should be using it as well.

I think this will level the playing field for competitors to MSOffice. Currently the file format lock-in has prevented any serious competition. While MSOffice is certainly the most feature-rich of the available software suites, it is expensive and complicated. Less expensive alternatives will be a welcome change. I can't imagine the finance guys at any large corporation continuing to shell out huge MS license fees, but what do I know?

Of course, Microsoft has still tried to spin it to their advantage: it is open source so they can try to FUD support for it (aside: does anyone out there actually use MS support?). And it will only be directly supported in MSOffice 2007, so all those government accounts will have to pay at least one more upgrade fee...

  • Official Microsoft press release
  • Stephen O'Grady - excellent Q&A on the whole deal. Definitely worth reading, and there are a bunch of links to other commenters at the bottom as well.
  • Brian Jones - blog entry from the MS guy in charge of MSOffice file formats.
  • SourceForge.net project - the actual converter.

Tags: document microsoft preservation standard

File Formats: MSOfficeXML OpenDocument