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ZDNet: OOXML to live in harmony with ODF?

The debate over the OOXML format and the competing ODF is still alive and kicking, but Microsoft just wants everyone to get along. The software giant has been lobbying for its OOXML format's ratification as an ISO standard at a ballot resolution meeting in Geneva later this month, after a failed attempt in September last year. Its opposers support ISO-certified ODF, seen as a close rival of OOXML, but Microsoft says polarizing the discussion into ODF and OOXML camps "trivializes" it.

Oliver Bell, Microsoft APAC chief technology officer, said in an interview with ZDNet Asia: "We have lived with multiple formats as long as we've had computers. ODF continues to be an elegant standard for use side-by-side with OOXML. [The formats] compete side-by-side and are designed for different purposes."

OOXML's place, he said, is in an SOA (service oriented architecture) to move data between business processes.

However, some remain unconvinced of Microsoft's message. Harish Pillay, president of the Singapore Linux Users' Group said in an interview that ODF is quite capable of the same functions. "What [Microsoft] is doing with OOXML is to further lock down [users] with dependencies on Microsoft technologies as part of their business value chain," Pillay said.

Pillay added that OOXML's shortcomings do not make it a candidate for consideration alongside ODF in terms of finding a "global" standard.

"ODF was a project that was started years ago with many companies and groups make it really and truly global. OOXML, on the other hand, has significant issues which the forthcoming ballot resolution meeting is trying to resolve."

Read the complete article by Victoria Ho, ZDNet Asia.

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