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European Commission for Interoperable Systems: Statement on MS Interoperability Announcement

Thomas Vinje, Legal Counsel and Spokesperson for ECIS, provided the following official statement shortly after the February 21 announcement by Microsoft pertaining to interoperability, intellectual property rights and open source software.

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Microsoft pledges to open Office 2007 programming interfaces to enable ODF

Microsoft said it will open up the application programming interfaces of Office 2007 to outside software programmers so that different document formats, such as ODF, can be the default. Gray Knowlton, group product manager for the Microsoft Office system, reiterated Microsoft's position that's Open XML, ODF, and other formats should coexist.

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European Commission considers ODF mandate

The European Commission and its member states have been mulling a mandate that all government documents be created in the Open Document Format (ODF)... Representatives from standards bodies in some 37 countries are meeting in Geneva this week to discuss whether Microsoft's OOXML format should be designated as open by ISO. If ISO fails to approve OOXML as a standard, Microsoft could lose more customers than just European governments.

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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.

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A renewed wish for open document standards

Zaheda Bhorat, Open Source Programs Manager of Google, writes: The subject of open document standards grows in importance not only for the technically- minded, but for anyone who uses a computer to work on editable documents. Across the board, standards are crucial. They ensure that the devices and technology you use today will continue to work tomorrow, that your DVDs will play in your player, that your calls will go through to any network, and that your documents will be accessible from whichever system you choose today and in the future.

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