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Microsoft Wants ODF Added to ANSI Standards

by Elizabeth Montalbano, ComputerWorld

Days after declaring its intention to aggressively collect patent royalties from open-source distributors, Microsoft Corp. backed the addition of ODF -- the document file format used widely in open-source alternatives to Microsoft Office -- to a list of business standards. Microsoft also said it will support Office 2007's default document file format, Open XML, for the list maintained by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as well. The company said it supports ODF (Open Document Format for XML) because businesses want choice and interoperability for software they deploy. ANSI recommends business best practices, standards and guidelines to a range of industries in the U.S.  Andy Updegrove said that by supporting ODF as an ANSI standard, Microsoft is "making it appear it is rising above the squabble to do the right thing." Instead, he thinks the move serves as a challenge to vocal ODF supporters to support approval of Open XML as a global standard when a final vote for the draft specification comes before the ISO. To its credit, Microsoft voted for ODF when it came before the ISO (International Organization for Standards), while IBM cast the only negative vote for Open XML when it was up for approval by standards organization Ecma International.

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