Still immersed in thoughts about interoperability and standards from my trip to Austin, I was interested to read an article in the New York Times Online today titled Open-Source File Format Is to Be a Part of Microsoft Office reporting that Microsoft is about to announce that it will make the interchangeable document format of a competitor available in its own market-leading Office 2007 software during the first half of 2009. This from the article: “
[Microsoft] said it planned to give customers the ability to open, edit and save documents in Open Document Format — the main competitor to the Microsoft Word format — through a free update.
With the update, consumers will be able to save text documents in ODF format and adjust Office 2007 settings to automatically save documents in the rival format.
Next year, Microsoft will also let consumers open and save files in Adobe’s Portable Document Format 1.5 and PDF/A formats. “
This is excellent news for those advocating the use of open standards for file and data exchange between applications – of course, as with any such promise, the proof will be in the pudding!