Microsoft’s decision to expand the range of document formats supported by Office has prompted a mixed reaction from the channel.
Following its pledge to become ‘more open’ in February of this year, the software giant plans to allow users to open, edit and save documents in Open Document Format (ODF).
The 2007 Microsoft Office system already provides support for 20 different document formats in Microsoft Word, Office Excel and Office PowerPoint. With the release of Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 2 (SP2) in 2009, the list will grow to include support for ODF v1.1, XML Paper Specification (XPS) and Portable Document Format (PDF) 1.5, PDF/A.
Peter Dawes-Huish, chief executive of reseller Linux IT welcomed Microsoft’s announcement, but stressed that the devil is in the detail.
“If this is taken at face value, then it is welcomed by Linux IT,” he said. “However, Microsoft has a history of making announcements on certifications, but the programming of the systems do not always match the hype.”
Greg Carlow, managing director of VAR Repton, said: “It will help, no matter what people say. It will also help Microsoft to move its product set more towards enterprises that will need the interoperability most.”
The European Commission (EC) welcomed any step by Microsoft towards genuine interoperability.
A statement released by the EC said: “In its ongoing anti-trust investigation concerning interoperability with Microsoft Office the Commission will investigate whether the announced support of ODF in Office leads to better interoperability and allows consumers to process and exchange their documents with the software product of their choice.”
Chris Capossela, senior vice president of the Microsoft Business Division,
said the move would create opportunities for developers
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