I talked with Microsoft CTO Ray Ozzie prior to his interview on the stage at Vortex 2005 this morning about Microsoft supporting the Open Document Format (ODF) and addressing concerns of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Ozzie told me that supporting ODF in Office isn't a matter of principle. Microsoft isn't opposed to supporting other formats. The company just announced support for PDF, and he added that the Open Office XML format has an "extremely liberal" license. Ozzie attributed the tentativeness on ODF support in Office to resource allocation issues, mainly based on the user support demands that would crop up given that exporting to ODF won't have full fidelity with the Microsoft's own formats without some tweaking. Microsoft is working with a French company on translators to determine the scope of the problem in exporting Office documents to ODF. It sounds to me that support for "Save As" ODF in Office is a "when," not and "if." Ozzie also mentioned that Microsoft Office has long supported HTML as a document format, which should fit with the criteria set by Massachusetts in its Enterprise Technical Reference Model.
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