While Dan Farber was busy getting comment from Microsoft CTO Ray Ozzie regarding the chances that Microsoft Office may one day support the OpenDocument Format (ODF), Corel officials were apparently preparing their official response to a report (seen here on ZDNet's Between the Lines) that the company decided to reaffirm its commitment to ODF after originally saying it wasn't ready for prime-time. That report, based on an e-mail to me from OpenOffice.org representative Gary Edwards, was confirmed by another e-mail; this time from Corel's communication manager for WordPerfect Greg Wood. Here, republished with Wood's permission, is what the quotable portion of the e-mail said:
Corel is a strong supporter of the continued development and adoption of the OASIS Open Document Format, and Corel strongly endorses ODF. Corel views Open Standards as a way for customers to maintain seamless and timeless access to their documents, and Open Standards free customers from the risks and costs related to reliance on a single vendor.
For these reasons, Corel is actively expressing its strong support for the adoption of open standards industry-wide. We’ve indicated as much to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and we’re very optimistic about the potential that ODF, PDF and other open standards hold in helping advance the cause of alternatives to Microsoft.
In terms of Gary Edwards’ comments Monday, he’s correct that Corel is an original member of the OASIS Technical Committee on the Open Document Format, and indeed, Paul Langille, one of our senior developers, is among the original contributors to the ODF specification (and we know how lucky we are to have him).
Although I sincerely appreciate his kind words about Paul and Corel’s founding membership in the ODF TC, Gary didn’t accurately portray Corel or WordPerfect Office. Corel's dedication to WordPerfect Office's success has been clearly articulated in a series of new product releases, continued product updates, ongoing customer wins and a clear commitment to provide real customer value. I won’t respond to Gary's comments further, although I will say that WordPerfect Office today possesses very robust XML capabilities and Corel’s willingness and enthusiasm in support of open standards generally is unassailable.
Suffice to say, Corel remains committed to working alongside OASIS and other technology vendors to ensure the continued evolution of the ODF standard and the adoption of open standards industry-wide.
In other news, again by way of Gary Edwards, Novell has apparently climbed aboard the OpenDocument Format train as well. Although Novell's representatives participated in the deliberations that led to Massachusetts' standardization on the ODF, today is the first day that a Novell representative is being listed as a member of the technical committee at the OASIS consortium that's responsible for the standard.