Now we have two official XML document standards


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Microsoft’s OpenXML / Office 2007 document format passes a hurdle towards international acceptability.

Plenty of noise about the adoption by ECMA of the Microsoft Office OpenXML document standard we now have two sets of new document formats to deal with.

ECMA is the body that approves and manages technical specifications for information and communication systems.

Microsoft is delighted, of course but for their customers it means there are now two official ISO approved standards for the same thing. Hardly a great step forward for standardization.

OpenXML is from Microsoft – the official name for the new document formats in Office 2007 (.docx, .xlsx etc) which we’ve been talking about in Office Watch for some time.

Open Document Format (ODF) is the rival with extensions like .odt and .ods We covered the details of ODF in Office Watch issue

We still believe that Microsoft’s OpenXML (.docx etc) will triumph in the end but not because of any technical superiority (after all both formats are remarkably similar in their fundamentals). OpenXML will benefit from the continued (though tardy) support and marketing push from Microsoft.

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