November 22, 2005

Microsoft starts to crack on file formats

John McCreesh writes " carries a Microsoft briefing that Redmond intends to allow limited access to its Office file formats. This is a minimal response by Microsoft to the market pressure for open-standard data formats which has already produced the OpenDocument standard adopted by and other competing products. OpenDocument is approved by OASIS - the standards body for XML data formats in business, which is sponsored by all the leading names in IT, including Microsoft. Microsoft is intending to ask ECMA to approve its format.

It is not certain yet whether Microsoft's proposed format will meet the market's criteria for an open-standard specification:
  • the specification must be owned and maintained by a recognised standards body which is truly vendor neutral
  • the specification must be capable of being adopted by any software vendor without restrictions
  • Microsoft must issue an irrevocable covenant not to enforce any of its enforceable U.S. or foreign patents against any implementation of the specification

These criteria have already been met by OpenDocument."


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