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Wheeler: Why OpenDocument Won (and Microsoft Office Open XML Didn�t)

Oct 05, 2005, 02:30 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by David A. Wheeler)

"As noted in Groklaw, FT.com, ZDNet, and other places, the State of Massachusetts is backing the OpenDocument standard as the standard format for office applications, text documents, spreadsheets, charts and graphical documents like drawings and presentations. All Massachusetts agencies are expected to migrate by January 1, 2007. This is instead of Microsoft's new Office XML format (aka Microsoft Office Open XML File format).

"This is big news. Currently most people exchange office documents using Microsoft's binary formats (known as .doc, .ppt, and .xls), but now that the XML technologies are available and more mature, many people want to switch to an XML-based approach. There's general acceptance in the information technology community that for office documents some XML format will eventually replace the obsolete binary formats. Most people, a few years ago, expected that whatever XML format Microsoft created would win. Yet Microsoft appears to have lost the war, due to its own poor decisions..."

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