"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..."