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May 16, 2006

OpenDocument scores two

Posted by David Hunter at 11:35 PM ET.

The mention of IBM’s Lotus products in a previous post reminds me that, as expected, IBM has announced that they have jumped on the OpenDocument bandwagon in a big way:

IBM chose the Deutsche Notes User Group conference in Germany this week to make a significant announcement about its adoption of the ODF (OpenDocument Format) in the next version of Lotus Notes.

The first beta, due out this fall, will include an ODF-compatible version of OpenOffice embedded in the Notes e-mail application. It will include word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation applications (or editors, as they are called), giving users the ability to create, edit, and save documents natively in ODF.

Amy Wohl, president of Wohl Associates, called the news significant on a number of levels.

“This is the way of getting the ODF standard out to a large number of users in a very short time and, since standards live or die on how many people use them, this gives it a jumpstart,” Wohl said.

Code-named Hannover, the new Notes version will be available with the productivity editors included to all Notes users who are current on software maintenance contacts. IBM estimates that number at 125 million users.

And in related news, Robert Jacques reports at vnunet.com that ISO deals blow to Microsoft with OpenDocument approval:

The International Organisation for Standardisation’s recent approval of the OpenDocument format is a major blow to Microsoft, according to Gartner.

The analyst firm said that the ISO’s unanimous approval of ISO/IEC 26300 earlier this month effectively elevates the Oasis OpenDocument format to the official XML document format.

It is now unlikely that the ISO will adopt Microsoft’s Open XML document format.

“This validates the Oasis technical committee’s nearly four-year effort (led by Sun Microsystems, and including Adobe Systems, IBM and Textuality) to develop an XML representation for document formats such as text files and spreadsheets,” noted a Gartner analysis written by Rita Knox and Michael Silver.

“From the outset, we predicted that Microsoft would face greater competition if Oasis succeeded.”

While not unexpected either, this reinforces the difficulties that Microsoft Office will continue to have in settings, particularly governmental, where document standards are important. I should also note that opinions vary as to whether this kills any possibility of Microsoft’s Open XML becoming an ISO standard.



Filed under Adobe, Coopetition, IBM, Microsoft, ODF, OOXML, Office, Office 2007, OpenOffice.org, Standards, Sun

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