iWork ‘08 supports the Open XML formats

I talked the other week about how the iPhone supports the Open XML formats. It's pretty incredible to see such a huge uptake in applications that support the format, given that the standard was finalized less than 9 months ago. The traditional applications such as Microsoft Office, Open Office, and even Corel Office either already have support or have announced that they will.

Today Apple released iWork '08, which is a suite of three Mac applications called Keynote, Pages and Numbers (similar to PowerPoint, Word/Publisher, and Excel). This suite reads the Office Open XML files with very high fidelity. So this adds to the growing list of implementations of the Office Open XML standard.

I think the OpenXMLCommunity.org folks are pulling together a list of all the applications that currently support Open XML. Here's the list I have currently , but I'm sure I've missed some (I've started to lose track).

Pretty cool stuff!



Quote of the day

4screen AG - Switzerland

"4screen AG is one of the founding members of OpenXMLCommunity.org as we are a strong believer in open document formats. Ecma OpenXML is a key enabler for us to build interoperable solutions which our customers demand. We also support efforts to get OpenXML approved as an ISO/IEC standard."

- Patrik Döös

Comments (21)
  1. Luke says:

    When can we expect full support for ODF in Microsoft Office?

    It would be a shame if all the above mentioned software support both standards while MS Office only supports one.

  2. Scot says:

    I am a mac user and have been waiting with for intel native office, this will bide me over until mac office comes out.

    I dont use windows so i don’t have access to office 2007, but I think it will be interesting to see what kind of compatibility issues there are between the different authoring tools of each file type.

  3. KB says:

    My brand new Windows Mobile 6 device doesn’t even support docx, yet the iPhone does.  That’s pretty bad on Microsoft’s part.

  4. razmaspaz says:

    All I can find from apple, is that Pages ’08 will support reading docx, but will it write docx?  

  5. Bruce says:

    Reading a file format is a far cry from full support.

  6. Eshwar S says:

    Blackberry also supports Office’s new XML format

  7. Rosyna says:

    So Apple supports the new Open XML format on Mac OS X before Microsoft does? There’s still no excel importer from Microsoft and the word and powerpoint importers are beta.

  8. jones206@hotmail.com says:

    I think the timing of Open XML support in products like iWorks, or MacOffice were more related to their entire project schedule, and not specifically the Open XML formats. The MacOffice folks have a ton of stuff they are working on for the next version, so it’s not suprising that you aren’t seeing full Open XML support until they reach that point.

    I think it’s funny that some of the same folks who claim that there are all sorts of applications out there that fully support ODF, are at the same time claiming that these implementations of Open XML are not impressive. Have you seen the other applications out there that support ODF? OpenOffice gets the closest to being fully complaint, and even they are still pretty far off. http://testsuite.opendocumentfellowship.org/summary.html

    I think the work that Apple did here (as well as the other companies that now support OpenXML) is very encouraging. It’s definitely a much broader level of adoption than you saw for ODF at it’s same point in time (9 months after standardization).


  9. Jan Brandstetter says:

    And the patent ambush of Open Office XML? Is it resolved? Are patents made available under RF terms?

  10. jones206@hotmail.com says:

    There is a ton of FUD out there about patents behind open XML, but that’s all it is… FUD

    There are no patent issues. The Open XML formats are available under the OSP (which IBM just recently copied and renamed the ISP). You can find out more about the OSP, and even read some quotes from folks in the open source community who have voiced they support for the OSP: http://www.microsoft.com/interop/osp/default.mspx


  11. Gary McGath says:

    The link for the download for older versions of Office links to Apple. It looks as if there’s a missing </a> tag.

  12. Jan Brandstetter says:

    Thanks a lot Brian. Is the OSP a RF-license or a indemnification? I am no lawyer but as far as I know mere "promises" are not legally binding in my jurisdiction. It is really important for me to be safe. As a small business I cannot afford to step in a patent trap and to be blown up.

    I know that Microsoft recently managed to stop a MP3 patent troll but I am not Microsoft.


  13. J.R. Reader says:

    Found this one recently: "Is Sun Friend or Foe?" by Gary Edwards – the last of the founding OASIS ODF TC members. I don’t recall seeing it here:


    This one discussing merits of OPC is pretty interesting as well:


  14. Anonymous says:

    Jan,the OSP is clearly valid in the US, where Microsoft is based. This is what matters.

  15. jaydubb says:

    I’m wondering if the inability of Mac Office 2008 to use Open XML and the porting of Mac Office 2008 is really the problem to the late release of Mac 2008 (scheduled for release early next year). I’m wondering if this isn’t dirty politics on Microsoft’s part to wait until the school season and Christmas is over to release Mac Office 2008. I mean after school and Christmas there’s really no reason to buy this product. And it may seem like Microsoft is hurting because of this move, but Microsoft relies 100% on its OS releases and Office for XP/Vista. If this is a sneaky maneuver to play dirty with Mac customers, shame on Microsoft.

  16. Markus says:

    The biggest software company in the world is not able to ship an office suite with OXML support on time. That’s so embarassing. Your lazy MacBU should take a close look at Apple. Not only did Apple add OXML support, they even added another full featured appication to the bundle.

    You microsofties are not even able to update existing apps. Let alone you fail to add new apps. Considering the amount of money you are charging for your crappy office suite that’s really an effrontery.

    I’m glad that I left MS behind. You lazy people are no longer getting any money from me.

  17. Jonathan says:

    Brian, it really doesn’t make much sense for MS to release a file format that isn’t going to be able to lock people into the MS Ecosystem.

    I’ve read a bunch of the evidence in various MS court cases and whilst I believe that MS has a lot of fantastic people, it’s a fundamentally corrupt and predatory organization from the top-down.

    Novell, Netscape, Sun, Apple. "Their mistake was to trust us."

  18. John Lockwood says:


    How many Microsoft programmers does it take to write a new Mac version of Office (or Open XML translator, or new Messenger, or…)?

    Answer = 100

    It takes 50 to blog about it,

    It takes 40 to write the DRM/copy protection/product activation/EULA

    It takes 8 to spin how good Microsoft are, how good the product is, how it is equal to the Windows version, how complicated a project it is, how it is all Apple’s fault for switching to PowerPC, Mac OS X, Intel, etc. how the MacBU is the biggest, greatest team of Mac developers (outside Apple)

    It takes 1 to actually [slooooowwwly] write it

    and the last one died and nobody noticed.

  19. As Ecma TC45 were working on what would become Ecma-376 there were changes to the specification. Microsoft

  20. hAl says:


    The covenant not to sue and the OSP are one-way agreements where the party that covenants or promises is the only party bound by the covenant/promise.

    Does your legal jurisdiction not recognize any forma of one-way contracts or does your legal jurisdiction not see a covenant or a promise as a formal agreement ?

    And does Microsoft actually have softwarepatents in your jurisdiction ?

  21. Microsoft のOffice 2007のXML文書形式であるOpen XM…

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