ODF support in Office


I took a few weeks off recently, which is why my blog has been fairly inactive the past month. I wanted to take a quick moment to point out some big news that’s been in the works for some time now. Today we announced a number of developments in the document formats arena. Doug Mahugh has all the information up on his blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/dmahugh/archive/2008/05/21/office-support-for-document-format-standards.aspx

The key bit of news that I think many folks will find surprising, but is actually fairly consistent with the direction we’ve been heading the past couple years is that we will provide updates to Office 2007 to include native ODF support. This will allow folks to read and write ODF files, and even set ODF as the default format if that’s something they choose to do. Here’s a screenshot from Doug’s blog:

-Brian

Comments (9)

  1. Scot B says:

    Is the Mac business unit going to be updating office 2008 as well ?

    I can be a bit of a Microsoft bigot but I am very honestly impressed today, way to go !!

  2. Bruno says:

    I think that Gray Knowlton’s blog entry (linked to by the referenced Doug Mahugh blog entry) is great at spelling out the details:

    http://blogs.technet.com/gray_knowlton/archive/2008/05/21/microsoft-adds-save-as-odf-to-office-2007-service-pack-2.aspx

    ———————————————–

    *** Microsoft adds “Save as ODF” to Office 2007 Service Pack 2 ***

    !!! Microsoft Office functionality will be updated to include ODF, PDF and XPS support:

    * Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 2 will include both "Save as ODF" and "Save as PDF and XPS" functionality.

    * The next major release of Microsoft Office, currently codenamed "Office 14," will update its support for IS29500, the specification that resulted from the ISO process.

    !!! Microsoft will contribute to the future evolution of the ODF and Open XML specifications.    

    * Microsoft will join the OASIS ODF Technical Committee

    * Microsoft will participate in the ISO/IEC JTC1 SC-34 committee responsible for the maintenance of Open XML (IS29500)

    * Microsoft will participate in the ISO/IEC JTC1 SC-34 committee responsible for the maintenance of ODF (IS26300)

    * Microsoft will participate in the ISO/IEC JTC1 SC-34 committee responsible for interoperability between IS29500 and IS26300

    !!! Microsoft will contribute to the developments of other document format standards:

    * Microsoft will participate in the standardization of XPS underway in ECMA

    * Microsoft will participate in future maintenance of PDF in AIIM

    * Microsoft will work to promote interoperability with Open XML and UOF, the Chinese national document format standard  

    ———————————————–

    He goes on to answer the inevitable "Why" and "Why now" questions. 😉

    (One question I have is whether Adobe will throw a fit regarding the addition of built-in PDF and XPS support.)

  3. Francis says:

    What odd news! But it leaves me wondering–

    Since it is at present impossible to represent all content in Office documents in ODF files (unless one employs application-specific extensions and/or sacrifices semantics and structure), will you be updating the compatibility checker for use with ODF?

    Also, how complete with the ODF support be? Will it follow the standard in its entirety or confine itself to implementing a commonly used subset and/or mimicking the behavior of current ODF software, even when said behavior conflicts with the standard? (I.E., will Office place a priority on sticking to the standard or making sure that users’ files do not look "broken?")

    Finally, does this announcement have any bearing on standards referred to by ODF? Will we as a corollary see SVG and better HTML support, e.g., in Word?

  4. hAl says:

    [quote](One question I have is whether Adobe will throw a fit regarding the addition of built-in PDF and XPS support.[/quote]

    Adobe put the format up for ISO standardization. That makes it much easier for others to freely implement

    without Adobe having any influence over it anymore. Also it is very easy for MS to implement as they already had plugin for doing so.

  5. hAl says:

    Will the ODF saving functionality be based on de open source ODF translator or on any software contributed by Novell ?

  6. Stefan says:

    Almost unbelievable news, but this is great to hear- the sooner the better! What about Mac Office?

  7. marc says:

    Good news, Brian

    Congratulations.  I hope that this be a sincerely effort toward openness and fair competition , and not just a "hey, guys [brian to office developers], just put a new icon in the save as dialog and call the Clever Age stuff when some clicks on it" … but a really *native* support aimed to achieve fidelity and interoperability in office documents formats ( the ODF TC guys are working toward test cases , reference implementations , etc, so, keep in touch there :-).

    But for now, again, congratulations

  8. beqiraj.net says:

    Office 2007 Service Pack 2 will support more file formats

  9. beqiraj.net says:

    Office 2007 Service Pack 2 (SP2) will support more file formats