Readers Respond: Zero Tolerance for Microsoft Office
An ISO standard [document format] does exist, and at least three office suites read/write it fully interchangeably, with two others having only minor issues with layout; others with such support are in the pipeline. This is not years away but present now.
There are even several plug-ins in development for Microsoft Office to allow read/write of ISO26300, and rumor has it that the Open Document Foundation plug-in is pretty good.
Was Coffee specifically referring to Microsoft Open XML? If thats the case, years is probably right. Or never?
Oxford Archaeology: Exploring the Human Journey