Microsofts Anti-ODF Battle Continues

Microsoft is continuing to push for its OpenXML "standard" over OpenDocument Format on two new fronts.

Microsoft is far from done trying to convince people that its OpenXML is an "open" standard thats every bit as good as the OpenDocument Format.

In its latest moves against ODF, Microsofts Bill Gates, speaking at the Microsoft Office System Developers Conference, announced that the company has joined with 39 other organizations to form the Open XML Formats Developer Group.

According to Gates, this group is for organizations that are committed to supporting the Office OpenXML format. The Microsoft-owned site is run by Doug Mahugh, a Microsoft "technical evangelist."

Microsoft claims that Apple, Intel and numerous Microsoft partners and resellers, such as InterKnowlogy and The Computer Solution Company, have joined the OpenXML group.

/zimages/1/28571.gifClick here to read how the new OpenXML file format could significantly slow the adoption of Office 2007.

Perhaps a more significant move than this public relations announcement is that Microsofts Jim Thatcher has just joined the U.S. national body responsible for the JTC1 SC34 "V1 Text Processing: Office and Publishing Systems Interface," which, in turn, is the group responsible for sheparding the ODF through the International Organization for Standardization certification process.

Specifically, as Andy Updegrove, a partner with the Boston law firm Gesmer Updegrove LLP and the editor of, explained, "It just so happens that this small subcommittee (six companies, including Microsoft) is the entity charged with reconciling the votes that are being cast in the ISO vote to adopt the OASIS OpenDocument Format."

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