Feeds

Belgium adopts open office doc format

Edging away from Microsoft

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Belgium has become the first country to mandate the use of the OpenDocument format (ODF) for office files, albeit tentatively.

From September next year software in all Belgian government departments must be able to read ODF files. If the experiment is successful, ODF will become the standard interchange format - although departments will still be able to exchange office files in proprietary formats internally.

Early last month the ISO voted unanimously to approve the OpenDocument format - an XML specification that originated from Sun's OpenOffice project, and which for a time was known as Open Office XML.

Although Microsoft hasn't changed its Office file formats since 1997, it's fighting OpenDocument with its own rival XML interoperability initiative, on the grounds that the new ISO format "stifles innovation". Microsoft is also pushing its own XML format through the ISO standardization tracks.

It's the most significant federal mandate yet, following the trail blazed by the US state of Massachusetts. An immediate problem facing adopters is that the most up to date version of Microsoft Office, Office 2003, doesn't natively support ODF.

Massachusetts state IT department published a Request For Information for an Office plug-in last month. In response to the RFI, Microsoft says it's supplying technical documentation and granting IP rights to any developers who want to work on such a plug-in.

It's also given Massachusetts state education software licenses worth $30m - or $800 for each college student and $2,400 for each student in further education. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
'In... 15 feet... you will be HIT BY A TRAIN' Google patents the SPLAT-NAV
Alert system tips oblivious phone junkies to oncoming traffic
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.