Feeds

Belgium adopts open office doc format

Edging away from Microsoft

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function
Content aggregation, meet the workplace ... oh
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
NetWare sales revive in China thanks to that man Snowden
If it ain't Microsoft, it's in fashion behind the Great Firewall
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.