Feeds

Danes ditch Microsoft, take ODF road - at last

Cross party parliamentarians gang up against Redmond

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The Danish Parliament has agreed to ditch some Microsoft-based software in favour of the ODF standard from April next year.

According to version2.dk and courtesy of politken.dk, parliamentary parties decided - after four years of deliberation - to use the Open Document Format in all Danish state office documents.

“My ambition is that in the future we will only communicate using open standards,” Science Minister Helge Sander of moderate right wing party Venstre told Denmark’s Parliament.

The decision to axe Microsoft’s Office document formats won cross-party support.

“We believe that open source is the way forward and should replace the patent attitudes that we currently have,” said the Unity List’s Per Clausen.

For the time being, only national institutions will make the switch to ODF. Regional bodies will make the shift at a later, yet to be announced, date.

In February 2008 a Danish Unix user group - DKUUG - lashed out at Microsoft's Office 2007 file format, by filing a formal complaint to the European Union. It claimed MS was in breach of the EC Treaty article 81 on unfair competition over the Danish state mandatory regulation of ECMA-approved OOXML.

“DKUUG asks the commission to make a decision to make void the part on OOXML of the Danish regulation on mandatory standards [ECMA-376 or ISO/IEC DIS 29500] OOXML, so that other products can participate in the competition on office software for the Danish state," it demanded at the time.

“This is in line with regulations in other countries, for example in the federal Belgium, or Norway, where only the ISO standard ODF is specified for the subject.”

DKUUG vice chair Keld Simonsen claimed that the Danish state was allowing Redmond to maintain a private monopoly in Denmark, even though OOXML didn’t fulfill the “requirements on openness” that Parliament agreed upon in its decision B103 in 2006.

“A document standards decision may not matter to you today, but as someone who relies on constant access to editable documents, spreadsheets and presentations, it may matter immensely in the near future,” said Bhorat.

Of course, those comments came at a time when Microsoft was still battling to gain ISO approval of the OOXML format.

By April that year, MS finally sealed a deal to get OOXML recognised as an international standard alongside ODF.

Nearly two years on, and Denmark's parliamentary members have blown a big fat raspberry in Microsoft's "we're interoperable" face. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cloudy CoreOS Linux distro declares itself production-ready
Lightweight, container-happy Linux gets first Stable release
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.