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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Office 2007 SP2 a Commitment to File Formats Interoperability

Service Pack 2 is coming in 2009

Having brought Open XML on par with ODF by ratifying the native file format of the Office 2007 System as an ISO standard, Microsoft is now embracing both OASIS Open Document Format (ODF) version 1.1 and Open XML (Ecma 376 Edition 1). The company claims that its commitment to file format interoperability is at the heart of the move to implement ODF 1.1 along with Open XML into Office 2007 Service Pack 2, due for release next year. The software giant has already published documentation offering insight into the Office 2007 SP2 implementation of ODF 1.1, and will do the same for Open XLM in the coming weeks.

“This is an extremely valuable contribution to the pursuit of grounded, practical interoperability among applications,” Dennis Hamilton, document-system interoperability architect, said. “This step raises the bar for transparent disclosure of how standard formats are supported at a detailed level.”

According to Microsoft, the notes detailing ODF support in Office 2007 SP2 are designed to deliver a complex perspective on the decisions the company has taken in the implementation process, but also on the data that the software giant has added to the files and on the variances resulted due to specific approaches. Still, making Office 2007 SP2 play nice with ODF is just the beginning for Microsoft.

The Redmond company indicated that it would not stop with the addition of ODF and PDF support to Office 2007, and with the publishing of the implementation notes. In this regard, the software giant aims to be intimately involved in the evolution of both its Open XML and ODF, XML Paper Specification and PDF.

Microsoft issued a call for transparency and collaboration to the members of the industry, when it came down to the evolution of open standards for the sake of file format interoperability among office productivity solutions.

“By publishing notes on how we are implementing file format standards in Microsoft Office, we are providing detail that others can use as a reference point for their own applications,” Doug Mahugh, senior project manager for Office interoperability, explained. “We encourage other companies to take similar steps to help achieve greater interoperability across the industry.”

Office 2007 SP2 a Commitment to File Formats Interoperability

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