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26 April 2012, 16:16

Microsoft Office 15 to support ODF 1.2

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Microsoft has told attendees at the ODF Plugfest in Brussels that the next versions of Microsoft's Office products, Office 15 and Office 365, will support Open Document Format (ODF) 1.2. Microsoft already supports ODF 1.1 in Office 2007 SP1, Office 365, SharePoint and SkyDrive WebApps. Microsoft fought ODF as it became an open international standard (ISO/IEC 26300) by creating its own standard OOXML (ISO/IEC 29500) and pushing it through standards organisations. But Microsoft has now apparently accepted that ODF has widespread support with other vendors, governments and organisations.

The ODF Plugfest – organised by the OpenDoc Society and hosted by Microsoft – brought together the developers of many ODF-supporting products, including Calligra Suite, LibreOffice, WebODF, ODF Toolkit and Multiracio's EuroOffice, to test how documents can be exchanged between actual implementations of the ODF 1.2 specification. The vendors also gave updates on the status of ODF in their products and it was in Microsoft's presentation(ODP) that the news that the next versions of Microsoft's Office products would support ODF 1.2 was announced.

ODF 1.2 was approved by OASIS in October 2011 and among the changes to the document standard is the introduction of OpenFormula, a standard for expressing formulae in ODF spreadsheets. ODF 1.2 has already been widely adopted and is supported by, along with others previously mentioned, Gnumeric, Google Docs, Zoho Office and AbiWord. Microsoft's ODF 1.2 support should be available to developers when it releases a Technical Preview of Office 15 in the summer.


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