back to article Microsoft spits out ODF plans for Office 2007 SP2

Microsoft wants the world to believe that in these enlightened days it operates an open Office policy to all comers... sort of. And that’s why it’s decided to publish documentation that details its implementation of OASIS Open Document Format (ODF) version 1.1 support in MS Office 2007 Service Pack 2. Microsoft’s Office …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Dubious tactics?

    One potential problem is still that MS chose ODF 1.1 instead of ODF 1.2 that world+dog is currently working on supporting ( 3.0 uses draft ODF 1.2).

    A reason could be that ODF 1.1 is less strict so leaves more opportunity for MS to be incompatible with the rest of the world that uses ODF 1.2. Sheer market share of MS Office would then mean that MS effectively dominates the ODF market with their own flavour.

    Sounds like MS HTML all over again.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Without a hint of irony...

    "MS said in May this year it planned to build support for ODF and Adobe’s Portable Document Format (PDF) 1.5 and XML Paper Specification (XPS) into Office 2007 SP2, that’s expected to land around Easter next year."

    Next Easter? But all the above are supported by OpenOffice already and it has a familiar GUI that I understand.

    If ODF, PDF etc. increasingly become the standard, why will people continue to spend their money on Office? Hasn't this MS cash-cow been sustained by its use of a closed document format?

    What's their angle? There's *always* an angle.

  3. Ben Lambert

    No matter what they do, it's wrong

    Typical, they do what people want, and yet, the bitching continues.

    Let the Microsoft bashing begin!! (it's the cool and hip thing to do at the reg)

  4. Philip J.F. Quinlan
    Gates Horns

    You can tell they intend to work with others

    From the site

    "/If you have specific questions about Office’s ODF implementation, or if you need further information about the notes themselves, please post questions to the MSDN interoperability forum."/

    The MSDN interoperability forum returns an 404

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Protocol documentation

    Documentation is probably WAY better than the bollocks MS produce in the way of code.

    At least there's a (hopefully) unambiguous spec rather than a garbled interpretation in code form.

    "The only thing open about [Microsoft] is their collective mouths"

    Still one of my favourite quotes about OSF that fits here too.

  7. J


    MS Office still does not have PDF support? (or is it just not v. 1.5?)

    OpenOffice (among others) has had PDF support for years now!

  8. Anonymous Coward


    Microsoft have had decades to get the W3C standards for HTML implemented properly an they never managed it. All they did way provide "extensions" and "enhancements" to ensure customer lock-in. They'll do the same here.

    This is nothing but another attempt to destroy the OpenSource threat, and it's a double whammy as it may trick the regulators into letting them off fines.

    Although one does wonder why they even need to bother, they already support an open standard. "open"; yeah, right. Guffaw.

  9. Pierre

    So OOXML....

    ... wasn't really implementable, was it? Good to see that MS finally saw the light -event if they now *have* to butcher ODF beyond recovery to push their half-baked still-not-ISO-approved XML format (you know, the one that doesn't even comply with the transition specs that were supposedly designed to describe it). Bah. May the recession take care of these pesky MSOffice users who litter my servers and mailbox with their clunky droppings.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Do they know something we don't?

    The link you published to a microsoft press announcement refers us on to the "Document Interop Initiative",

    In the bottom left hand navbar, where it says "About Open XML", there's a link to the "MS Interop site". Which interestingly enough points to

    Is this a cunningly-concealed opinion of MS' bona fides in their whole interoperability promise?

  11. /dev/me

    Microsoft leads us to a new era of interoperability

    >>Microsoft’s Office interoperability overlord Doug Mahugh said today, without even so much as a

    >>hint of irony, that the company hopes such a move will “encourage other companies to take

    >>similar steps to help achieve greater interoperability across the industry.”

    Microsoft once again leads the industry by shining example. Now all we can do is hope others will follow. And ketchup is a vegetable...

    Mine is the one with the OOXML reference sheet in the pocket.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Damned if they do, damned if they don't

    See title.

  13. Tom Silver badge

    will people please stop

    sending me bits of paper formatted information? I dont want to print it - dont send me PDF,Word or ODF documents - I didnt buy a computer to have prehistoric paper formats imposed on it.

    How would you feel if your iPod only played 78rpm records??

  14. Stern Fenster
    Thumb Down

    Damned if they do, damned if they don't????

    Er...... where's the "do", then? You mean mouthing off a bit about "openness"? That counts as "do" for you, does it?

  15. M Bancroft
    Thumb Up

    support for PDF is actually good news

    at last, with support for PDF in a mainstream product the herd will finally grasp that an Adobe PDF document is neither "tamper proof" or "read only"... of course this'll lead Adobe to enhance the standard so their Reader won't recognise MS-Word generated doc's as genuine, but it's a start.

    Is it my imagination or were all the competing formats caused by scope creep from Word Processing into Desktop Publishing?

  16. Anonymous Coward

    @AC 21:45

    So at least we're agreed that they should be damned then?

  17. Geoff Mackenzie

    @Philip J.F. Quinlan

    You're lucky the 404 page for MS's interoperability forum rendered OK in your browser.

  18. Zmodem


    they should add script functions to word. date() and others that get database into as a list. jobcenter letters have times and dates and information from 10 years ago

  19. Gerald Wilson
    Paris Hilton

    OOXML vulnerabilities

    My problem with OOXML is all the unpatched vulns it creates on Windows boxes.

    I have lots of Office 2003 (and older) users. So they get the MS compatibility pack, so they can read Office 2007 files. So far so good. Except that the compatibility pack brings in snippets of Office 2007 code. Which need periodic patches to cope with new vulnerabilities.

    Now here's the rub: if I manage the OS on these boxes with Windows Update, it finds the Windows problems - fine. And Office update finds the Office 2003 problems - also fine. But neither of these finds the Office 2007 compatibility pack vulns. All those unpatched boxes, with all those unpatched vulnerabilities. Tut, tut, tut.

    By chance I've found out the the new-fangled "Microsoft Update" will find the missing patches and apply them. Phew. So I'm forced to use it against my will, but what's new?

    So, the OOXML compatibility pack looks like a golden opportunity for crackers worldwide. Get cracking, I say. Happy Christmas.

    Even Paris gets violated less than a Windows box.

  20. The BigYin

    @Damned if they do, damned if they don't

    If they didn't want to be damned, they should have adopted ODF (both 1.1 and 1.2) when they were approved, rather than push their own, competing standard (and I use "standard" in the loosest possible sense).

    They have made their bed, now they must lie in it. I predict they will use 1.1 "features" (or add proprietary extensions) to kill interoperability. They fear true competition.

  21. Elmer Phud

    About time

    I often get sent Word docs that have odd formatting for text or pictures.

    Odd, in as much as they need drastic surgery to display or print from Open Office.

    I've always refused to go with the 'standard' of MS Office. I don't see why those who don't use it should suffer from being told that they are they are causing 'problems' by not using MS products.

    I am not a trouble maker and not necessarily trying to rock the boat either, just refuse to get tied in to a format that dictates you use only one range of products.

  22. Dave

    @Tom: "will people please stop"

    What format are you looking for then, if Word, PDF and even ODF don't tickle your fancy?

    Back to plain old ASCII ?

  23. Krystan Honour

    What do your customers use ?

    Until large amounts of businesses switch from microsoft office to open office, microsoft will always own the office suite space. A lot of corporates do not trust "free" software as being "ready for prime time", thats the sorry truth.

    if I was a business and was accepting documents from customers and all my customers used open office I'd probably use it to. But if all my customers used microsoft office I would use that. A business can never dictate what their customers use and most large business' are microsoft shops.

    until that changes open office will never make inroads to the behmoth that is microsoft office.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Does this mean I can look forward to PDFs opened from the web opening in Office (by default) instead of Acrobat Reader??

    Acrobat Reader *is* a pile of poo, and they keep updating it every six months to add 'useful' features like the ability to buy things (wow never even thought I'd need that!), but I'd rather that open the file than a full-blown word processor app :-o

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Re: Damned if they do, damned if they don't (ac 21:45)

    Yes, we are. Make's no difference if they claim to support it, we all know they won't. So yes, *we* are damned if they if they do.

  26. Tom Silver badge


    If you ever learn to use computers as something more than a word processor you will realise that ascii is a lot more useful than any of the other formats you mentioned.

    Office software is to your computer what the the man with the red flag was to the motor car.

    At least ODF doesnt walk to the nearest cash machine but it still slows you up.

  27. Kanhef


    Care to explain how plain ASCII is always superior to any form or rich or marked-up text? For example, what's the best way to implement a spreadsheet document?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Microsoft Explores Uranus

    Microsoft - Open Source?, Interoperability?

    They fucked up MS Fister.. or was that MS Blister?

    Every OS they have produced has been a poo bag of incompetence and lock in...

    XP has been the only one that has worked with a zillion patches and Service Pax.

    And the dirty politicing, the rigging of the ISO voting, the never ending anti-trust suits, and on and on and on and on and on it goes.

    Product lock in and upgrade cycles?

    Shonky company, shonky products, shonky credibility.

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