Skip to comments.U.K. Cabinet Office Adopts ODF as Exclusive Standard for Sharable Documents
Posted on 07/23/2014 10:57:45 AM PDT by Utilizer
The U.K. Cabinet Office accomplished today what the Commonwealth of Massachusetts set out (unsuccessfully) to achieve ten years ago: it formally required compliance with the Open Document Format (ODF) by software to be purchased in the future across all government bodies. Compliance with any of the existing versions of OOXML, the competing document format championed by Microsoft, is neither required nor relevant. The announcement was made today by The Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude.
Henceforth, ODF compliance will be required for documents intended to be shared or subject to collaboration. PDF/A or HTML compliance will be required for viewable government documents. The decision follows a long process that invited, and received, very extensive public input over 500 comments in all...
In making a decision that had been strongly opposed by Microsoft, the Cabinet Offices decision reflects:
the governments policy to create a level playing field for suppliers of all sizes, with its digital by default agenda on track to make cumulative savings of £1.2 billion in this Parliament for citizens, businesses and taxpayers.
The action of the Cabinet Office is doubly significant in light of the decade-long standards war that unexpectedly erupted into public view on September 1, 2005 when a Financial Times journalist in San Francisco posted an article on line that began as follows:
The state of Massachusetts has laid out a plan to switch all its workers away from Microsoft's Word, Excel and other desktop software applications, delivering what would be one of the most significant setbacks to the software company's battle against open source software in its home market.
The state said on Wednesday that all electronic documents created and saved by state employees would have to be based on open formats, with the switch to start at the beginning of 2007.
(Excerpt) Read more at consortiuminfo.org ...
If MS software is so great, why can’t it work with ODF?
It will work better and better with ODF if a few more governments do as the Brits have done.
I think France has already been moving all their police departments to Ubuntu. I bet others followed.
Yep, Microsoft will miraculously work well with ODF if it starts a trend. lol
Obviously, the issue isn’t the storage format; it’s the cost. MS-Word is already using an XML format in its latest incarnations, just not the ODF format; and it uses some unique tags. Nevertheless, Open Office (or LibreOffice) does a good job of reading the MS formats, including the newer XML based ones.
The place where it will be difficult to substitute for MS Office is in the applications where Excel is programmed using VBA. LibreOffice/OpenOffice use a different programming language, so macros are not interchangeable between the two systems.
Forgot to add: I actually find their (Ms) claims ludicrous when you consider that previous versions of msOffice offerings can not read later files saved in newer versions. People using an older version of Word for example are unable to read the newer versions produced in the DOC format -MicroSoft’s own format!
It’s not just that. MS consistently refuses to publish the official standards for the formats it produces, forcing the ‘nix people to have to continually back-engineer them to get the newest versions reliably read by other ‘office’ suites.
Yet another reason why going to the ODF decision is one that should be implemented much more widely.
I have no problem opening most XML in my OpenOffice but OO is still 1-2% behind on some things. It still doesn’t allow the built-in forms thing where you fill in spaces and then save the doc and send it back.
I hope they are working on that.
I agree that some things work better on MS Office, but some are worse.
For example, the changes to the look and feel of Word, IMHO, in 2013 make it more confusing. On the other hand, the menus in OO-Calc seem less usable, requiring more clicking around, than those in Excel, at least for what I do.
Yes. I noticed that too.
I am still amazed at how one of them can be free and the other cost a fortune though.
MS gives generous discounts when it suits them—for OEMs, foreign distribution, students, etc. List is exorbitant!
That is true. Many students need that forms thing though, which OO doesn’t work with yet. I think.
“MS gives generous discounts when it suits themfor OEMs, foreign distribution, students, etc. List is exorbitant!”
Ubuntu and Open Office are free to individuals. That’s a 100% discount!
Can’t argue with free.
Tangentially, someone once noted that in advertising, “Free” and “Sex” are the most attention-grabbing words, although they aren’t ordinarily used in combination.
Good!! I support anything that will help to break the Microsoft monopoly for their mediocre software.
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