Microsoft Promises to Add Access to Open Format

Interchangeable ODF will be available in '09 update; European regulators still wary
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted May 22, 2008 2:00 PM CDT
Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer   (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
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(Newser) – Microsoft says it will allow documents created in a competitor’s interchangeable format to open in its Office 2007 software package by mid-2009, but European officials are taking a wait-and-see attitude, the New York Times reports. “We have heard a lot of promises from Microsoft, but as of yet, we are hoping for results,” said a Norwegian regulator.

The company said it will issue a free update allowing Open Document Format files to be opened, edited, and saved in Office, and will also allow customers to work with Adobe’s PDF files beginning next year. ODF was adopted in May 2006 as the world’s first global standard for interchangeable documents. OpenOffice is distributed free.