Did MS flip-flop on supporting OpenDocument formats?

Slashdot post: MS Office 12 To Utilize ODF?. J. Random Luser writes “Groklaw is carrying a story about Microsoft quietly engaging a French company to develop Open Document filters for Office 12, due out mid-2006. The SourceForge project claims to be an import filter for MS Office, and that is how the developer describes it. But ZDNet quotes Ray Ozzie as talking about an export filter from MS Office, and this french blog takes Ozzie at his word. Ostensibly the tarball unpacks as OpenOfficePlugin, and SourceForge has the WindowsInstaller.msi listed as ‘platform independent’.” From the ZDNet article: “Ozzie told me that supporting ODF in Office isn’t a matter of principle. Microsoft isn’t opposed to supporting other formats. The company just announced support for PDF, and he added that the Open Office XML format has an ‘extremely liberal’ license.”

Follow-up: Check out the weasly words in Microsoft’s denial (citation lost): “We have no plans to directly support the OpenDocument format at this time,” I suppose that leaves open the back door of “indirectly supporting” by paying a third-party to write an import/export filter.

David Berlind follows up with long but insightful piece, “Hidden OpenDocument agenda uncovered in Massachusetts” concluding with the words, “If that’s not enough for Microsoft, then one can only assume that some other agenda is indeed in play. Just not the one that has so far been implicated.

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.