… in a roundabout way 😀
I always expected the outcome of the OpenDocument vs Office ‘Open’ XML (the quotes are mine ;)) to be that Microsoft would add limited OpenDocument support to Office 2007 - enough to claim the bullet point, but basically the minimum possible interoperability to claim that feature. But, they’ve pleasantly surprised me.
Instead they’ve given the project to 3rd parties (allowing them, I note, to stick to their original pledge of not supporting OpenDocument in Office itself whilst still making sure it gets done), but most interestingly the project will be open source, under a BSD license, and will get some level of resourcing from Microsoft, presumably in the form of both some cash and advice. It certainly sounds like the effort is genuine, after all it helps Office if it supports OpenDocument well, but the open sourcing I did not expect. I guess it helps them get it done cheaper and it’s not that much of a threat to them to do this, since it’s dealing with a fairly easily readable format. Plus, they still have their patents if they need a stick to beat people with later. 😉
But still, credit where credit is due, this is a good move on their part, and I applaud it. Time will tell.