Microsoft to standardize Office formats

Joy Davidson | 23 November 2005

Microsoft to standardize Office formats
By Martin LaMonica
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Published: November 21, 2005, 2:17 PM PST
Last modified: November 22, 2005, 8:00 AM PST

*update* Microsoft intends to submit file formats for its new Office 12
applications to the European standards body ECMA International. The company
hopes this will allay concern about its level of control over document
formats.

Microsoft, which dominates the market for desktop productivity software,
plans to provide the specifications of Office 12 file formats to ECMA early
next month. In addition to Microsoft, the technical committee is being
sponsored by Intel, Apple Computer, NextPage and some European customers,
including British Petroleum and the British Library.

The creation of a fully documented standard derived from the formats, called
Microsoft Office Open XML, will likely take about a year, Microsoft
executives said. Once Microsoft Office Open XML is recognized as an ECMA
standard, the group of companies then intends to pursue standardization at
ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, which is
particularly influential among government customers......