Thursday, August 2, 2007

Massachusetts Gives OpenXML Some Love

Office2007logo.pngNow, I'm not really an XML fanboy, but the rest of the world is and sometimes you just have to be acceptant of things. So I am. Still, when it comes to XML standards there are two important different types:

  1. Free and open standards, such as the Open Document Format (ODF), backed by GPL lovers such as Sun
  2. Seemingly-open, but in fact proper closed proprietary formats like OpenXML, backed by Microsoft
There is good news about number 2, as Massachusetts has finally come to its senses and now allows state employees to use OpenXML:
"The Open XML format may be used for office documents such as text documents (.docx), spreadsheets (.xlsx), and presentations (.pptx)," the final draft reads. "The Open XML format is currently supported by a variety of office applications including Microsoft Office 2007, OpenOffice Novell Edition, and NeoOffice 2.1. Corel has announced Open XML support for WordPerfect 2007. In addition, the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack enables older versions of Microsoft Office such as Office 2003, XP and 2000, to translate documents to and from Open XML Format for text, presentation and spreadsheet documents."

Don't read too much in this compatibility thing though, we all know that the only software that properly interprets and generates OpenXML is the office suite that everybody uses anyway: Microsoft Office. There's a reason people refer to it as "Office" and it doesn't need a prefix like "Open" (puke) or "Neo" (nerd!). And honestly, nobody cares about Wordperfect anymore.

So, welcome back to Office, Massachusetts!