OASIS Forms Group To Support OpenDocument Format

The new group will provide expertise and resources "to educate the marketplace on the value of the ODF Standard." (Courtesy: TechWeb)

March 7, 2006

2 Min Read
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The OASIS standards consortium said Tuesday it is forming a new committee to rally support for the OpenDocument Format.

OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) announced that its new ODF Adoption Committee will provide expertise and resources "to educate the marketplace on the value of the ODF Standard."

The creation of the committee, proposed to be chaired by IBM's Don Harbison, follows last week's creation of the ODF Alliance, a group of corporations and organizations supporting the ODF format, which was approved as an OASIS standard last May. Microsoft has countered with its OpenXML office software offering, which it has submitted to the European ECMA standards group for approval.

The OASIS group is led by large corporations including IBM, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, and Novell as well as by major library organizations. Microsoft has enlisted its own team of supporters including Apple Computer and Intel.

In announcing the OASIS committee Tuesday, Harbison stated: "The life of a document may far exceed that of a particular software product or vendor. Users have a right to retain control over their work… Open standards in general, and ODF in particular, can help ensure that right."Microsoft has complained that the ODF format is an attempt to establish an "exclusive" standard and has championed its OpenXML as well as Adobe's PDF.

The Initiative for Software Choice (ISC), a trade association aligned with Microsoft, has criticized OpenDocument Format interests for urging what it calls government intervention to achieve its goals.

"The Initiative for Software Choice has long urged governments to make their decisions for software procurement in a technologically merit-based manner," said ISC executive director Melanie Wyne, in a statement. "In other words – let the chips fall where they may, as long as no biased mandates are proffered by law or rule, which intentionally work to tip the scales in favor of a given technology."

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