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Gartner: Office Users must lobby Microsoft to support ODF

Microsoft has been lobbying hard to secure an ISO certification for their OpenXML document format.

But their efforts hit a stumbling stone as the rival OASIS OpenDocument format was approved as an international standard by the ISO.

And now, Gartner Analysts find it unlikely that ISO will ever adopt Microsoft's Open XML document format as ISO will not approve multiple XML document formats (0.7probability). Gartner says the future of Microsoft's proposed Open XML format is unclear.

However, Gartner does see a bright future for ODF. They predict that by 2010, ODF document exchange will be required by 50 percent of government and 20 percent of commercial organizations. Here's the full text of Gartner recommendations
Recognize that you eventually will be saving your office product data in an XML-based format. Users that need ODF support today or need to comply with ISO standards should explore applications that support ODF. These applications may be cheaper to acquire, and enable different functionality, but the migration will not be inexpensive and will involve compatibility issues when exchanging documents with Microsoft Office users.

If you need compatibility with Microsoft Office formats or cannot cost justify a migration, lobby Microsoft to support ODF and look for plug-ins that allow you to open and save ODF files from within Microsoft applications.
ODF Foundation announced a new plugin that will make Microsoft Office documents compatible with ODF. Microsoft Office users will be able to easily open, render, and save to ODF files. Microsoft will not provide native ODF support in Office 2007.

Read full Gartner Report | ISO Release