Andy Updegrove writes "Norway has become the latest European country to move closer to mandatory government use of ODF (and PDF). According to a press release provided in translation to me by an authoritative source, Norway now joins Belgium, Finland, and France (among other nations) in moving towards a final decision to require such use. The Norwegian recommendation was revealed by Minister of Renewal Heidi Grande Roys, on behalf of the Cabinet-appointed Norwegian Standards Council. If adopted, it would require all government agencies and services to use these two formats, and would permit other formats (such as OOXML) to be used only in a redundant capacity.Reflecting a pragmatic approach to the continuing consideration of OOXML by ISO/IEC JTC 1, the recommendation calls for Norway to 'promote the convergence of the ODF and OOXML, in order to avoid having two standards covering the same usage.' According to the press release, the recommendation will be the subject of open hearings, with opinions to be rendered to the Cabinet before August 20 this summer.The Cabinet would then make its own (and in this case binding) recommendation to the Norwegian government."