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Microsoft United Kingdom Technology

Microsoft Circles the Wagons To Defeat ODF In the UK 89

Andy Updegrove writes "Three weeks ago, we heard that Francis Maude, a senior UK government minister, was predicting the conversion to open source office suites by UK government agencies. Lost in the translation in many stories was the fact that this was based not on an adopted policy, but on a proposal still open for public comment — and subject to change. It should be no surprise that Microsoft is trying to get the UK to add OOXML, its own format standard, to the UK policy. Why? According to a messaging sent to its UK partners, because it believes that a failure to include OOXML 'will cause problems for citizens and businesses who use office suites which don't support ODF, including many people who do not use a recent version of Microsoft Office or, for example, Pages on iOS and even Google Docs.' Of course, that's because Microsoft pushed OOXML as an alternative to ODF a decade ago. If you don't want the same objection to be valid a decade from now, consider making your views known at the Cabinet Office Standards Hub. The deadline is February 26."
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Microsoft Circles the Wagons To Defeat ODF In the UK

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  • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @03:56PM (#46305679)

    OpenOffice or LibreOffice can be configured to store files in .doc and .xls and .ppt formats - problem solved!

    While true, that doesn't mean either of those products are permitted in every office. A lot of IT departments are notoriously inflexible on this sort of matter. If your organization standardizes on something, odds are they aren't going to want you using some other unapproved product. If you were to point out that this inflexibility is probably dumb, I am inclined to agree with you. Nevertheless it does occur and it is a real problem. Microsoft isn't strictly wrong here though they are being a bit disingenuous regarding some of the nuances of the situation.

    I have standardized my company on LibreOffice but its ability to read and write Microsoft Office files is imperfect at best. It's particularly bad at the more recent .docx and .xlsx files. It reads and writes them well enough to be useful most of the time but don't expect perfection.

  • by Dr_Barnowl ( 709838 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @05:26PM (#46306475)

    Excellent irony by using the MS Word lsquot and rsquot characters :-)

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson