Microsoft announced that it will introduce support for Open Document Format, Portable Document Format and XML Paper Specification in Office 2007 SP2, due for release in 2009. This is another step by Microsoft to support Open Source while at the same time hopefully keeping their critics quiet. As I've said before I now expect other Office vendors such as IBM and Sun will now embrace OOXML. While I don't care about ODF support it is a great addition for education where students can use Office 2007 in school and know that they can work on their coursework at home on their Open Source Office suite without formating difficulties. The ability to open and save PDF's is much more useful to me and lets remember that Microsoft had intended to support PDF in Office 2007 until Adobe forced them to pull support in 2006, not really thinking about users there Adobe were ya? I assume Office for Mac will also get support for these formats at some point in the near future also.
The 2007 Microsoft Office system already provides support for
20 different document formats within Microsoft Office Word, Office Excel and Office PowerPoint. With the release of Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 2 (SP2) scheduled for the first half of 2009, the list will grow to include support for XML Paper Specification (XPS), Portable Document Format (PDF) 1.5, PDF/A and Open Document Format (ODF) v1.1.
When using SP2, customers will be able to open, edit and
save documents using ODF and save documents into the XPS and PDF fixed formats from directly within the application without having to install any other code. It will also allow customers to set ODF as the default file format for Office 2007. To also provide ODF support for users of earlier versions of Microsoft Office (Office XP and Office 2003), Microsoft will continue to collaborate with the open source community in the ongoing development of the Open XML-ODF translator project on SourceForge.net.