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Sat., Aug. 16, 2008, 5:23 a.m.

The new and improved Microsoft Office…

Good morning, Netizens...

While for some of you this piece of recently-announced information may be unimportant. However, given the number of people whom I know regularly use Microsoft Office in the workplace, many of whom are experiencing portability issues between various versions of Microsoft Office documents, perhaps this might explain why:

Aug 15th, 2008 | GENEVA -- The format used by Microsoft Corp.'s Office 2007 programs to save documents will become an international standard after appeals against the move failed to gather sufficient support, the International Organization for Standardization said Friday.
The decision ends months of wrangling over whether Microsoft's Office Open XML format should be considered an open standard — a requirement for many lucrative government contracts.
Brazil, India, South Africa and Venezuela had complained that an international ballot held in April was poorly conducted and rushed them into a decision based on incomplete information.
Technical panels at the Geneva-based ISO and its sister organization, the International Electrotechnical Commission, considered the appeals but concluded that they lacked the necessary support of two-thirds of their membership.
The two bodies said it will take several weeks before OOXML officially becomes an international standard. (Portions from The Associated Press Wire)

rough translation:

Once it becomes an international standard, things will get better. Microsoft knows such things.

even better translation:

There are already alternatives available which will translate any version of Microsoft Office documents, and some of them are free to the public. This is opposed to Microsoft's own Office programs previous to 2007 which require a patch to be interoperable.

Now why would someone want to take an obfuscatious, poorly-documented, somewhat unpopular ISO international software standard and create applications that can easily translate all documents written under this standard free to the public?

If there is sufficient interest in this ongoing development, I will attempt to clarify the difference between the various standards for Microsoft Office documents and explain the alternatives which currently are available.

Dave




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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.