OOXML gets dumped… By Microsoft!

If true, this is a quite startling turn of events in the OOXML/Office 2007 saga (emphasis mine).

Today, Microsoft announced that it was making new commitments to document interoperability within its Office product line for Windows. Office 2007 Service Pack 2 will add native support for OpenDocument Format (ODF) 1.1, PDF 1.5, PDF/A and XML Paper Specification, an XML-based fixed-document format created by Microsoft.

Just read that again… Office 2007 will add native support for ODF (IS26300) the format used by OpenOffice.org, IBM’s Lotus Symphony, Koffice and others…

And more importantly Doug (the ssssnake) goes on to say:

Mahugh stated that Microsoft would not implement the final ISO version of OOXML until Office 14 ships at an unstated date in the future.

So what the **** has gone on here? Anyone got any suggestions?

[Update: 23:00] Having just read Microsoft’s press release, it appears to be true. Blow me down with a small and lightweight feather. One quote that immediately caught my attention is this (again emphasis mine):

“We are committed to providing Office users with greater choice among document formats and enhanced interoperability between those formats and the applications that implement them,” said Chris Capossela, senior vice president for the Microsoft Business Division. “By increasing the openness of our products and participating actively in the development and maintenance of document format standards, we believe we can help create opportunities for developers and competitors, including members of the open source communities, to innovate and deliver new value for customers.”

Blimey. This language is unusually opaque for M$. Since when have they ever wanted to “help create opportunities for competitors”??? I can only guess at what has been going on here but I bet it has something to do with the EU 😉

WOW. We do really live in interesting times.

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