Microsoft's backward route to ODF support


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Microsoft's decision to add support to Office 2007 for the OpenDocument Format instead of its own OOXML office file format is due to backward-compatibility issues with OOXML, it has emerged.

[...] Microsoft pushed OOXML through as a fast-track ISO standard, and OOXML became IS29500 in April. However, Microsoft on Thursday told ZDNet UK that the changes OOXML had gone through in the ISO ratification process made it more difficult to support OOXML than ODF in Office 2007.

"We already substantially support IS29500"--the OOXML specification that was recently approved by ISO/IEC members--"in Office 2007 and we've announced our plans to update that support in the next version of Office, code-named Office 14," a Microsoft representative said. "The ISO/IEC standardization process resulted in a number of changes to the Open XML specification. While developing our support for ODF requires a substantial amount of work, changes to existing file formats are often more complex than developing new code and therefore more difficult to implement due to backwards compatibility considerations."

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