Microsoft fired the latest salvo in the increasingly antagonistic document standards debate last week when the company accused IBM of orchestrating efforts to block ISO fast-track approval of Office Open XML (OOXML), a document format devised by Microsoft for its office software suite. IBM isn't taking the accusations sitting down, however, telling Ars that Microsoft is leading a fight against truly open standards.
As governments around the world begin to establish IT procurement policies that favor open standards, the stakes in the document format dispute are rising. The trend towards mandatory standards adoption in government IT has led some to speculate that government agencies and companies that work closely with the public sector will begin to turn away from Microsoft's deeply entrenched office offerings, instead adopting alternatives like IBM's Lotus Notes, Sun's StarOffice, or OpenOffice.org which use the OpenDocument Format (ODF). Microsoft has been seeking ISO approval for its own OOXML format in order to ensure that its software remains competitive.
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