Microsoft offers Office 2010 file format "ballot" to fend off EU antitrust

Microsoft’ll add a file format "ballot" to Office 2010, part of a wider move to fend off European Union (EU) antitrust regulators and block massive fines. "Beginning with the release of Office [2010], end users that purchase Microsoft's Primary PC Productivity Applications in the EEA [European Economic Area] in both the OEM and retail channel’ll […]

Microsoft’ll add a file format "ballot" to Office 2010, part of a wider move to fend off European Union (EU) antitrust regulators and block massive fines. "Beginning with the release of Office [2010], end users that purchase Microsoft's Primary PC Productivity Applications in the EEA [European Economic Area] in both the OEM and retail channel’ll be prompted in an unbiased way to select default file format (from options that include ODF) for those applications upon the first boot of any one of them," Microsoft said in its proposal [Word document]. Microsoft didn’t spell out how the file format "ballot" will appear, or what choices, other than ODF (Open Document Format), the open-source word processing, spreadsheet and presentation document standard, will be shown. But the company did promise that "Beginning with the Office Customization Tool released with Office [2010], an updated Office Customization Tool that’ll’ve a mandatory prompt to affirmatively select the default format for file saving for Microsoft's Primary PC Productivity Applications’ll be made available to IT administrators in EEA," said Microsoft.