Corel's WordPerfect Office software is being updated to support both the Oasis-based Open Document Format (ODF) and Microsoft's Office Open XML (OOXML).
Corel originally appeared to favour ODF, after being heavily involved in its development, but it has now said it intends to support both the non-proprietary ODF and Microsoft's proprietary offering.
Corel is a member of open standards organisation Oasis and the ODF Alliance, and one of its developers was among the original authors of the Oasis Open Document Format specification.
Beginning in mid-2007, Corel will provide open, view and edit support for OOXML and ODF, as a first step towards a comprehensive set of functionality features for both formats.
Corel said that by supporting both ODF and OOXML it was in a unique format-neutral position, independent of Microsoft, Adobe and other vendors' efforts to propagate their respective standards.
This format-neutral approach would allow Corel to focus directly on addressing the needs of customers, whose adoption choices will determine which formats will become most relevant, said Corel.
"Corel is, and will continue to be, a strong supporter of open standards. The XML format roadmap for Corel WordPerfect Office reflects our clear focus on responding to the needs of our customers, especially those in government who are making significant efforts to adopt open standards," said Richard Carriere, general manager of office productivity at Corel.
Carriere said, "Because it is free, truly open and certified as an ISO standard, many customers see ODF as the most promising format for the future of office productivity. But with the debut of Microsoft Office 2007, Microsoft OOXML will immediately experience broad dissemination."
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