European standards body Ecma International has accepted Microsoft’s application to produce a standard for its Office productivity applications when using the company’s Open XML format.
Microsoft is aiming to distribute a standard for the apps using Open XML. It hopes this will help allay fears among some users that they may be locked-in to Microsoft software, when it comes to managing and using their documents.
The move is also seen as a reaction to growing support for the open-source OpenDocument format, supported by the likes of IBM, Novell and Red Hat.
Ecma International has created the TC45 technical committee to produce a formal standard for Office applications using Open XML.
The technical committee has the support of Apple, Intel, Toshiba and major end users including Barclays Capital, BP and the British Library.
IBM recently announced new software products to support OpenDocument, particularly aimed at governmental bodies in developing nations, including India, whose government intends using the standard.