Last month we reported about UK government’s plans for switching to software which can produce open-source files in the “open document format” (ODF). UK government believes that they can cut costs by doing this way. Microsoft is opposing this proposal related to sharing and collaborating with government documents.
The government proposes to mandate Open Document format (ODF) and exclude the most widely supported and used open standard for document formats, Open XML (OOXML). We believe this will cause problems for citizens and businesses who use office suites which don’t support ODF, including many people who do not use a recent version of Microsoft Office or, for example, Pages on iOS and even Google Docs.
Microsoft Office has supported ODF since 2007, but adoption of OOXML has been more widespread amongst other products than ODF. This move has the potential to impact businesses selling to government, who may be forced to comply. It also sets a worrying precedent because government is, in effect, refusing to support another internationally recognised open standard and may do so for other similar popular standards in the future, potentially impacting anyone who wishes to sell to Government.
You can send in your thoughts to UK government on this proposal. Read about it below.
Please take a few minutes to read the email and seriously consider responding to this consultation. Whether you agree with our proposal or feel that the government proposal is correct, please do take a few minutes to have your voice heard and respond before the consultation closes on 26th February 2014.
It’s worth remembering that the government is seeking responses from anyone, organisations and citizens, so it is possible for you to respond in a number of capacities. Although our response is very detailed yours can be much shorter and simpler, just covering the key points you want to make. You will need to register on the Open Standards Hub site before you can submit your response.