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Government claims ODF support from Microsoft and Google

UKAuthority - The government has claimed a boost for its efforts to promote the use of open standards in government IT by striking agreements with Microsoft and Google to provide support for the campaign.

Francis Maude, the outgoing minister for the Cabinet Office, announced the moves for the companies to make it easier to use open document format (ODF) with a claim that it will give users a wider choice of the software they use.

It is especially significant given Microsoft's predominant role in the office applications market, and earlier reports that it had argued against plans to include ODF in the government's open standards.

ODF, which was developed by the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), is an XML-based specification for different types of documents. It is aimed at reducing the reliance on proprietary software and making it easier to share documents and collaborate.

Linda Humphries, senior technical adviser in the Office of the Chief Technology Officer, outlined the changes in a blogpost.