ODF News - Significant Milestones, Continued Momentum for OpenDocument Format

Released 03/01/2008

Highlighted in 2007 Annual Report

Comprehensive Analysis Demonstrates Gains for ODF as Proprietary Document Formats Fall Increasingly Out of Favor In Public Sector

Washington, DC, January 3, 2007. The ranks of governments requiring the use of OpenDocument Format (ODF) continued to swell in 2007, as did the number of software vendors implementing support for ODF in their products, according to a new annual report published by the ODF Alliance.

“By any measure, 2007 was an incredibly successful year for ODF, as an unparalleled number of governments – both national and regional – recognized ODF as the truly open standard, providing clear evidence of ODF's emergence as the format of the future,” said Marino Marcich, Managing Director, ODF Alliance. “In 2007, proprietary formats became increasingly unacceptable, especially in the public sector, which must not only ensure long-term preservation of records and access to public information, but must do so without requiring citizens to buy software from a particular vendor.”

The comprehensive report highlights major developments for ODF in 2007, including:

  • The Netherlands and South Africa officially adopted policies requiring ODF's use by government agencies, and Norway required the use of ODF for all published, revisable documents on government web sites. They now join ten other countries and six regional governments that have adopted pro-ODF policies.

  • The 1st International ODF User Workshop in Berlin, which brought together officials from 20 governments from around around the world that have already announced pro-ODF policies or are actively considering such a step, showed that governments are not only “adopting” ODF as a matter of policy, but also deploying it.

  • Software support for ODF grew rapidly in 2007 and now includes over 40 applications, with more than a dozen announcements of new or improved support during the months of September and October alone.

  • Accessibility-related improvements were incorporated into ODF v1.1, allowing ODF to meet or exceed the accessibility features of any other office document format.

  • Reflecting the growing momentum behind ODF, the ODF Alliance's membership will soon surpass 500, with member organizations in 53 countries and chapters in India, Malaysia, Brazil, the European Union, Portugal, Poland, Hungary, Latvia, and the Benelux countries.

“I expect 2008 to be a year in which 'critical mass' will be reached in terms of the number of governments requiring the use of ODF, a turning point that will bring to an end the era in which proprietary document formats have dominated the public sphere,” said Graham Taylor, Chief Executive of Open Forum Europe, which coordinates Alliance activities in the European region.

Looking ahead to 2008, there are several encouraging developments related to the ODF specification itself under the stewardship of the OASIS OpenDocument Technical Committee, which maintains the ODF specification, in addition to signs that many other governments are in the process of formally adopting ODF. The full report can be found at: http://www.odfalliance.org/resources/AnnualReport2007.pdf.

The OpenDocument Format Alliance is an organization of governments, academic institutions, non-government organizations and industry dedicated to educating policy makers, IT administrators and the public on the benefits and opportunities of ODF.

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