Microsoft's Office Open XML Gets Nod From Ecma, Sans IBM

Voting Ecma members -- except IBM -- approved the move, according to a Microsoft spokeswoman. Members include Adobe Systems, Avaya, Canon, Toshiba, Intel, Microsoft, Barclays' Capital and other companies.

Office Open XML has gained some traction of late. The format has been pushed by Microsoft to assuage concerns that its traditional Office file formats weren't very portable between applications or generations of applications.

Last week, Novell said its version of OpenOffice would support the Office Open XML specification. That led to fear that OpenOffice, an open-source analog of Microsoft Office, would be forked. OpenOffice is backed by the open-source community and can be downloaded from

Novell continues to endorse the rival OpenDocument format (ODF) as the default save-to file format for OpenOffice, according to a statement by Novell CTO Nat Friedman, who cited a desire to provide customer choice and flexibility.

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Corel, the maker of WordPerfect Office, also recently pledged to support Office Open XML.

Some government accounts, most notably the state of Massachusetts, have pushed back against the use of what they call closed file formats. Massachusetts backs the use of ODF and is looking into translators that would move documents from Microsoft formats to ODF and vice versa.