ODF Alliance Congratulates Malaysia on Preliminary Designation of OpenDocument Format as Malaysian Standard

Alliance Also Welcomes Bristol City Council (U.K.) as Membership Grows to

Nearly 280 Members in 43 Countries

Jul 27, 2006, 01:00 ET from OpenDocument Format Alliance

    WASHINGTON, July 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The OpenDocument Format Alliance
 (ODF Alliance), a broad cross-section of organizations, academia and
 industry dedicated to improving access to electronic government documents,
 today applauded Malaysia's preliminary decision to make ODF an official
 Malaysian standard.
     This past week, Malaysia's standards body voted to propose ODF as a
 country standard, following the recognition in May by the International
 Organization For Standardization (ISO) of ODF as an international standard.
 After a public comment period that ends in October, Malaysia's Ministry of
 Science, Technology and Innovation is expected to formally endorse ODF by
 year's end, recommending the format for use by the public sector.
     "The news from Malaysia continues momentum towards ODF that we are
 seeing around the globe," said Marino Marcich, Executive Director of the
 ODF Alliance. "For instance, France and Belgium have recently identified
 ODF as the kind of open format on which they would standardize. Denmark and
 Norway have recently indicated that they are moving toward using software
 based on open standards, and India is also piloting deployments of ODF
 software within governmental departments."
     The Alliance has grown to nearly 280 members in more than 40 countries,
 including the Bristol City Council in the United Kingdom, among others,
 demonstrating continued momentum for the file format globally. Deputy
 Council Leader Steve Comer said, "With 20,000 employees we're the largest
 employer in the City and provide services for every Bristol home and
 business. It's important to take a lead, as the way we do business affects
 the way everyone else in Bristol does theirs."
     In related news reflecting ODF's strong and growing momentum worldwide,
 the Alliance also acknowledged Microsoft's recent announcement regarding
 ODF. It encouraged the company to further embrace the format and to provide
 native support for ODF in its products.
     "Clearly there is a strong demand from customers for access to a truly
 universal, open standards-based file format," said Marino Marcich. "If
 Microsoft's ODF translator really works, it -- along with converters that
 are being developed by others -- can be a tool to help customers transition
 to an environment where ODF predominates. We believe that customers and
 Alliance members would welcome additional work, and hands-on involvement
 from Microsoft, to ensure that documents can be saved in ODF as easily and
 fully as other formats supported by Office."
     For more information about the ODF Alliance, please visit our Web site
 at http://www.odfalliance.org .

SOURCE OpenDocument Format Alliance