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