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Open source lobby fury over Office format fast-track

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OSS

Two leading open standards bodies claim Microsoft's new Office XML formats are being 'fast tracked' into official European ISO/IEC standards without due consideration.

OpenForum Europe (OFE) and the ODF Alliance have joined forces to protest against the speed at which the Office Open XML standard is being rushed through. The groups claim that interested parties have until only February 5 to state their objections - just days after the official launch of Office 2007. The standard is being submitted by the European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA).

The duo claim the process means Europe is being 'railroaded' into accepting an 'inadequate' standard. 'There are major difficulties with ECMA's standard, which if accepted will affect future formats of all documents on which all office and word processing software depends, and ultimately convenience and cost. It will reinforce the current supplier monopoly position, limit customer choice and increase costs for European business and consumers,' claimed Graham Taylor, director of OpenForum Europe.

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