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The OpenDocument Format (ODF) is to be the standard format for exchanging documents within the government, according to a proposal that is expected to be approved by Belgium's Council of Ministers on Friday. The plan increases the pressure from governments worldwide on Microsoft to embrace open standards.
From September 2008 on, all document exchanges within the services of the Belgian government will have to be in an open, standard format, according to the proposal. ODF is the only accepted standard in the proposal. Earlier drafts of the Belgian proposal had put ODF and Microsoft's own Open XML format (which is to be included in Office 2007) on equal footing.
Peter Strickx, general manager for architecture and standards of Fedict, the organization that coordinates the ICT policy of the Belgian federal government, commented on the proposal in an interview with ZDNet Belgium.