The most popular and comprehensive Open Source ECM platform
By Dick Weisinger
Microsoft has been battling for document-format mindshare against Open Source advocates with their Office Open XML specification that they introduced with the Office 2007 product.
Open Document Format (ODF) is the Open Source alternative to Microsoft. Massachusetts came out in favor of ODF early on. But similar initiatives, after intensive lobbying by Microsoft, in California, Texas, Oregon, Florida, and Connecticut have since been rejected. Massachusetts has since reversed itself and now also has added Microsoft’s Office Open XML to their list of approved file formats.
While the Microsoft format is gaining more acceptance, it’s not all without resistance. Many users still prefer what they’ve become used to.
Users turn off Office 2007 format to remain compatible with others running an older version. Microsoft in a sense is competing with itself with the new Office 2007 format. The Microsoft Office-97 file format is widely used and many users don’t have plans to migrate forward any time soon. The problem is that files stored in the new format cannot be viewed by users of older versions of the Office suite without first installing an add-on plugin. Many users are reconfiguring the Office 2007 default setting to save their files in the older format to be confident that recipients of their emailed Office documents will be able to read them.
Scientific Formatting Capability not Available in Office 2007. Some leading science journals are not accepting submissions in the Office 2007 format because of incompatibilities with the previous Office format. Both Nature and Science magazines have rejected the new format, at least for the time being. The Office 2007 format doesn’t allow editing of some special symbols and equations, like Greek characters, that are frequently used in scientific journals. The reason is that in Office 2007, Microsoft dropped support for the universally supported Mathematical Markup Language (MathML) in favor of their own version called Office MathML (OMML) which has those limitations.