This will show up in my del.icio.us links tomorrow, but it is too important not to highlight.
From the ZDNet opinion piece "Europe can't wait for Microsoft to play ODF catch up":
Reticence is admirable when making far-reaching decisions. European states are overwhelmingly dependent on Microsoft products: if the company is saying that adopting ODF as a document standard will make its products less useful, then that is good reason to pause for thought.
Yet Microsoft has given no good technical reason why this should be so. ODF was created by a consultative process, which is some guarantee against hidden agendas. It is an ISO standard: it has passed expert scrutiny and can be considered fit for use. It is properly open: it can be made part of any product without the need for authorisation or licensing. It is available now. None of this is true of OpenXML, which, even as it goes forward for consideration as an international standard, remains under the control of one company, with many of the format's technical details yet to be revealed.
The EC is serious about its long term ambition to end up with one single interoperable standard, and it should not be delayed by Microsoft's moves — at least while the company's motivation remains in question. Lobbyists should concentrate on their member states to ensure this message gets through clearly and quickly: we have our standard, now let us use it.
Exactly right. The open standards community has delivered an international standard of high quality. Now is the time to accelerate adoption. Please pass this ZDNet editorial on, especially if you are in Europe.[Read More]