Five years after it was formed specifically to promote OpenDocument Format as an alternative to Microsoft Office formats, those behind the Open Document Foundation are abandoning the OASIS- and ISO-approved document standard in favor of the World Wide Web Consortium's Compound Document Format.
According to Techworld, which cites a blog post by foundation vice president Sam Hiser, CDF is "more viable" than ODF:
The requirements include full compatibility with legacy Microsoft formats, including Office Open XML (OOXML), the ODF rival Microsoft created for its Office suite. Other requirements CDF meets better than ODF include convergence of desktops, servers and devices; cross-platform portability; and vendor independence.
Hiser indicates that support for ODF began to dwindle when foundation officials began to believe that Sun Microsystems was more interested in making its own products interoperable with Microsoft products than it was in shoring up the format itself. Sun, of course, disagrees. From Techworld:
Doug Johnson, manager of the Corporate Standards Group at Sun, denied these charges. He said that Sun supports ODF across many of its platforms, and that the company remains committed to ensuring the interoperability of ODF with any rival document formats.
As a result of the shift, Open Document Foundation will change its name and its organizational structure.
ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley suggests Microsoft's Office Open XML will benefit from the change when it comes time for the final ISO vote on the standard next year. Microsoft could win, she says:
"... as much -- if not more -- because of the ineptitude of its competition than by Redmond's prowess."