Microsoft Brings Vendors Together To Test Interoperability

Friday, March 7, 2008

Promoting user choice amongst document formats and expanding opportunity for developers, partners and competitors, Microsoft has launched a Document Interoperability Initiative. The Document Interoperability Initiative focusses on bringing vendors together to promote interoperability between document format implementations through testing and refining those implementations, creation of format implementation test
suites and the creation of templates designed for optimal interoperability between different formats.

Microsoft hosted in Cambridge today a number of independent software vendors (ISVs), including Novell, Mark Logic Corp., Quickoffice Inc., DataViz Inc. and Nuance Communications, to launch this collaborative, community-based initiative. The Cambridge event is the first in a series of labs around the world that will bring together vendors to test interoperability between their implementations of well-known document formats and between implementations of different formats.

The Cambridge lab will test interoperability between existing
implementations of the Microsoft Office Open XML Format and the Open Document Format (ODF) on a variety of platforms and devices, including Mac OS X Leopard, iPhone, Palm OS, Symbian OS, Linux and Windows Mobile.

The labs will also include a set of integrated round table discussions between vendors about what steps should be taken to promote real-world interoperability between document format implementations in the marketplace.

Stated Jean Paoli, general manager, interoperability and XML architecture, Microsoft, “The labs are designed to bring technical staff together to roll up their sleeves and test interoperability between implementations of formats and address issues that are identified either in those implementations or in the translation technologies used to work across formats.”

According to Tom Robertson, general manager, interoperability and standards, Microsoft, “The Document Interoperability Initiative brings vendors together to achieve real-world interoperability between documents that customers use through testing of implementations, building conformance test suites and creating document formats that optimise interoperability between different formats. As part of the interoperability principles, we announced on 21 February 2008, this initiative helps achieve our goal of reshaping business practices to meet the interoperability needs of our customers and the market.”

Also announced today is the 1.1 release of a translator between ODF and Open XML for Microsoft Excel (spreadsheet) and Microsoft PowerPoint (presentation) applications.

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