French Government to ban .Doc

If a new recommendation is to be taken on board the French government may scrap .doc and .xls in favour of .odt.

An official advisor has recommended that French authorities ditch Microsoft Office tools in favour of the Open Document Format (ODF).

The advisor, from DISIC (Direction interministerielle des systemes d'information et de communication de l'Etat), is responsible for both matching and reducing the costs of all state computers which includes government ministries, state and regional departments and local authorities. The firm sees ODF as the best way to make all their aims possible.

An initial draft of the report envisaged outlawing Microsoft's Open XML altogether; however the final version encourages the phasing out of Microsoft's software in favour of ODF.

The Free Software Foundation Europe welcomed the text and vice president Matthias Kirschner said its publication "highlights the problems with Microsoft's OOXML format."

He added: "We hope this will be another incentive for Microsoft to implement newer versions of ODF as default formats in its office suite, so its customers can also benefit from the advantages of true open standards. DISIC wants to enable choice between vendors and technology solutions and in the long run, this will benefit all French citizens."

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