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Theme: Open Document Format

[Press release, 16 January 2008, Amsterdam NL]

"NLnet foundation puts weight behind ODF"

Dutch charitative venture capitalist NLnet has selected the Open Document Format as one of the two main areas it will focus its funding on in the next year. That means it will spend a significant amount of its 2008 annual budget on the development of (open source) ODF tools, community building and contributing to the standards development process of the upcoming ODF 1.2 version.

ODF is a broadly supported ISO-standard (get it here) for Office formats that is the successor to corporate-owned file formats such as .doc, .wpd and .xls. It is fast becoming the default file format of choice for text editors, spreadsheets and other office applications within governments, businesses and for personal use.

"Open Document Format is making it possible to store the majority of information we use every day in a future proof and innovation-friendly format," says Michiel Leenaars, strategy manager at NLnet. "We see a vast demand and bright future for ODF, especially now Microsoft has started abandoning its old file formats without a decent stable alternative."

The Foundation believes that 2008 will see the mass breakthrough of ODF. "There is so much momentum. ODF is truly disruptive technology in disguise," states Leenaars. "It will turn the world of computers as we know it upside down completely; that is why we will be there to support the general interest with our investments". The Foundation has already started work on an ODF tool to collaborate on a single document with potentially thousands of people at the same time. NLnet was one of the founding members of the recently started OpenDoc Society, a global not-for-profit member based organisation uniting consumers, technologists, entrepreneurs and policy makers around the globe. Recently, NLnet joined ECMA TC45 to ensure proper interoperability of Microsoft's proposed re-archiving standard OOXML with the global information standard ODF.