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Office Output

[Press release, Maarsen/Amsterdam, January 30, 2009]
Free webservice lets user compare office applications 'Office users can finally see what others are seeing'.
[Dit persbericht in het Nederlands ]

The Dutch government program Netherlands in Open Connection and OpenDoc Society have announced they are collaborating on an online document factory to compare office suite applications. The free webservice should be available by the end of February 2009. Users will be able to online compare the output quality of a large number of office suites as well as web-based productivity applications. The collaboration was announced during a well visited ODF conference in Maarssen, The Netherlands. The project is financially supported by a grant from the Netherlands based not-for-profit investor NLnet Foundation.

"Office users can finally see what others are seeing"

"Thanks to the adoption of open standards like the Open Document Format, the number of productivity applications is increasing rapidly. In a mature market a user should be able to compare the various suppliers transparently." says Bert Bakker, president of the OpenDoc Society. " will ensure that you do not need to blindly trust a supplier when he claims to support a certain document format. Seeing is believing."

"We want to make the differences between the various applications visible and measurable, which will stimulate suppliers to make quality improvements" said Ineke Schop, program manager at Netherlands in Open Connection. Because a user can simply upload a document and see the output of the various applications they get a powerful tool to make quality differences measurable. The service also helps designers to compare the rendering of document templates and letterheads in different office suites. "This helps governments choose the right application and supports the ambitions of the Dutch cabinet to standardise on ODF and PDF for document exchange."

Under the "Netherlands in Open Connection" action plan, the Dutch administration accepts and uses the Open Document Format as of April last year. Other government bodies in the Netherlands do so since January 2009. The program is a joint initiative of the Dutch government, led by the minister for Foreign Trade Heemskerk and the State Secretary for the Interior and Kingdom Relations Bijleveld-Schouten.

The tool will be multilingual from the start. The web service will launch as a closed beta for members of the OpenDoc Society at the end of February, followed by a public launch planned one month later.

For more information

 Michiel Leenaars
 OpenDoc Society Nederland
 tel: +31 627 05 09 47
 mail: michiel [at]
 sip: michiel [at]
 Fabrice Mous
 tel: +31 70 888 77 17
 tel: +31 648 58 51 62
 mail: fabrice.mous [at]

About the quoted persons

Bert Bakker (1958) is president of OpenDoc Society, other affiliations include President of the Association for International Labor brokers and the board of Mira Media, seeking diversity in the media. He is employed as a senior advisor to international strategy consultants Meines & Partners. From 1994 to 2006 he was a prominent member of the Dutch House of Commons on behalf of D66 as their financial spokesperson. In addition he was involved with economic affairs, defense and media. He was chairman of the inquiry into the fall of Yuguslavian enclave Srebrenica, which led to the fall of the Dutch cabinet. Before he joined parliament he held a number of other positions, including being a correspondent of the Universitaire Pers (University Press) and head of administrative affairs and information of the SER (Social and Economic Council). He became a well-known public figure through his chairmanship of the inquiry that examined the peacekeeping missions of the Dutch army.

Ineke Schop is program manager of the Netherlands in Open Connection. As program manager she is responsible for collaborating within the government in order to achieve more interoperability through the use of open standards. In addition NOiV promotes open source software wherever possible. Prior to her engagement at NOiV mrs. Schop was program manager at the Dutch e-Government program for municipalities EGEM.

About OpenDoc Society

The goal of OpenDoc Society is to bring together individuals and organisations with a stake or interest in the openness and future of documents to learn from each other and share knowledge. OpenDoc Society offers a platform where developers, publishers, decision makers, educators, vendors, IT managers, academics, writers, archivists and other stakeholders kan bring their knowledge together and learn and collaborate with interesting like-minded people. OpenDoc Society wants to build local human networks of experts and stakeholders in ODF from all areas. It want to be a leading organisation in spreading knowledge about open format like ODF and PDF to society at large, through publications, workshops, masterclasses, tutorials for developers, decision makers, users and other stakeholders. It wants to foster and strengthen the ecosystem around open document formats: from enterprise content management, assistive software for the visually impaired up to readers for cell phones and game consoles. OpenDoc Society is supported by a large number of organisations, including government bodies, international corporations, educational, cultural and scientific institutions and NGO's . If you care about an open information society and a transparent market, why don't you join?

Netherlands in Open Connection (Nederland Open in Verbinding)

The Netherlands in Open Connection (NOiV ) informs government organizations about the possibilities of open standards (OS) and open source software (OSS) and encourages them, where possible to fit into their information systems. The program is based on the Action programmes Netherlands in Open Connection, initated by the Netherlands minister of Foreign Trade and the state secretary of Interior and Kingdom Relations in September 2007. The program NOiV offers practical support in the form of information, knowledge and tools for government organizations open source software can use. The program is executed by ICTU Foundation, commissioned by the Ministry of Economy Affairs and the Ministry of Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations. The activities of the program are primarily aimed at policy makers and public sector ICT management and their suppliers. In addition, NOiV has a coordinating role with the parties from the government and semi-government and the private sector.

About NLnet Foundation

NLnet Foundation is a private charity fund supporting open standards and open source worldwide, and has over the years actively contributed to (internet) standards, open source projects and subsidiary or enabling activities such as the development of GPLv3. NLnet foundation is an independent organisation whose means came initially from interest on a very substantial own capital formed in 1997 by the sale of the first Dutch Internet Service Provider. Its private capital ensures an absolute independent position. The articles of association for the NLnet foundation state: "to promote the exchange of electronic information and all that is related or beneficial to that purpose". NLnet believes in open standards and open source. At the moment, dozens of projects and organizations are supported financially. Amongst them: research laboratory NLnet Labs, the Free Software Foundation, OpenDoc Society, Intelligent Interactive Distributed Systems, and the Internet Society.