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"Free webservice lets user compare office applications"

['s Hertogenbosch/Den Haag, May 19 2009] The Netherlands in Open Connection and OpenDoc Society are happy to announce the immediate availability of the beta of, a free webservice that allows users to compare the output quality of office applications. The Officeshots project entails both an open source service framework, and a free online service based on this framework. The service is now in closed beta, exclusively available to members of the international OpenDoc Society. If you wish to join the beta program you can become a member or sponsor of the OpenDoc Society. was first announced on January 29th 2009, with the beta phase of the service scheduled to become active at the end of February or early March. A delay in supporting rendering factories caused the original schedule to slip but with support of NLnet, Open IT Netherlands and the project is finally ready to start the beta phase.

Project Lead Sander Marechal (The Lone Wolves Foundation): "At the start of the beta phase, is running a number of factories implementing GO-OO,, Gnumeric and AbiWord. We expect to quickly add support for a number of other factories such as Lotus Symphony, RedOffice (Chinese), OfficeReader (an ODF viewer for Symbian smart phones) and the soon to be released KOffice 2.0." Software vendors and user communities are encouraged to add their office solution of choice to, to make its functionality available to a wider audience.

So far development work within the project has concentrated on making a safe, distributed document rendering environment that allows buyers and developers to test interoperability in many different applications on many different platforms. During the closed beta the visual appearance of the main Officeshots website will be enhanced, and a translation framework so people can assist in translating to their native language. The beta phase is expected to last until the beginning of June, after which the service will be available freely to anyone.

Officeshots will be put to the test significantly in the first ODF Plugfest that will be held June 15/16th 2009 in The Royal Library in The Hague, where a large number of ODF implementations (including wellknown names such as Microsoft, Google, IBM and Sun, but also upcoming players like ZCubes and CelFrame Office) will test their interoperability on invitation by the Dutch cabinet in the person of Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade Frank Heemskerk.

If you wish to be updated with the latest developments and get the announcement for the public release, please consider joining our mailinglist.

Note to the editors

For more information

Some more information can be found at:

      Michiel Leenaars
OpenDoc Society Nederland
tel: +31 6 27050947
mail: michiel [at]
sip: michiel [at]
Fabrice Mous
tel: +31 70 888 77 17
tel: +31 648 58 51 62
mail: fabrice.mous [at]

More on the Netherlands Government policy on ODF and other open standards.

About OpenDoc Society

[website] 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 (NOiV)

[website] 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

[website] 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.