A number of government(s) (agencies) are more open to open standards. Decisions have been made in Massachusetts and Denmark to evaluate/allow both ODF and Open XML. It is good to conclude that, at least concluding from this latest news, that organisations don’t view the 2 open standards as competitive, but rather evaluate and choose which one (or both) best fit their needs ..
Denmark to test Open XML, ODF next year
… Denmark’s government agencies will be required to handle two competing document format standards, the Open Document Format (ODF) and Microsoft’s Open XML, during a one-year test period that will begin next year.
Denmark is requiring both standards for the test period since neither are “fully mature,” said Rachid El Mousti, senior adviser for the IT strategy division of Denmark’s National IT and Telecom Agency.
A third party will evaluate the results of the tests in the first half of 2009, after which the Danish Parliament will conduct a further assessment, the Ministry of Science and Innovation said.
The government is also requiring that new products bought by the agencies be able to accommodate at least one of the standards. It is also studying how its agencies exchange documents, including their use of converters to change document formats.
Denmark could decide to use one standard, both, or neither of them, depending on market developments, El Mousti said. …
… In what could be Microsoft’s most symbolic victory to date in the battle to legitimize the principal formats used by its Office applications, the State of Massachusetts officially declared Office Open XML — the new standard format set in Office 2007 — “another standardized XML-based file format specification suitable for office applications.”
The declaration, which came as part of a review draft of version 4.0 of the state IT division’s Enterprise Technical Reference Model (ETRM), states that the standard document format it refers to by its standards agency designation ECMA-376 is one adequate candidate for use as an open, XML-based format, as well as OpenDocument Format. …