Office Open XML, the default document format of the Office 2007 System, is leading the adoption of XML-based standards in both Europe and the United States, according to an IDC survey commissioned by Microsoft. The Redmond company applauded the fact that Open XML is the dominant XML standard taking the wind out of Open Document Format's sales. IDC surveyed a number of 200 organizations, half in Europe and half over the pond. Additionally, the study was focused on both the public and the commercial sectors. One aspect emphasized by Microsoft is that organizations in Europe and the U.S. are not limiting the uptake of multiple standards. However, while a single standard is the perfect equation for cutting down cost and complexity of implementation, the existence
of multiple document formats on the market contributes to force the adoption and support of all offerings.
"Pragmatic business needs are clearly on top of mind when it comes to standards adoption, both within the public and private sector," said Per Andersen, managing director of IDC Nordic. "The survey results reveal that multiple document standards are deployed today, and that companies see the transition of the existing base of documents as one of the most important criteria when selecting a document standard."
"The survey validates that organizations evaluate and implement XML-based document formats based on a complex set of criteria," said Jean Paoli, general manager of Interoperability and XML Architecture at Microsoft. "Although we are glad to see strong adoption of Open XML, we realize that individual organizational requirements vary, and interoperability remains critical. Therefore, we continue to promote the development of tools that offer customers a choice in which formats they can use."
Microsoft underscored the fact that while both Open XML and ODF are essentially XML-based standards, "Office Open XML seems to be creating the most traction in the market." However, the IDC survey sponsored by Microsoft did manage to confirm that PDF is by far the dominant standard on the market today, with Open XML and ODF trailing it at a distance. However, when it comes down to the Office 2007 System vs. Open Office, Microsoft clearly has the upper hand in terms of standards adoption. And this in relevant perspective because Office 2007 is not competing with Adobe Acrobat, but it is going against Open Office, and the open source productivity suite does have the advantage of an internationalized standard, while Microsoft is yet to achieve such a level, although working effortlessly in this direction.
"Adoption of XML-based document standards is particularly strong in Europe, where they are seen as additional standards to be used among several in organizations. This is true for Office Open XML as well as other XML standards. We did not find differences by size of organization, but we found some key differences by industry sector when we zoomed in on the XML-based standards. Although Office Open XML is clearly preferred in both public and private sectors in the United States and in Europe, adoption of ODF is stronger in the public sector than in the private sector. Both in the United States and in Europe," reads a fragment of the IDC report