This probably shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone, but IBM is announcing that the next version of IBM Workplace Managed Client will support the OpenDocument standard.
An office application format that has been endorses as an Oasis standard, OpenDocument is considered a rival to Microsoft’s Office file format that until now has served as de facto standard.
As reported here in May, The Open Document Format (ODF) for Office Applications v.10 specification, commonly known as OpenDocument, is based on the XML schema developed by the OpenOffice.org open source applications community. It is used as the file format for Sun’s StarOffice suite, which is also available in open source form as OpenOffice.
OpenDocument has become newsworthy lately because of a preliminary decision by the State of Massachusetts to require it as its new office standard. In recent days, that decision has come under question by the Secretary of State Office, and a Microsoft counter offer to open up its Office formats by submitting its rival Open Office XML to ECMA and promising some open source licensing revisions.
With IBM having already committed to ODF (it recently wrote a letter on Sun’s behalf asking Massachusetts to keep the ODF stricture), this announcement formalizes actual product support. IBM made the announcement in India, which is one of its target markets for its answer to Microsoft Office.