Monday, 4 April 2011

Open Document Format for business - the right way to go

It is sometimes astonishing how things coincide. I was travelling once again last week and hence stayed in a hotel. Wednesday last week, March 30th, was Document Freedom Day 2011. Exactly that day I had been working on a document which I had to print out. When preparing for printing in the hotel's business corner I expected to see some office software that was not able to handle <<.odt>> format (the text format of Open Document Format (ODF)). Therefore, I uploaded my file on Google docs using the cloud this time - I really did not want to save it as <<.doc>> but stay a bit more modern.

Now, what a positive surprise when coming to the hotel's business corner. They were running Open Office. Open Document Format - THE standard for office software. I must admit, I was too pessimistic regarding the widespread use of ODF-based office software. Too often you see people use proprietary office technology that does not support the ODF standard.

But ok, I see that I must revert my preconceptions which are apparently too negative and outdated. Indeed, I saw some statistics the other day which found out that in 2010 in Germany about 22% of internet users had an ODF-based office software installed (see the survey done by Webmasterpro). So market share is increasing. And I had an important initiation experience in this respect just on Document Freedom Day 2011 - that deserves me right, I should say.

1 comment:

Josef Assad said...

That's an encouraging story I can relate to.

I think we can only underestimate the degree of entrenched open source usage at this stage in Europe. I see a lot of public tenders and while the sections describing the technical setup are mostly a smattering of very predictable proprietary software, there will surprisingly often be some solid open source infrastructure hidden away in footnotes and keeping the whole thing running.

This can sometimes be the banal (Linux) but you do also see things like Alfresco, PostGIS, openlayers, plone, etc.