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South Africa Chooses ODF as National Standard

Many countries are likely to follow its path, as South Africa has chosen ODF for its national document standard.

However, a national standard does not automatically mean the government will migrate all its data to the format: “While Jolliffe points out that ODF has been made a national standard and not yet a government standard, he says the DST is trying to initiate the conversion process in government. “As far as possible, we should ensure that file format standards used in government are national standards.””

Migrating to ODF for data storage does not necessarily require a shift in software that government employees use day-to-day. (Although a separate, yet sometimes overlapping, group of open source advocates does make the case that open source software is a better tool for governments to use.)

“Jolliffe has challenged Microsoft to stand by its interoperability strategy and provide support in its own products for ODF. “We would like to see Microsoft interoperate with ODF.””

(There is a third-party plugin to let MS Office users read and write ODF documents.)

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