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Germany to Support ODF

The ODF Alliance catalogs some big achievements for the OpenDocument Format in its latest newsletter. (They provide the newsletter as a PDF, so to just read the text you can check out Boycott Novell’s mirror, “ODF Alliance Newsletter – 10 December 2008.”)

What’s big about it? Germany: “Germany has decided to implement use of ODF. According to the announcement made by the federal government’s IT Council, German federal agencies will be able to receive, read, send and edit ODF documents beginning no later than 2010.”

This brings significant additional mass to the movement: “To date, 16 national and 8 provincial governments have now formally recommended or required the use of ODF by government agencies and with the public.”

Among those other adopters are the Dutch, where the government has recently “published instructions in the country’s National Gazette regarding making open standards-based procurement the default – a policy which has been in force since 1 April 2008 – now that the European Commission has given its seal of approval. According to the announcement made on November 24, 2008 by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, this means in principle that for public purchases of IT worth more than 50,000 euro, the use of open standards such as ODF is now mandatory for government bodies in the public and semi-public sectors (“comply or explain” why not).”

Further, the newsletter points out the new ODF Toolkit, jointly developed by Sun and IBM, to build and share libraries that can read and write ODF files for use in developing new software applications.

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