OpenDocument Format ("ODF") gained this week new momentum from national governments in Europe and Asia who are committing to the open standard file format for documents with confident statements of direction toward owning the data in their documents. Now Belgium and India join The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the State of Minnesota, Bristol City Council, Denmark and some state agencies in France as Early Adopters of ODF policies or legislation. (All organizations who have already adopted Linux and OpenOffice are also in this group by default.)
There is nothing surprising in this, coming about a year after ODF's initial ratification as an ISO standard. (A year is the time it takes to mend a broken heart, and to get your smarter IT standards policies lined up.)
Now, with each new declaration for ODF, MSECMAXML will face a more Syssiphaean process getting votes next year at ISO. If Microsoft fails to establish a credible alternate set of purposes for their feaux "open" file formats which distinguish them from ODF, ISO approval will faulter and 1/3 of the global document format space (associated with state and municipal governments) will cede to ODF.
Outside the public sector, MSECMAXML has half a chance with the spendthrift Fortune 10,000. This lot are accustomed to outsourcing their corporate management to their very best and most respected IT vendor. They have already let Exchange in the house and will have little problem with SharePoint: these will appear to tie such awesome feature-sets for Global Computing Collaboration that managements will have a hard time rejecting the Vista file format (MSECMAXML) unless they are somehow made aware of the trade-off they are making...it is like nothing more than letting your 13-year-old daughter travel on the Led Zeppelin tour bus.
Flowering before our eyes is the coming market referrendum on monopolistic IT. Bend over and tell them who's your daddy.