Australian Microsoft strategist promotes open standards

Microsoft may be at the center of a dubious intellectual property agreement with Novell involving open source software, but that hasn't stopped the company trumpeting its work on open standards, which may even lead to native OpenDocument format support in Office.

Microsoft Australia's new platform strategy manager, Sarah Bond, said there is a place for standards as it drives competition and "it drives that desire to be more innovative".

Microsoft's OpenXML Translator is an open source project which allows Microsoft Word to open and save OpenDocument format (ODF) files. Version 1.0 was released earlier this month and is available for download.

Bond said while she is not aware of any initiative within Microsoft to provide native ODF support in Office, she did not rule out the possibility if the market demand was there.

"At the moment it is a small user base," Bond said. "Our effort is targeted towards the majority of Office documents and the customer base."

Bond took over the role from Martin Gregory four months ago and has been busy talking to customers about the virtues of the Microsoft stack over the competition.