IBM may have been ferocious in its unsuccessful opposition to the adoption of Microsoft’s open source document Office Open XML (OOXML) by the International Standards Organization (ISO), but the company has quickly rallied.

A spokesperson for the company told TechRadar that they were now focused on getting the OpenDocument format (ODF) harmonized with OOXML.

More important than ever

"The need for truly open standards and processes is demonstrably more important than ever,” said the IBM spokesperson.

“IBM will continue to be an active supporter of ODF. We look forward to being part of the community that works to harmonize ODF and OOXML for the sake of consumers, companies and governments, when OOXML control and maintenance is fully transferred to JTC1.”

In an increasingly complicated shower of acronyms, ODF, along with the likes of PDF and HTML are already ISO standard document formats, and OOXML has become widely used not only by Microsoft but also the likes of Apple, Novell and, in the near future, Corel.

British Library pleased

ECMA, the body that proposed OOXML to the ISO, released a statement about the decision containing support from Adam Farquhar – the head of Digital Library Technology at the British Library.

“Just as we have worked to establish and steward our print collections, the British Library is committed to preserving and providing access to the UK’s digital heritage,” said Farquhar.

“Establishing Office Open XML as an open standard substantially enhances our ability to achieve this. It’s an important step forward for digital preservation and will help us fulfil the British Library’s core responsibility of making our digital collections accessible for generations to come.”