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Chair of Denmark’s standards committee: ‘Microsoft is lying’

OSORMogens Kühn Pedersen, chair of the Danish Standards Committee, says Microsoft is lying when it says it will implement ISO OOXML in the next version of its suite of office applications.

On Saturday Pedersen accused the software vendor of lying, in an article by the Danish news site Business.dk, part of the newspaper Berlingske Tidene. Pedersen, professor of Informatics at the Copenhagen Business School, on Monday afternoon confirmed his statement: “I realise these are blunt remarks to make as chair of the committee, but when you advise the government you have to tell the truth.”

Pedersen is protesting a letter written by the technical director of Microsoft Denmark, Jasper Hedegaard Bojsen, that was published by the newspaper Berlingske Tidene on Friday. According to Bojsen Microsoft will next year offer support for the complete ISO-approved version of OOXML. “They are not implementing all parts of the OOXML standard”, explains Pedersen. “So, he is lying.”

Reacting to Pedersen’s comments, Bojsen maintains that the company will support the complete standard, Business.dk reported on Saturday.

According to Pedersen the Danish coalition government is split over the use of Open Document Format (ODF), Microsoft’s alternative OOXML or both as a mandatory format for government documents. “At the moment there is an intense debate on this in the Danish parliament. The decisive factor seems to be the position of the Social Democrats.”

A decision by the parliament is expected within the next few weeks.

According to Business.dk a key role could be played by the Danish parliamentarian Yildiz Akdogan, representing the Social Democratic opposition party. Akdogan wants to postpone the decision and hold an international conference on the topic, she said in an interview on Monday. “The economic consequences of our decision to use ODF, OOXML or both are extreme. It will touch the work of a lot of people. I would like to know more about public administrations that are using either of these document standards, and that is why I have suggested a conference.”

Danish press last week reported on municipalities that have switched to the open source office applications OpenOffice. Akdogan: “I would like to hear from these municipalities as well as public administrations in the Netherlands, Belgium and Norway that are using ODF before we make a decision.”

Article was originally published at the Open Source Observatory & Repository Europe.

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