According to an article on Slashdot the European Commission has asked Sun to make the xml file format used in Open Office files into an ISO standard.
This story started back in March when an OpenOffice team and a Microsoft team were invited to present to the European Commission on the relative merits of their XML-based office document formats. In mid-July the EC wrote a formal letter to the participants of the meeting. The letter to Sun contained the following paragraph:
“Transparency and accessibility requirements dictate that public information and government transactions avoid depending on technologies that imply or impose a specific product or platform on businesses or citizens.”
Sun appear to be going to comply with the request – well, they would, wouldn’t they. Hopefully this will cut down on vendor lock-in and lure people from using Microsoft Office. It’ll be interesting to see what Microsoft’s response to the request will be.