back to article Danes ditch Microsoft, take ODF road - at last

The Danish Parliament has agreed to ditch some Microsoft-based software in favour of the ODF standard from April next year. According to and courtesy of, parliamentary parties decided - after four years of deliberation - to use the Open Document Format in all Danish state office documents. “My ambition …


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  1. Paul_Murphy
    Gates Horns

    'We're interoperable'?

    Word and Excel are rarely interoperable with other versions of the said software.

    A few years ago our daughter came home with (it turned out) a very small Excel spreadsheet on a CD she needed to use for her homework I had to spend half an hour searching for converters between two office versions - a simple csv would have sufficed.

    Very annoying.

    Good on you Danes.


  2. Ian McNee


    ...but since when did Bhorat have an interest in Open Document Standards??

  3. Tom 7 Silver badge


    I thought the idea of office software was so you could easily write lots of documents, lots and lots, so many that no-one could ever read them and find out that you were a waste of space. That's what most managers seem to do.

  4. lucmars

    Bien fait

    That's all.

  5. Harry
    Thumb Up

    UK, please follow suit

    Governments, schools and colleges should NOT be pumping out documents in what, despite the allegedly-dubious opinion of ISO, is a "de-facto" proprietary format.

  6. Anonymous Coward


    yeah good job danes, fleece/tax the population while you figure out that there is zero macro support, and then fleece them again when you decide to revert to the superior format.

    it's as if no one here recognises the standard politicians scam.

    (charge them twice w/o doing a single thing)

    1. Pigeon


      When I get sent a "document" in some MS format (or previously wordstar etc.), I am only expected to read it, not edit it. So all I have to do is run 'strings' on the file, and read the text. This has the added advantage of being able to read all the supposedly deleted paragraphs which linger in the document (most embarrassing security flaw). Usually, I can't be bothered.

      Companies could 'standardize' on 2 or more office suites, and enable users to demand the standards.

    2. Steen Hive
      Thumb Down


      ODF is a document format. Macros are about as relevant to that as PHP is to textfiles.

    3. Bruno Girin

      re: macro?

      * starts Open Office, goes to tools -> macros -> record macro *

      Incidentally I can choose to write my macros in OO Basic, Bean Shell, Python or Javascript. So if your reason for choosing an office suite is its support for macros, OO wins hands down. Now, if by "zero macro support" you really mean "doesn't support VBA" then you're right but I'm not sure that's a bad thing.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      zomg macros!!

      That's like saying you shouldn't put a sound card in your computer because it can't toast cheese sandwiches

      It's not supposed to you stupid thicksickle.

  7. vagabondo


    >> Danish regulation on mandatory standards [ECMA-376 or ISO/IEC DIS 29500] OOXML

    Doesn't that rules out Microsoft as well, or have they managed to produce a version of MS Office that produces documents that comply to the ISO specification?

  8. Wibble

    The world's falling out of Ballmer's bottom

    Tough times for Microsoft. The competition's hotting up and people are as mad as hell and aren't going to take it much longer.

    It can't be long before a major Government finally bites the bullet and weans themselves off the treadmill paying Redmond for the same old shite in a different package. People don't need Office -- OK, granted that a *very* few power users may use 50% of the features, but the vast majority need to do very simple things.

    When a major Government does switch over, others can't be far behind and the whole house of cards will come tumbling down into a mixed pile of metaphors.

    1. John Angelico

      Exactement, monsieur!

      Almost as long as MS-Office has been around, 80% plus of office tasks could have been done and still could be done by MS-Write and MS-Calc.

      The OS/2 zealot from Down Under.

      1. Linuxpete
        Thumb Up

        Exactement, monsieur!

        Nope : wordPAD would suffice, but to buy windooze for wordpad ??

  9. Lars Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Fine, Denmark

    Microsoft got a head start with their proprietary standards or as we like to say de facto standards.

    This has lead to a lock in, of immense proportions, It is not easy to break that lock in because it is always easier to do nothing.

    The interesting thing with open standards is there will never be any need to return to any proprietary "standards".

  10. J 3

    From April next year?

    Oh. So plenty of time for bribery then. Or for MS to introduce ODF in their products.

    Nah, bribery is much more likely.

    1. prathlev

      ODF in MS products

      You can get plugins to make MS products read/write ODF files. I personally wouldn't use M$ Anything™ but am currently frustrated by the lack of an interoperable format. By me it would be fine if everybody uses ODF and their office application of choice.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Spot on

      I totally agree. 14 months until switchover - who's going to bet against Ballmer making a hop to Denmark before the summer ?

  11. Big-nosed Pengie

    Is it something in the water?

    What is it that makes Scandinavians twice as smart as anyone else?

    1. Dirk Vandenheuvel


      Haaaa.... yes, the Danish. They haven't even adopted the Euro. Open standards my ass.

      1. Old Marcus


        Has non-adoption of the euro got to do with open standards?

      2. Ponmyword


        Not adopting the Euro was an intelligent decision too.

  12. Steve Browne

    It's the cold, the cold

    It is so damn cold there that they have to keep the brain cells working harder so as not to freeze up.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    OOXML is a standard M$ can not use

    i4i owns patents on techniques that M$ OOXML use ... so ... under court order:

    * M$ has to stop shipping products that use OOXML

    * M$ has to patch existing software so that OOXML is not usable

    * M$ has refused, to date, to pay for a license to the technology from i4i

    * OOXML users bear the expense of removing functionality

    * OOXML users bear the expense of converting or orphaning OOXML documents

    So, once again, M$ has no open standards available in their products.

    You reap what you sew.

  14. Torben Mogensen

    Win for opposition

    Actually, the government coalition (liberal+conservative), with science Minister Helge Sander as the most fervent proponent, backed having both ODF and OOXML as standard formats for public services, but the opposition with support from the right-wing party "Dansk Folkeparti" managed to negotiate a single-standard choice. But it was a pretty close thing.

    I'm happy with the result, both because I prefer ODF over OOXML (which I think is a mastodont) and because having a single standard format is much easier than having two.

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