Redmond has secured some solid wins on the Office front these past couple of years, and it almost seems that all news regarding this side of the business is positive in nature.

But there are some setbacks, every now and then.

One such important fight that Microsoft has lost out on is in the United Kingdom. The local government decided in favor of the Open Document Format (ODF) as its new standard for all new documents.

Microsoft was aggressively pushing for its own OpenXML format.

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said in a statement:

“Our long-term plan for a stronger economy is all about helping UK businesses grow. We have listened to those who told us that open standards will reduce their costs and make it easier to work with government. This is a major step forward for our digital-by-default agenda which is helping save citizens, businesses and taxpayers £1.2 billion over this Parliament.”

The gist of the matter is that the government will begin using open formats from now on to create, share and collaborate documents, and as a result citizens, businesses and organizations will no longer need a specific Office suite in order to view them.

Which, for Microsoft, is the Office line of products — Office 2013 and Office 365.

With this new development, government departments will be able to choose their own Office suites, obviously, reducing costs associated with working on documents.

Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

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  • Ray C

    They’ll come around eventually

  • Mary

    So it’s obviously a little blow for Microsoft, but it sounds like UK will still have certain office products available as an option, so it’s not a huge deal I don’t think.