OpenDocument format (ODF), short for the "OASIS Open Document Format for Office Applications"
, is a document file format for saving and exchanging editable documents such as text documents (memos, reports, books), spreadsheets, charts, and presentations. The OASIS industry consortium
developed this new open standard document based upon the XML-based file format originally created by OpenOffice.org
While the term "ODF" might be "new" to some, for many end users struggling with the existing lack of inter-operability of file formats, the concept behind it is not. The "universal" open format works with many brands of software (proprietary and non proprietary) and is less likely to become obsolete.
Comparing the current situation created by the monopoly on word processing to the openness, creativity and innovation in the field of authoring tools for the web (.html), it becomes clear that making ODF the mandated standard would have a great impact on access, competition, cost savings and data sharing.