Precedent

Below is an annotated set of links relevant to decisions by government bodies around the world to adopt office software supporting the OpenDocument XML standard. The list is far from comprehensive, addressing only adoption decisions reported on the OpenDocument Fellowship general discussion list and the OpenOffice.org marketing web site. The list is undoubtedly only the tip of a very large iceberg.

Nearly all Linux distributions include one or more programs that support the OpenDocument standard and government adoption of Linux globally has progressed beyond any ability to track comprehensively. For example, the Edubuntu Linux distribution includes OpenOffice.org and is rapidly being adopted world-wide in public schools and libraries. Likewise, the One Laptop Per Child initiative is scheduled to deliver millions of laptop computers internationally for pupils and includes the Abiword word processor and a file viewer that both support OpenDocument. Moreover, OpenOffice.org is distributed for non-Linux platforms, such as Microsoft Windows and OS X and there are many other applications that support OpenDocument. See supporting applications pages on this site.

There are no publicly-available figures on OpenOffice.org government office market share, but the Yankee Group in October 2005 put the OpenOffice.org market share among small and medium businesses at 19 per cent, up from the 6 per cent figure reported by Jupiter Research less than two years previously. Given the legal constraints mentioned above and Microsoft's unrelenting international campaign pushed through the U.S. Department of State and Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to reduce unlicensed use of Microsoft software, one might reasonably suspect that software supporting OpenDocument today has a larger market share in government offices than among small and medium businesses.

Argentina
Australia
Austria
Argentina
Belgium
Brazil
Canada
British Columbia
Manitoba
Ontario
China
Croatia
Czech Republic
Denmark
European Union
Finland
France
Germany
Hong Kong
India
Haryana
Kerala
Italy
Libya
Macau
Macedonia
Malaysia
Namibia
Netherlands
Norway
Pakistan
Philippines
Poland
Portugal
Rwanda
Singapore
South Africa
South Korea
Spain
Andalucia
Catalonia
Extremadura
Sweden
Switzerland
Turkey
United Kingdom
U.S.A.
California
Colorado
Florida
Georgia
Illinois
Indiana
Maryland
Massachusetts
Minnesota
Montana
Nebraska
New York
Nevada
Texas
Wisconsin
Venezuela
Notes

Argentina

  • The provincial government of Misiones has adopted OpenDocument as its provincial standard for office documents. Read more

Australia

  • The National Archives of Australia participated in the development of the OpenDocument standard and has developed Xena, an open source-licensed program that converts other office file formats to OpenDocument for archiving. Read more
  • The New South Wales Department of Education has begun pilot projects in schools across the state using OpenOffice.org, which supports the OpenDocument format. Read more
  • The New South Wales Judicial Commission has switched 10 software development seats to OpenOffice.org, which supports the OpenDocument format. Read more
  • The University of Melbourne distributes OpenOffice.org CDs to students at no charge. Read more

Austria

  • The City of Vienna is migrating about 18,000 seats to OpenOffice.org and StarOffice, which support the OpenDocument standard. Link (PDF).

Argentina

  • Misiones Province -- All documents created and exchanged between public administrations as of 22 December 2006 must be in OpenDocument format for documents in which the recipient needs to make edits; for documents in public circulation and where read-only access is needed, PDF/A must be used. Proprietary formats, including .doc, .ppt., .xls, RTF, and WordPerfect are explicitly not permitted under the resolution. Link (In Espanol.)

Belgium

  • From September 2007 on, all federal government departments should be able to read ODF documents, and in September 2008 ODF will be the only accepted document format for exchange between departments. (link, link).

  • The Belgian Federal Public Justice Service is migrating 4,000 users to OpenOffice.org, which supports the OpenDocument standard. Read more (in French or Dutch)
  • The City of Schoten is planning to migrate its desktops to OpenOffice.org. Read more

Brazil

  • The Brazil government is migrating some 300,000 seats to Linux and OpenOffice.org, which supports the OpenDocument standard. Link (audio report).

  • The Brazilian federal government's "Computers for All" program is delivering approximately 10,000 Linux-based computers per month, with 50,000 delivered as of February, 2007. Each desktop includes OpenOffice.org. The project's objective is to provide low-cost computers to the population and to boost technological development. Read more
  • The Brazil postal service has installed OpenOffice.org on 14,000 computers and intends to migrate some 32,000 around the country. Read more
  • Federally owned Banco do Brasil has completed the migration of its Windows XP computers to the OpenOffice.org Open Source suite. Banco do Brasil’s migration involved 35 000 PCs, and the Bank aimed to migrate another 30 000 computers that use the OS/2 operating system, with a migration completion date by the end of 2006. Read more
  • The State of the Paraná adopted BrOffice.org (Brazilian OpenOffice.org) in all the work stations. In the state education department alone, the Digital Paraná Project will include more than 40,000 installations of BrOffice.org. Read more (in Portuguese).

Canada

British Columbia

  • The Vancouver Community College Information and Computing Services office has begun a pilot program using Linux and OpenOffice.org with an eye toward shifting users to less expensive software. OpenOffice.org uses OpenDocument as its default file format. Read more

Manitoba

  • Legal Aid Manitoba has switched 150 desktops to Linux and OpenOffice.org, which supports the OpenDocument standard. Link

Ontario

  • The Ontario Ministry of Education acquired StarOffice licenses for all the province's 72 public and Catholic school boards, eventually resulting in the software being accessible to some 2.5 million students. Read more

China

  • The Chinese government has distributed 140,000 copies of Linux and OpenOffice.org for use in education. Link (PDF).
  • The Open Standards Lab of Peking University announced the release of software that converts office documents between ODF and China's own national, XML-based file format called UOF. Text, presentations, and spreadsheets can be opened and displayed correctly with corresponding ODF and UOF supporting productivity suites. A 150-page report (in English and Chinese) called "A Comparison Between ODF and UOF" compares the two standards feature-by-feature and explains how to map data between the two. Link

Croatia

  • The Croation national government has decided to migrate from proprietary software entirely except for software developed in Croatia. The government will instead require the use of open source software based on open public standards. OpenDocument is the only standard for documents of its type and is supported by all open source office suites. Link; Link

Czech Republic

  • Many government units in the Czech Republic have adopted OpenOffice.org, an application that supports the OpenDocument format. They include the Czech Railway Inspectorate and the municipalities of Decin, Domazlice, Ostrava-South, Blansko, and Caslav. Read more (PDF).

Denmark

  • The Danish government decided in June, 2006 that open file format standards would be mandatory for all units of central government by January 1, 2008. Five ministries are currently testing using software that supports OpenDocument. Link Link Update

    • By September, 2006, all publications on the Danish Ministry of Science web site are scheduled to be available in the OpenDocument format. Read more -- in Danish.
    • A report prepared at the behest of the Danish Open Source Business Association concludes that the Danish national government could save some 125 million Danish Kroner over the next five years by switching to software supporting OpenDocument. Read more -- Report (PDF, in English).
    • County of Gribskov, Denmark is using OpenOffice.org on all PC workstation in the administration. Read more

    European Union

    • The European Union recommends the use of OpenDocument format, and recommends that the industry develop applications able to support OpenDocument. Link; Summary press release
    • Dr. Barbara Held, Enterprise and Industry Directorate-General of the European Commission Program for Interoperable Delivery of European eGovernment Services to public Administrations, Business and Citizens has stated, "In the view of the European administrations and Member States, the ODF standard is at the very top of the pile by far from all other proposed open standards." Read more
    • See also European Commission's page on "Promotion of Open Document Exchange Format"

    Finland

    • The Finnish Ministry of Justice has completed installation of the OpenOffice.org application suite on all of its 10,000 workstations. Read more

    France

    • More than 300,000 seats in the government sector have been migrated to OpenOffice.org, an office suite that supports the OpenDocument standard. Involved agencies include the Gendarmerie Nationale (80,000 seats), and the ministries of Finance, Interior, Equipment, Justice, Agriculture, and Culture. Link (PDF). It was expected that the number of seats converted would be at least 400,000 by the end of 2007. Link.

      • The French prime minister commissioned a report that calls "for a law making it compulsory for French government departments to use ODF when they create or distribute documents, and suggests that France ask its European partners to do likewise when exchanging documents at a European level." Read more -- Report (in French).
      • Direction Générale des Impôts, the agency that manages the taxes of all states and cities in France, is migrating 80,000 seats to OpenOffice.org, which supports the OpenDocument standard. Read more
      • The French Parliament plans to switch 1,154 desktops to OpenOffice.org by June, 2007. Read more
      • The French National Assembly is switching its desktops to OpenOffice.org. Read more
      • The French Centre Region has equipped 5,000 students with laptops running OpenOffice.org, which supports the OpenDocument standard. Read more

      Germany

      • Nationwide more than 50,000 government seats have been migrated to OpenOffice.org or StarOffice, both of which support the OpenDocument standard. Government bodies involved include the Regional Tax Offices for Lower Saxony and Baden-Wurttemberg, Police of Lower Saxony, and the cities of Treuchtlingen, Munich, Swaebisch Hall, Leonberg, and Isernhagen. Read more (PDF).
      • The German Land of Lower Saxony has announced its decision to finalise a complete switch over to the Linux Open Source Software system in its tax administration department by September of this year. After a two-year phase of development and preparation, all 12 000 computers of Lower Saxony’s tax authority will finally be changed over to Linux software over the summer period. All office suites running on the Linux platform support the OpenDocument standard. Read more
      • The German Monopoly Comission has migrated to StarOffice. Read more
      • The City of Munich is migrating its 14,000 desktops to GNU/Linux, using OpenOffice.org as its office suite, which supports OpenDocument as its default file format. (link, Link).
      • Germany's Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) has recently presented several new Open Source-based desktop and security applications, which are available for download not only by public administrations and businesses, but also by the general public. The ERPOSS4 desktop application was developed by BSI and Credative GmbH and is based on the Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 operating system and KDE 3.3 graphic interface. It includes OpenOffice.org. Read more

      Hong Kong

      • The OpenDocument format has been added to the the Hong Kong Government's Interoperability Framework (IF) as a recommended standard for use in the areas of "Formatted document file type for collaborative editing", "Presentation file type for collaborative editing," and "Spreadsheet file type for collaborative editing." Read more (PDF).

      India

      • The national government has distributed some 7 million free CD's with a Linux distribution that includes OpenOffice.org, which supports the OpenDocument standard. Link Link

      • The secretary of the India Ministry of Information & Technology said at a conference: "We are glad to note that with formation of a National ODF alliance, India too would be playing a pivotal role in spearheading the ODF revolution. Further, considering the huge potential of eGovernance in the nation as well as the need to adopt open standards to make our data systems more inter-operable and independent of any limiting proprietary tools, we feel that ODF is a great technological leap and a big boon to further propel IT right to India's grass root levels." Read more
      • The India Election Commission has opted to replace Microsoft Office with OpenOffice.org in all of its offices nationwide. OpenOffice.org supports OpenDocument as its default file format. Read more
      • Parshvanath College of Engineering at Thane has installed 350 diskless nodes running OpenOffice.org, serving some 2,500 users. Read more

      Haryana

      • The Haryana government has signed a memorandum of understanding with Sun Microsystems to use StarOffice across all state departments. StarOffice is based on OpenOffice.org and supports the OpenDocument standard. Read more

      Kerala

      • The southern India state of Kerala plans to migrate all computers in some 12,500 high schools to Linux. All major Linux distributions include software supporting the OpenDocument format. Read more

      Italy

      • OpenDocument was adopted as a national standard by the Italian national government on January 25, 2007. Link (In Italian.)

      Libya

      • Libya has joined the One Laptop Per Child program and by June of 2008 plans to provide 1.2 million schoolchildren with laptops running the Abiword word processor, which supports the OpenDocument standard. Read more

      Macau

      • The Macau Center for Productivity and Technology Transfer, a non-profit organization jointly operated by the Macau government and private businesses to enhance the productivity of organizations in Macau, has migrated to OpenOffice.org, which supports the OpenDocument standard. Read more (PDF)

      Macedonia

      • The Ministry of Finance has installed OpenOffice.org, which supports the OpenDocument standard, on more than 150 desktops. Link
      • Macedonia has rolled out 5,000 Ubuntu Linux desktops in 468 schools and 182 computer labs nationwide. Ubuntu includes OpenOffice.org. Read more

      Malaysia

      • Malaysia is in the process of adopting OpenDocument as a national standard and is migrating its desktops to supporting applications. Read more

      Namibia

      • SchoolNet Namibia has helped deploy Linux-OpenOffice.org desktops to over 300 schools and expects the number of schools served to exceed 750 by 2008. Read more

      Netherlands

      • The province of Friesland is nearly finished migrating 310 desktops to OpenOffice.org. Read more
      • The City of Haarlem, capital of North Holland, has migrated 2,000 desktops to OpenOffice.org, an office suite that supports the OpenDocument standard. Read more
      • The City of Vaals has begun migrating 90 desktops to OpenOffice.org. Read more (in Dutch)
      • The City of Groningen's Finance and Security Council decided unanimously to replace Microsoft Office city-wide with OpenOffice.org. Read more
      • The City of Amsterdam is evaluating a migration to Linux for its city desktops and says that it will switch from Microsoft software when it current contract expires in 2008 unless Microsoft can demonstrate greater value in the City remaining with Microsoft. All Linux desktop distributions include applications supporting OpenDocument. Read more

      Norway

      • The Norwegian government has decided that proprietary file formats are no longer acceptable in communications with the government. Report No. 17 (2006 - 2007) to the Storting, An Information Society for All, states, "The government will base its software policy on open standards and more extensive use of open source software." eKommune 2009 – det digitale spranget (2005) sets as one of its goals, use of open standards and open source at a national level. Link Link Link. See also the Norwegian Government Press Release

      Pakistan

      • The Federal Data Center Project is migrating 1,000 desktops to OpenOffice.org, which supports the OpenDocument standard. Migration of 4,000 desktops is planned. Link

      Philippines

      • The Commission on Information and Communications Technology's PCs for Public Schools Programme is deploying some 12,000 personal computers running OpenOffice.org to 1,200 high schools. The Commission is also distributing a CD with software including OpenOffice.org and Scribus, both of which support OpenDocument. Link Link According to a later report, the program has been extended using a grant from the Japanese government to deliver another 20,000 computers, with a total of 32,000 delivered so far. Read more

      Poland

      • The City of Gdansk has migrated desktops to OpenOffice.org and StarOffice, both of which support the OpenDocument standard. Read more
      • The Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences, has migrated to OpenOffice.org. Link

      Portugal

      • The Ministry of Education has installed OpenOffice.org on 15,000 desktops in 1,000 schools. OpenOffice.org supports the OpenDocument standard. Read more (in Portuguese)

      Rwanda

      • The government of Rwanda has committed to provide one laptop per child to all primary school children within five years, via the One Laptop Per Child project. All OLPC laptops come equipped with Abiword, a word processor that supports the OpenDocument standard. Read more

      Singapore

      • The Ministry of Defense has migrated 5,000 seats to OpenOffice.org, which supports the OpenDocument standard, and plans to migrate 15,000 more seats.. Read more (PDF).

      South Africa

      • The South African Cabinet has approved a strategy to adopt open source software and open standards government-wide. All open source office suites support the OpenDocument standard. Read more
      • The South African Government's Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has adopted OpenDocument as its preferred document format, to be used whenever possible. CSIR is South Africa's principle technology transfer government organization, advising government units throughout the nation. Implementation was expected to be complete during 2007. Link
      • Novell South Africa has helped deploy 2,205 SuSE Linux desktops with OpenOffice.org in 105 schools within South Africa's North West Province. Read more

      South Korea

      • Korean Post, the South Korean postal service agency, has begun migrating 4,748 desktops from Windows to Linux. All major Linux distributions include software supporting the OpenDocument standard. Read more
      • The Korean Ministry of Information and Communications its intent to adopt OpenDocument as its standard for administrative work. Software that does not support OpenDocument will be excluded from use by public agencies. Read more

      Spain

      Andalucia

      • Andalucia has begun adding 255,000 OpenOffice.org desktops in schools, public libraries, and "Guadalinfo" centers. Link; see also Link

      Catalonia

      • Work has begun to introduce 60,000 OpenOffice.org desktops into Catalonia public schools. Link

      Extremadura

      • In the Spanish region of Extremadura, OpenDocument will be the standard format in public administration and in schools. Approximately 80,000 desktops are running OpenOffice.org, an office suite that supports the OpenDocument standard. In schools, the goal is to expand the program until one computer is available for every two students. Link Link Link

      Sweden

      Switzerland

      • The Swiss Canton (administrative district) of Vaud is switching to OpenDocument. Its mayor-elect reports that the commitment to open software standards is spreading throughout Switzerland. Read more

      Turkey

      • The Turkish government has begun migrating government desktops to Pardus, a Linux-based distribution. Read more. Pardus includes a Turkish version of the OpenOffice.org office suite. Read more
      • The Central Bank has migrated around 2,000 desktops to OpenOffice.org, Ministry of Water Resources about 1,000, the Directorate of Istanbul City Health about 300, and the Scientific & Technological Research Council an undetermined number. OpenOffice.org supports the OpenDocument standard. Link

      United Kingdom

      • All schools nationally are required to use software that can read at least one open standard format. One of the approved formats is OpenDocument (Link)

      • The British Education Communications and Technology Association (BECTA), an advisory body that works with industry to ensure that the UK has the right technology in place for education, issued an interim report on VISTA and Office 2007. The report recommends that Microsoft provide native support for ODF in Office 2007, and that UK schools and colleges only consider deploying Office 2007 when its interoperability with alternative products is satisfactory. The report notes that Microsoft’s current support for ODF is limited (opening and saving ODF documents in Word through a translator), and concludes that using the default file format of Microsoft Office 2007 (OOXML) “therefore has the potential to exacerbate the ‘digital divide.'” Link Link
      • The City of Bristol has migrated some 5,000 sets to StarOffice, which supports the OpenDocument standard. Read more
      • The City of Birmingham main library has migrated 200 desktops to OpenOffice.org, which supports the OpenDocument standard. Read more
      • The City of Birmingham has installed StarOffice on 5,000 desktops as part of a feasibility study of migrating all City desktops to applications supporting OpenDocument. Read more

      U.S.A.

      • The federal Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration have placed freezes on upgrades to Microsoft Office 2007. Among the options under study is a switch to SuSE Linux, which includes the OpenOffice.org office suite. DoT has 15,000 desktop computer users while the FAA has 45,000. Read more

      • James Gallt, the associate director for the National Association of State Chief Information Officers, said that there are a number of other state agencies are exploring the use of the document format standard. "It's more grassroots, starting small and working its way through individual states and agencies," Gallt said. Read more

      California

      • A bill has been introduced in the California legislature that "would require all state agencies, beginning on or after January 1, 2008, to create, exchange, and preserve all documents, as specified, in an open extensible markup language-based, XML-based file format, and to start to become equipped to receive any document in an open, XML-based file format, as specified." OpenDocument is the only standard that meets the proposed requirements. The California legislation is similar to bills pending in the Minnesota and Texas state legislatures. Read more; Legislation
      • Three Los Angeles city council members have asked that the City IT department study the advantages of switching to open source software. The article notes that the City is already using OpenOffice.org, which supports the OpenDocument standard. Read more

      Colorado

      • The City of Northglenn is migrating all desktops to OpenOffice.org, which supports the OpenDocument standard. Read more
      • The Jefferson County IT Department has authorized the use of OpenOffice.org since 2002. Read more
      • The City of Steamboat Springs installs OpenOffice.org on all city desktops, currently about 160. Read more

      Florida

      • The City of Largo began migrating all 900 user accounts to OpenOffice.org in 2002. OpenOffice.org supports the OpenDocument standard. Read more

      Georgia

      • Brandon Elementary School in Atlanta has OpenOffice.org running on 250 student desktops. OpenOffice.org supports the OpenDocument standard. Read more

      Illinois

      • Illinois Central College in East Peoria has installed OOo on all its campus lab computers, and distributes installation CDs to students. Read more

      Indiana

      • Workstations have been added for 22,000 students in the state running Linux distributions that include applications supporting OpenDocument. The Indiana Department of Education's Affordable Classroom Computers for Every Secondary Student (ACCESS) programme aims to eventually equip one million students in the state with computers. This could mean as many as 300,000 desktops supporting OpenDocument. Link Link
      • Lowell High School has been selected as the Indiana Department of Education's testbed for computers in science classrooms. Open source software has been selected, plus donated copies of StarOffice, an office suite that supports the OpenDocument format. Read more
      • Ivy Tech Community College recommends OpenOffice.org and Abiword for use by its students and faculty. Both support the OpenDocument standard. Read more

      Maryland

      • The six branches of the Howard County Library have migrated 300 seats to Groovix, a Linux distribution that includes OpenOffice.org, which supports the OpenDocument standard. Read more

      Massachusetts

      • As of January 2007, all software procured by the executive branch of the U.S. Commonwealth of Massachusetts must be able to read and write OpenDocument files. In addition, all internal documents will be stored in OpenDocument format. ( Link Link).
      • The Administrative Office for the Massachusetts Trial Courts has converted 2,000 seats from WordPerfect to OpenOffice.org, which supports the OpenDocument format. [1]

      Minnesota

      • A bill is pending in the Minnesota legislature that would require the migration of the state's offices to productivity software supporting an open standard. OpenDocument is the only standard that meets the bill's criteria. The legislation is similar to bills pending in the Texas and California legislatures. Read more

      Montana

      • Noxon School District switched 185 desktops to OpenOffice.org in 2005 and thereby gained support for the OpenDocument standard. Read more

      Nebraska

      • The Nebraska State Legislature has adopted Alfresco as its document management solution. Alfresco supports OpenDocument, both by indexing ODF documents for its search engine and through facilities for conversion of legacy document formats to ODF. Read more

      New York

      • A pilot program using SuSE Linux has been launched in upstate New York that includes OpenOffice.org, which supports the OpenDocument format. The program is aimed at providing a computer to each of some 80,000 students supported by the Madison Oneida Regional Information Center. Read more
      • The ResNet campus IT service at State University of New York-Albany provides all incoming students with a CD including OpenOffice, which supports the OpenDocument standard. Read more

      Nevada

      • The Nevada Department of Corrections has installed OpenOffice.org on 1,135 desktops for PDF creation and evaluation of migration options. Link

      Texas

      • A bill has been introduced in the Texas legislature to require state agencies to migrate to software supporting open standards. OpenDocument is the only standard for documents that meets the bill's criteria. The bill is similar to legislation pending in Minnesota and California. Read more

      Wisconsin

      • The University of Wisconsin at Madison's College of Engineering recommends that its users use OpenOffice.org. Read more

      Venezuela

      • Because of a shortage of experts, Venezuela is expected to postpone its December 2007 deadline until the end of 2008 for the entire government to migrate to open source software. All open source office suites support the OpenDocument standard. Read more

      Notes

      [1] Massachusetts Senate Committee on Post Audit and Oversight, Open Standards, Closed Government: ITD's Deliberate Disregard for Public Process (June, 2006) (not available on the Web).