OpenDocument Alliance Triples in Size

The ODF Alliance, an organization of companies supporting the adoption of the OASIS OpenDocument format, announced Tuesday that its membership had more than tripled in less than two months. Since March 3, its ranks have grown from 38 to 138.

Some of the biggest names in technology are now members of the ODF Alliance, including Corel, EDS, IBM, Novell, Opera, Oracle, and Sun. Open source companies have also opened up to the alliance, with GNOME, Mandriva, OpenOffice.org, OSDL and Red Hat offering their support.

"This diverse support grows everyday and ranges from the City of Bloomington, Indiana and the National Archives of Australia to the Indian Institute of Technology and the Bristol (UK) City Council," said Ken Wasch, president of the Software & Information Industry Association and one of its leading members.

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Alongside the membership announcement, the alliance also said Tuesday that it had named Marino Marcich as its managing director. Marcich brings experience to the table, including a decade of experience in issues of technology, standards, and open source.

"As the Alliance grows, so does the momentum of our initiatives, which is why we are excited to have Marino lead our efforts," Wasch said. "He comes to the ODF Alliance with a wealth of international knowledge and proven abilities that will help us promote the OpenDocument Format."

Analysts say Marcich's experience in Europe, where he advised companies on regulation, standardization and trade issues, is especially beneficial. In European countries, adoption of ODF has been much quicker than in the United States.

The alliance is currently working on lobbying to have the Open Document Format approved as a standard by the Internatiional Standards Organization and International Electrotechnical Commission. The balloting process ends in May, and the group says it expects to prevail in those efforts.

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