The Italian Association welcomes Microsoft’s move to open its API

PLIO, the Italian Association who support and promote the Italian open source office productivity suite, today after Microsoft’s announcement wrote an open letter to Microsoft.

Welcome, Microsoft.

Following yesterday’s announcement, we are ready to co-operate at the promotion of open formats in order to support this new endeavour in the area of office suites. We are ready to co-operate, but we will criticize you for every uncertain or false step.

Inside interoperability there isn’t any space left for tricks: interoperability means that you have chosen to be on the same side of the users.

We believe in your good faith more than the EC doesWe trust you more than the European Commission, as they have told the world who highlighted that this is the fourth time that Microsoft makes an announcement about interoperability, without any impact – until today – on the company strategy.

We sincerely hope that this time, for a number of reasons – including our proactive opposition to the fast track standardization of Office 2007 file formats, which will go on until all the necessary changes will be made, the chances that mere words are going to translate into facts are higher than in the past.

At the same time, we invite all the companies that support the ODF format together with us – and those that belong to the community: Sun, IBM, Novell & Red Flag – to work for a full interoperability, as the technical and legal obstacles are going to disappear soon.

Users should be able to exchange transparently Microsoft Office and documents, in both directions.

The software industry, which is not based just in Redmond, must demonstrate a true commitment to make ODF a more widespread format.

If this will happen, users will win, and the market – i.e., all of us – will win.

Associazione PLIO (Italian National Linguistic Project

Today at the international event ECOySOLSemana de promoción científica y tecnológica para el desarrollo del Ecosistema Digital y del Software Libre – I had the pleasure to share our strategy with the attendees, including our very last decision to open a constructive dialog with Microsoft.

We just broke up 1,000,000 downloads last week, but I told them also where the story starts.

Five years ago we were already working hard to promote cooperating with Italian free software organizations I managed to get our Minister of Education head up on the importance to tell Italian schools about She eventually did it indeed, thanks to our common efforts and some media coverage.

Media became very receptive to our news only later, when Italo Vignoli joined our community, and the story goes on.

Fostering perception of the existence of is not an issue anymore for us.’s low end disruption is taking over in Italy, our users are not the innovators of the innovation adoption curve, but early adopters.

Now we need help, and we are asking Sun (already paying a lot of attention to our open letters), IBM, Novell & Red Flag to work with us for a full interoperability, as soon as the technical and legal obstacles will disappear.

Users demand inter-applications interoperability, let’s do it now!

PLIO, the Italian Native-Lang Project, is the Italian community of volunteers who develop, support and promote the open-source office productivity suite, supports the Open Document Format for Office applications (standard ISO/IEC 26300) and is available on major computing platforms in over 90 languages, available to 90% of the world-wide population in their own mother tongue. is provided under the GNU Lesser General Public Licence (LGPL), can be legally used in any context.

Technorati Tags: PLIO, OpenOffice, disruptive innovation, Sun, Red Hat, IBM, Microsoft, interoperability,