IDC has prepared a report about the move toward open document formats such as Office Open XML and ODF. The report is based on interviews with Nordic firms, and it's nicely open-minded, pointing out that governments have never been able to dictate standards to the marketplace and in the end it's market forces that set durable standards.

These concepts have a lot of relevance today. Several governments around the world are in the process of analyzing open document formats and trying to pick a "required" format. I'm hoping cooler heads will prevail, and markets will be free to choose formats based on the specific strengths and weaknesses of the available options.

The IDC report takes a look at the bigger issues around open standards and document formats in general, and then discusses what they learned about adoption of new document format standards by interviewing major Nordic firms. Their conclusion is that the market benefits from having more than one standard to choose from, and each standard addresses different perceived needs.

You can download the report from the OpenXmlDeveloper site here.