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Developers can implement Open XML on a variety of platforms.
I've written a fair amount of code that processes Open XML markup, and it is obvious that the markup is not platform specific. The description of paragraphs, styles, workbooks, worksheets, rows, and cells don't have anything to do with whether you are writing code for Windows, Macintosh, Linux, or the iPhone. However, there are parts of the Open XML specification that the opponents of Open XML have said are platform dependant, such as the specification of embedded, linked objects, but this simply isn't true. Of course, the best proof of platform neutrality are the many implementations of Open XML on a variety of platforms.
Here is a screen clipping of an Open XML document that is being edited using ThinkFree.com. The screen clipping is of the Firefox web browser, and shows the editing of a document in a browser window.
ThinkFree's rich web client runs using the Java Plug-in 1.6.0_05. It uses JRE version 1.6.0_05 Java HotSpot(TM) Client VM. ThinkFree's server is a Linux server running Apache:
Hey, for those who want to live in a "No Microsoft Zone", feel free to use ThinkFree to edit your Open XML documents. ThinkFree's browser implementation works just as well on other platforms, such as Macintosh and Safari.
The same document looks like this in Microsoft Word 2007:
The opponents of Open XML who say that Open XML is tied to one particular platform are spreading disinformation.
I've made a short list of the various ways that Open XML embodies good cross-platform design:
The specification is very much platform agnostic. In the BRM, it was made even more so.
The proof of the cross-platform capabilities are found in actual implementations: