Interesting adoption data for Open XML and ODF

I recall this Rob Weir post.

"Now we shouldn't be so careless as to say that there are only 2,000 OOXML document in existence, or for that matter only 160,000 ODF documents. Not all documents are posted on the web. In fact, most of them are sitting on hard drives, in mail files, behind corporate firewalls, etc. The documents that Google sees is only a sampling of real-world documents. But this is true of both ODF and OOXML. My hard drive is loaded with ODF documents that are not included in the above sampling. But however you spin it, the minuscule number of OOXML documents and their pathetic growth rate should be a cause of concern and distress for Microsoft."

Fast-forward to today, where I was just doing some checking on file format adoption:

Aside from the numbers, the Google Trends graph really illustrates the story best (spreadsheets, presentations as well):

Indeed, Open XML has now passed ODF in terms of adoption (at least as much as this is a measure.) I'm assuming that if this measurement was good enough then, it's good enough now as well. I'm hoping we'll see Rob updating his chart soon.

But this isn't really what we're after… let's face it, the Open XML / ODF conversation has evolved far beyond this now. As Microsoft Office is working to support ODF and Open Office supports (at least partially) Open XML, the conversation is really about ensuring interoperability of both formats. Regardless of whether you favor Open XML or ODF, the path is really a means to making a dent in these numbers, or perhaps this one. Over time, we should expect to see a significant trend downward for these binary documents. But how long will it take?

Google File Type Search Results


Open XML

Binary Formats

Open XML Document (DOCX) count: 94,000

Binary DOC count: 44,600,000

Open XML Spreadsheet (XLSX) count: 18,000

Binary XLS count: 1,800,000

Open XML Presentation (PPTX) count: 32,800

Binary PPT count: 5,990,000

At Microsoft we are now committed to helping solve the interoperability challenges required to make the meaningful dent in the binary formats. Like many others, we are sitting at the table to make a contribution to the discussion. We are moving in a positive direction, investing in Open XML, ODF, and in the interoperability conversation for real implementations.

Just like any other hard conversation, 90% of the winning formula is showing up with a constructive mindset and right intent. We're hopeful to continue the positive dialog with the ODF community and Open XML implementers alike.

Comments (15)
  1. Anonymous says:

    Adoption data for Open XML and ODF

  2. Anonymous says:

    Gray Knowlton has an interesting post on Open XML adoption numbers, and Zeyad Rajabi continues with his

  3. GrayKnowlton says:


    should sort you on on the spec support question. Besides, ODF implementations for the most part support ODF 1.1, so I’m not sure what you’re getting at here. ODF 1.1 is not an approved ISO standard.

    Marc, we don’t have details to share on Office 14 at this time.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’ve fallen a few weeks behind on posting links to various articles and blog posts, so this post is a

  5. GrayKnowlton says:

    Hi Herb,

    I will not, but check with Doug Mahugh ( He’s a member of the ODF TC, and can give you input on who might join this particular sub committee.

  6. GrayKnowlton says: offers the choice of formats in which to publish content. Some teams choose XPS, most new content publishers choose Open XML, and the legacy binary documents posted will remain in their current format. There are currently over 1700 docx files indexed on, so we’re making progress in that area.

    The compatibility pack is an optional add-on to Office XP and 2003 to include support for Open XML in those versions of the products. It is a manual download, and not ‘pushed’ to users. We have had excellent success with the compatibility pack, it has been downloaded by individuals more than 50M times, and deployed across businesses large and small world-wide.

  7. GrayKnowlton says:

    Hi Nathan,

    The measurements are pretty strange, it’s more about the rate of increase rather than the actual numbers. At some point a while back, all file format numbers haad a significant decrease, even the binary formats. I’m not sure what was going on there. The trendline is what it is, though. It’s clear that both formats went though a significant dip, so I don’t think it really matters.

    In the end, a difference of 44k documents doesn’t matter that much in comparison to a 44M number (which at one point I beleve was reported at closer to 130M).

  8. Anonymous says:

    It’s great to see the adoption of Open XML accelerating. The Compatibility Pack for Open XML has been

  9. GrayKnowlton says:

    Hi Tim,

    I will agree that the google trend data isn’t really great… and because the trend graph is not actually a filetype search it isn’t perfect. but the ratio of binary to Open XML to ODF does feel about right. But it is one of the few measures we can point at, and folks were quick to criticize Open XML early on before we were seeing a lot of indexed files… so it’s good to see that circle back.

    I’ve blogged before about the compatibility pack, which adds R/W support for Open XML to Office 2003, and we’re approaching 50M downloads of that thing. So we are seeing a fairly rapid uptake of Open XML.

    But in the end, I agree with you (I think) that all roads may lead to the same intersection, which is that product implementations matter as much to document interoperability as the formats do. It certainly underscores the need for us to be present in the discussion where file format interop is being conducted. The gap between 94,000 and 44 Million is really the one worth closing here.

    Thanks for the comment!

  10. Tim Anderson says:

    I made a similar observation last month:

    Rob Weir contacted me to observe that Google’s counting is pretty strange, so bear that in mind.

    Further, I don’t believe this has much to do with conscious adoption; it is more about the influence of default formats.

    That said, I do come across more OXML then ODF in the wild. It will be interesting to see if the new 3.0 (which cannot save to OXML) has much effect. Recession may be a factor too.


  11. Nathan T. Freeman says:

    I don’t understand the metric here… by your figure, about 44,000 ODF documents have actually been REMOVED from the web since Rob’s post in Nov of last year.  I find that extremely difficult to believe.

  12. Marc says:

    Hi Gray

       I would like to know if newly created Office 14 documents will be made to conform to the strict conformance IS 29500 specs.

       Would you like to tell us something about it? Thanks in advance


  13. foo bared ? says:

    Right. But of those XXXX for ooxml comply with the spec as per iso guidlines. You know the answer to that. a big hands up –> (notices there are none). Ok and now how many that comply with the odf format about 95% probably. Care to revise your figures ?

  14. Herb Torrens says:

    Hi Gray,

    OASIS announced today a new Interoperbility and Conformance Committee for ODF. Will you, or Microsoft, be taking part in the committee?

  15. __hAl__ says:

    When will Microsoft start to use the OOXML format on their own documentation.

    Most of the documents on the Microsoft site are still .doc or PDF files and not available in OOXML or XPS.

    Why is the compatibility pack not added to MS Office 2000/XP/2003 servicepacks ? Still most installations of these older Office versions are not capable of interpreting OOXML even though competing office suites can already interprete OOXML files.

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