04 July 2007

Having Your Digital Cake and Eating It

How rich is this?

The growing problem of accessing old digital file formats is a "ticking time bomb", the chief executive of the UK National Archives has warned.

Natalie Ceeney said society faced the possibility of "losing years of critical knowledge" because modern PCs could not always open old file formats.

She was speaking at the launch of a partnership with Microsoft to ensure the Archives could read old formats.

Microsoft's UK head Gordon Frazer warned of a looming "digital dark age".

Er, yes, which Microsoft created.

Adam Farquhar, head of e-architecture at the British Library, praised Microsoft for its adoption of more open standards.

He said: "Microsoft has taken tremendous strides forward in addressing this problem. There has been a sea change in attitude."

Pity its new-found love of "openness" doesn't extend to embracing the one truly open and independent file format standard, ODF...

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