Microsoft long refused to adopt the format, claiming it doesn't perform well, but has now made a sudden U-turn. It's unknown whether this update will be available worldwide or exclusively in the UK.
Typically, Microsoft Office documents can only be opened with a few applications. Google Docs has a conversion tool for changing the format, but other productivity suites like Apple’s iWork and LibreOffice cannot utilise Office documents.
This new government victory forces Microsoft to enable users outside the Office ecosystem to download, view and edit documents without owning Office or subscribing to Office 365.