The alliance supports a particular solution, called the OpenDocument Format, for standard office word processing, presentation and spreadsheet documents. Today, the formats used by most people for creating documents are those in Microsoft Office--more than 90 percent of the market.
ODF is useable by anyone - just downloading the OpenOffice suite gives you the ability to read and create ODF, and other software suites include this functionality as well. It's even possible to include ODF in proprietary software. Some members of the alliance include IBM and Sun, who obviously have no love for the current industry standard, Microsoft's varied document formats. There are other alternatives, and the article makes note of this. Ultimately, so long as an open standard is employed, progress is being made.