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Microsoft Backs Competing Open Document Format

Microsoft announced last week it was supporting ODF, the competing document format used by OpenOffice, backing adding it to the ANSI’s list of business standards. Microsoft is looking to get its own, competing, Open XML format supported by ANSI, so it may think that by supporting its competitor’s bid, it improves its own.

In an einterview on Thursday, Updegrove said that by supporting ODF as an ANSI standard, Microsoft is “making it appear it is rising above the squabble to do the right thing.” Instead, he thinks the move serves as a challenge to vocal ODF supporters to support approval of Open XML as a global standard when a final vote for the draft specification comes before the ISO.

To its credit, Microsoft voted for ODF when it came before the ISO (International Organization for Standards), while IBM cast the only negative vote for Open XML when it was up for approval by standards organization Ecma International, Updegrove added.

People talk about Microsoft being all evil and anticompetitive, especially against loved open source movements like ODF, but beneath everything I see the hulking machine that is IBM, trying to cut off Microsoft. Being evil and convincing everyone you’re a happy little open open source movement, that’s true evil. After all, what did we say about the devil’s greatest trick?

May 21st, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Developers, Office, Open Source, Applications | no comments

Sometimes Microsoft Marketing Gets It, Sometimes They’re Dopes

Here are two Microsoft marketing videos posted recently by Long Zheng:

The first, Coach, is great:

The second, The Wow Starts Now, was clearly designed by the guys at Homestar Runner and their band “Limozeen“, a parody of truly awful heavy metal cliches:

The second one fails because it is loud and has no useful message. Sure, the coach in the first one speaks loud, but he’s funny, he’s talking about something of substance, and most importantly: He’s funny! There’s a lot of stupid, loud marketing out there, all of it created by people who really don’t understand or care to understand what the target audience thinks of their crap.

Here’s an idea: As a marketer, you need to assume from the get-go that everything you’ve done till now is crap, and use that as a starting point.

Speaking of stuff that does work, AdRants has good stuff to say about Microsoft’s The Break Up, and they also point out another great video in a similar vein, Truth In Advertising:

May 21st, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Marketing | one comment