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Some Open XML Standardization Headlines

A few things happening in the effort to make Office 2007’s Open XML file format an internation standard:

Germany voted “Yes with comments” in favor of Open XML as an ISO standard. The comments means there are some objections, but they voted yes regardless.

The U.S. put out its final motion, with several members switching sides to make it also a “Yes with comments” vote. The only no votes came from the obviously biased IBM and Oracle, as well as Farance Inc., and the IEEE abstaining. IBM’s objections refer to “over 1,700 technical issues/comments”, but they conveniently mention nothing about their involvement with ODF.

Apparently, China, India and Brazil voted no.

One common complaint about Open XML is that the standard is too hard to implement. Try telling that to Sean McBreen, who has a list of 41 software projects, besides Office 2007 itself, that do exactly that.

Google, since it doesn’t have any standing regarding file standards (its document software uses Microsoft, ODF and other formats, with no ability to save in some sort of Google format), has decided to jump in and issue a statement on Open XML. You can download the PDF from here. They say that ODF is an existing standard, and that it isn’t beneficial to introduce a new standard in Open XML.

Forrester has an article with a great perspective on the Open XML / ODF war, explaining why IBM is so biased, and that OpenOffice and Sun produce little more than Office imitators with no differentiation except ODF. OpenOffice is hoping to win purely by having an unnecessary different open standard, when Microsoft’s office suite could just as easily have its own open standard. If “open standards” are being used as a way of gaining unearned market share, then it would be wrong for any company to be denied the chance to have its own open standard.

August 28th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Office, Applications, General | 5 comments

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  1. Oh Please, If MS did not lobby like a crazy fool, thier partners running to join standard boards to vote yes, Open XML simply would not be a standard. They are buying the standard. The unfortunate part of this whole greedy ooxml thing is MS is ruining the credibility of ISO. PERIOD. It is a disgrace but you are so blind and on a narrow path you simply wont recognize that because you in MS pocket also.

    Comment by Robert Lilly | August 28, 2007

  2. I wish I was in Microsoft’s pocket. At least I wouldn’t be so damn broke. :-)

    Actually, I get a check every month from Google that pays my way through life. So there.

    But seriously, you are attacking Microsoft, a giant supposedly evil corporation that is trying to get their long-established office suite backed by an international standard, against IBM, a giant supposedly evil corporation that is trying to use an international standard to get their un-established office suite to be successful. No one in this fight is fighting for you, okay?

    IBM ruined the credibility of ISO by using them as the sole reason ODF should be used by state governments. Microsoft is restoring credibility, because with both file formats as international standards, the consumer gets to decide which office suite is better, and that’s how it should be.

    Comment by Nathan Weinberg | August 28, 2007

  3. That is were you are wrong again. The ODF standard was developed by collabaration of manay organizations threw Oasis: On the other hand MS ooxml was only developed my MS only for the purpose of so they can be the only ones to implement it… Maybe soon you will understand that it is not an open standard but a bought one.

    Comment by Robert Lilly | August 29, 2007

  4. Regardless of how many organizations developed ODF, it is being used by IBM and othersas a competitive tool in a war with Microsoft. Your supposedly open standard is being manipulated by multi-billion dollar corporations so that they can fight a different multi-billion dollar corporation.

    Microsoft developed Open XML as a closed standard, but when it was clear that the political manipulations behind ODF where hurting them competitively, they decided to open it up. ODF was designed to be open, but was hijacked as a tool for profit by Microsoft’s competitors. In a sense, ODF is more “bought” than Open XML.

    At least Microsoft Office’s file formats have a reason to be used. Consumers decided to buy the software, so it became widely used and dominant in the market. ODF is a standard not because the marketplace decided so, but because it was certified as such, and that is its only competitive advantage. Microsoft should be afforded the same advantage, and the marketplace should decide which is better.

    Comment by Nathan Weinberg | August 29, 2007

  5. >Microsoft should be afforded the same advantage, and the >marketplace should decide which is better

    They should not have any advantage, it should be neutral. That is what a ISO standard is. THey should have joined Oasis and helped develop the best SINGLE OFFICE FILE FORMAT EVER. But as you say they developed ooxml as a closed format first and hence lies all the problems with having it now as a OPEN STANDARD. thier format even mentions binary stuff from Word 07. Give it a rest. It should not be ISO approved and as ussual MS makes a mockery out of the system:

    Comment by Robert Lilly | August 29, 2007

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