Is This What It Takes To Push OOXML Into The Market?

Tuesday, 2008-April-08 at 12:23 5 comments

It is really pretty funny.  The Microsoft-Rules-Forever crowd co-opted the voices of freedom lovers like Rick Jelliffe1 in order to push its next user-enslaving document format, OOXML, over the top.  And with all of the additional attention and the possibility of new doors opening for OOXML, they still feel that they cannot compete with ODF unless they use arm-twisting tactics.

If you disagree, you should take a look at the comments on this ThinkFree blog posting.  Here, let me help you:

We are also considering the ODF support in ThinkFree.
By the way, There is one obstacle for solving the problem…
That is MS Policy for ODF, Because of interoperability with MS Office in ThinkFree,
We still need the MS cooperation that support OOXML,,,
I think you can understand this situation & MS policy strategy…
But we plan to solve this political problems, and also We will make the detour.

How many of the known implementers of the OOXML formats could tell of similar arm-twisting?  Why is it that Microsoft feels that it cannot compete without misusing its huge market share to stifle the growth of more-open alternatives?

I mean, come on now.  With over 90% of the (paid) market for office suites, they have to use untoward arm-twisting to pass OOXML through ISO?  And then, after it passes, they still must use these techniques in order to keep companies like ThinkFree from implementing OOXML's more popular competitor, ODF?  How does Microsoft's vaunted "openness pledge" hold up, given these facts?

How about it, Altova?  Could this be the reason why your products do not support ODF?  I know there is demand, since up to 600 people a day come to this blog looking for the answer to one question: How can I open this ODF file someone sent me?  Are you really willing to give up that many potential opportunities to sell your XML software?  Is implementing OOXML so difficult that you must have MSFT's good will and thus cannot risk satisfying potential customers?


1 One of the bad things about the way Microsoft and its minions misused Rick Jelliffe's influence is that even his good suggestions might be ignored.  And, no David, despite disagreeing with Rick on OOXML, I have not mistreated him.  In fact, I respect him for his expertise in XML-related fields.  I am looking forward to seeing his Schematron in action some day.

Entry filed under: ODF, Open Standards. Tags: , .

XO Rocks! Linux Journal Shows How To Extract and Parse ODF Files with Python

5 Comments

  • 1. Rainer Schuermann  |  Wednesday, 2008-April-09 at 01:55

    What is so terrifying is that MS’ evil practices are open and recognized by everybody, yet everybody just shrugs and says “OK, it’s Microsoft, what can you do”.
    Easy: Simply refuse to use their formats and insist on exchanging files in truly open formats.
    Just get our of “services” like Thinkfree.

  • 2. markus  |  Wednesday, 2008-April-09 at 04:27

    ‘Simply refuse to use their formats and insist on exchanging files in truly open formats.’

    I dont so much have an anti-MS agenda.
    But your statement wont work if a majority just shrugs and uses the bigger market share (what is already available, however often not for i.e. Linux. And we all know how Microsoft has strategically positioned itself due to Novell. Thanks Novell for supporting all this crap …).

    Its not easy to cope with MS formats outside the MS world (lets remove Openoffice for a second to see how much more annoying the situation would be, and dont come with Abiword please because I have had numerous bugs with it related to .doc formats. Mind you though. Abiword is still a great piece of software.), and there are people within the Linux community such as Miguel de Icaza who constantly praise how great MS is for the Linux communities to have and how superior the MS standards are. Bla bla bla. He should take where his mouth is and see that there is a mono office implementation that WORKS with both MS format and the other format he so much dislikes …. but its easier to flame in a blog (I do it too, i admit…) than work on something that really *works*.

    How many are even ABLE to use non-MS formats?

    o you see the problem if anyone trying to move to a format that DOES NOT DEPEND ON MICROSOFT?
    It does not even stop at OOXML, Microsoft simply has too much market share on a global scale. Take XNA for example. Fortunately, XNA mostly only covers games and restricts you to the Microsoft plattform, but it exactly shows that Microsoft fights actively against anyone that tries to change the dependency on one huge player.

    The biggest loser however is ISO, because they showed the world that bad specifications will be approved as long as the money factor is true.

    Anyway, I expect Microsoft to _pay_ for the inclusion of the OOXML formats in the major free software, because it is a shame that ISO requires the open source community to implement it (cuz it is an ISO standard now). Otherwise, why would ISO even exist if only the big players get their way together. I dont care if IBM is friends with MS, I care about software that I can use without the f*ck**g need to use a “Microsoft approved PC” crap. Grrrrrr…

    PS: And if ISO purposely approves documents that are huge, and knows that only half an army of devs can implement that fully (thus draining time from developers), then it is time to completely abolish ISO. I mean exactly this. Either ISO dies, or it accepts that only specific documentations that are TERSE PRECISE and STRAIGHT TO THE POINT should be approved.
    This is independent of the bribery claim – we know that corruption happens all the time. But that inferior standards come out of ISO is in no way acceptable.

    No community wants to play chase-the-stick with the big companies, and no 8000 +pages should ever be a “standard”. (Btw this so much reminds me of the LSB specification. So after all it is not only Microfot that plays dirty here, just look which companies support the LSB)

  • 3. John Stracke  |  Wednesday, 2008-April-09 at 05:47

    “Is implementing OOXML so difficult”—Well, yes, it is. OOXML is 6000 pages, and leaves out a lot. If you want to implement those bits it doesn’t specify, you have to either get MS’s help or reverse engineer them from MS Office.

  • 4. Jerry Sheehan  |  Thursday, 2008-April-10 at 07:04

    Re: “How about it, Altova? Could this be the reason why your products do not support ODF? I know there is demand, since up to 600 people a day come to this blog looking for the answer to one question: How can I open this ODF file someone sent me? Are you really willing to give up that many potential opportunities to sell your XML software? Is implementing OOXML so difficult that you must have MSFT’s good will and thus cannot risk satisfying potential customers?”

    — I wrote a blog post about this awhile back that shows the Altova tools can be used with ODF if you’re interested? Here is the, page

  • 5. El Geek Errante · El Geek Errante: transmisión #37  |  Monday, 2008-May-26 at 17:52

    […] Esta aprobación demuestra que la ISO ya no funciona. – No solo esto, sino que las 6K páginas de la especificación no están completas. – Está claro […]


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