Topic Of Discussion: ODF and OOXML

Wednesday, 2008-May-28 at 18:04

Topic Of Discussion: ODF and OOXML

The OpenDocument.XML.org community site has a lot of links to coverage of issues surrounding document formats.

For example, one article links to an article on Ars Technica about the Sun ODF Plugin for MS Office.

… Microsoft paid no notice; the update was going to allow seamless opening, editing, and saving Word, Excel, or PowerPoint documents using ODF, whether people liked it or not. Microsoft told those interested in the move that they had to wait until the first half of 2009, and now Sun is telling them that next year has come early.

By the way, I recommend Sun's plug-in for those who cannot switch to another office suite that natively uses ODF. See lists here and here to find other ODF-capable software.

Another entry links to a story about the Dutch government producing an open source conversion tool to transform its documents from proprietary formats to ODF.

The Fall of Microsoft Office points to a Motley Fool article of the same name.

On the same day that the state of New York published a report supporting open formats for electronic documents, mighty Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) said that it would support the open-source ODF format in Office 2007. Redmond’s own Open Office XML specification may be heading for the great Recycle Bin in the sky, never to come back.

The company’s biggest revenue generator may be a shadow of its former self in a few years. I just hope that Microsoft has some alternative business prospects on tap — and no, tackling Google’s search hulk head-on doesn’t count.

I note that I did say that a single format, with multiple compatible applications was threatening to Microsoft's financials, which explained all they did to attempt to promote multiple formats, with a single compatible application for each. This despite the oft-spoken desire of end-users to have single format, multiple compatible applications, so they no longer have to worry about what software brand and version is being used by their friends and business associates.

"OOXML ratification faces delay after objection" points to a C|Net article of the same name. Microsoft&339;s ODF support points to Open XML challenges links to a same-named article at Computerworld.

Microsoft Corp.’s plan to add ODF support to its Office applications suite next year reflects continued challenges for the software vendor’s own Office Open XML file format, as the industry moves ahead with adopting ODF and sorts out Open XML’s troubles.

Though Open XML was ratified as an open standard by the ISO international standards body on April 1, it continues to face impediments to widespread adoption. On Friday, it was revealed that South Africa is appealing ISO’s approval of the standard. And earlier this week, New York’s state government officially promoted ODF — formally, the Open Document Format for Office Applications — as a standard file format based on customer demand, as it launched a new initiative for technology openness and open standards.

I am not sure that the general public is as attentive to the debate as they have been, but the technology community appears to be re-energizing its attention.

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

… And Then They Fight You Not Dancing Yet


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