Microsoft has been and continues to be fully committed to opening its document formats for Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Interoperability is not new to Office, and Open XML is part of a much broader strategy around interoperability for Office. When we look at the past three years of document format related investments, you'll see this shining through; we've done quite a lot. Different circumstances led to each of these activities, but as a collection of work, the intent is unmistakable, and despite claims to the contrary, we're highly motivated to ensure that we can participate in an open environment. These are all steps toward openness, which is good for us, good for our customers and good for the industry.
Brian Jones has covered the history of the formats and XML support for Office in a prior post, there is a significant amount of ground covered in his post.
Let's take a look at what has happened:
So, no matter how you look at it, or which nits you'd want to pick (correct or not), this is a long list of advancements that really illustrate how much we have moved forward on openness and interoperability with respect to document formats in the Office products. Hopefully I don't have to write a grand conclusion, the data here should speak for itself. Let's just say that the commitment to openness here is evident and unquestionable.
PingBack from http://claim-blog.freedombloghost.info/?p=9256
Brian Jones has a post this afternoon on the concept of harmonization of document formats, and in particular
What is the motivation to be open?
It can't be customer demands, as ODF is obviously incapable of competing and there are no suitable alternatives to the MS Office suite.
I'm sure customers ask. Every airline passenger wants a wider seat and more leg-room, but as long as competitive economics is in play, the airlines can ignore that and similar demands from their customers.
By-the-by. How can MS posit that ODF cannot represent MS documents well and then tout that the (MS->ODF) converter to this poor format is not downloaded as often as a tool that allows users to avoid an expensive upgrade?
Wouldn't most ODF users already use an ODF compatible product that could -import- MS Office files?
Maybe it's the caffeine.
Microsoft has been and continues to be fully committed to opening its document formats for Word, Excel
I would recommend visiting this site:
These should outline our broader set of activities around interoperability, and will hopefully illustrate why interoperability is important to our business.
ODF and Open XML are unique in the sense that people have latched onto this particular part of the discussion. We don't have a lot of discussions about the use of XML Schema, XPath or other XML standards with InfoPath. We don't see a lot of dicussion on the Web Services support offered in many of our products... we see only the discussion about document formats. Our activities span a much broader set of needs.
Regarding the use of ODF in "ODF compatible" product, I would regard Microsoft Office as one of those. And if we view ODF as a product-neutral format, we'll view every product that supports it as a candidate for use. I can't speak for the adoption of other products, all I can see is what I know of Microsoft Office.
And.. being a product person (not a standards person), I'm really after finding out what features / functionality motivate people to use our software. If ODF becomes one of those things, then we will see the numbers for ODF usage accelerate. Right now that isn't really a top priority based on what the numbers would indicate. Please understand that this is not a criticism of the format, just me keeping an eye on what users are doing.
The reason for the format frenzy is mostly that MS has latched onto it. A few of your customers tried to explore alternatives and the swift, negative response from MS has attracted all the attention.
Were there competition I'm sure things would be better, but there is no way to compete with a company that is willing and able to buy its way in, rather than compete, using a $44,000,000,000 offer.
Microsoft Office is as compatible with ODF as wordpad is. I'll bet one can read an ODF file into wordpad and write it out again and it will appear completely the same to the originating application. The same is not likely for Office.
Of the above investments, I'm not sure which you are referring to as "swift and negative," (also worth noting that our response to ODF included "Approve" votes from Microsoft representatives in US standards committees like ANSI.)
I've intentionally not blogged about the Yahoo! deal, I don't plan to start now. I don't see any meaningful correlation between supporting ODF and the Yahoo! offer.
And the great thing about the translator is, you can test it for yourself to see, anyone is welcome to address what they would see as a defect in conversion. We sponsored the project in a public forum for this reason... you can see for yourself how it is done and offer feedback based on data to improve the tool. Commenting to me about it will do little good, especially without any specific conversion issues that you are facing.
If you want a second opinion on the nature of cross-application interoperability, look here: http://www.robweir.com/blog/2007/02/anatomy-of-interoperability.html
(start with point 5 in the seciont "the forces that help counteract these problems are:")
I think this should round out your point of view on the ODF implementation community with respect to this point.
Massachusetts, Houston, Florida, and Peru come immediately to mind as having encountered swift and negative responses to changes away from MS products.
www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2003-01-21-simdesk-cover_x.htm for example.
How is SimDesk today? Looks like they are out of the office productivity market and off to collaboration. Is Houston back to the Office suite? In 2003 SimDesk offered a significant alternative, but in 2008 there is no hint of word processing or spreadsheets at SimDesk.
Reading clearly, you would see I wrote that it was Microsoft's continuing focus on ODF that is at the heart of the conflict over it.
If there is a benefit to users of MSO-XML that offsets the cost to convert billions of documents to a format that is intended to duplicate "faithfully" some facets of the old, in a quantifiable way, then have at it. Let the marketplace look at features without having to wipe off mud to see what lies beneath.
Continuing to complain about how unfair the ODF camp is to a vulnerable Microsoft hurts the MSO-XML position.
Also, reading carefully, I did not write there was a correlation between supporting ODF and the Yahoo! deal. What I wrote was that a company that could offer $44,000,000,000 to work its way into a market they could not otherwise compete in, is not one that could be competed against.
To head off further misunderstanding, this applies to those companies trying to compete where MS is already established, and often in those areas where MS has set its plan to spend whatever it takes to suffocate existing players.
Given my remarks about the current chair of the OASIS ODF TC , I thought I'd round out my ODF related
Patrick Durusau , le co-éditeur de ODF à l’ISO ODF et OASIS , responsable de la représentation US au
Today is a very important day in the history of Microsoft; it's a moment with which I am very happy to
Yesterday was a big day, filled with lots of goodness on openness and interoperability . Today I thought
Chris Capossela, SVP at Microsoft (somewhere high in the altitude of my management chain) has published
The ratification of Open XML as an ISO standard is a great outcome from the post-BRM voting period. Ecma