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Gray Matter

Gray Knowlton's blog on Microsoft Office

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  • Blog Post: Rethinking ODF leadership

    I can't help but observe the "discussion" underway with respect to spreadsheet interoperability that Rob Weir has started . Essentially Rob is complaining that Microsoft didn't implement the formula namespace of OpenOffice. For the chair of the committee to post vitriol like this about the implementation...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft on Interoperability: “Significant, Strategic Change”

    Today is a very important day in the history of Microsoft; it's a moment with which I am very happy to be associated. If you didn't see the big news , you can read about it here . But if you just want to skip to the "What does this mean for Office and File Formats?" part, read on. To recap what was...
  • Blog Post: ODF Editor Endorses Open XML

    "I recommend approval of DIS29500 as an ISO standard."- Patrick Durusau Mr. Patrick Durusau has again commented on Open XML . It is great to see at least part of the ODF camp coming around to consensus on a point which I've been saying for a while (a lot of people have been saying). Ratifying Open...
  • Blog Post: Gartner: Open XML “would have been a better choice than ODF as the single standard”

    Gartner has published a report about document format standards . They have pointed out a number of key challenges related to document format standards, and illustrate clearly some of the issues that remain from the Open XML and ODF ratification waves. This report offers several interesting conclusions...
  • Blog Post: Office 2007 Service Pack 2 Kiosk

    UPDATE: The links for the downloads for SP2 are in the process of replicating across mirrors for our WW download center. The download links are expected to be live at around 11:00AM PDT. Update: The download links for SP2 are now live . The Office development team has been pretty busy with the...
  • Blog Post: Clearing up a few matters with respect to ODF and SP2

    By all accounts last week was a busy one. So much has now gone back and forth on the spreadsheet formula issue that it is easy to get lost in the volume of coverage. As a follow-up to my last post, I’d like to help set some things straight on the topic. You should read these posts if you care to understand...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft adds “Save as ODF” to Office 2007 Service Pack 2

    Updated. April 28, 2009. Office 2007 SP2 is available for download. For more information: http://blogs.technet.com/gray_knowlton/archive/2009/04/27/office-2007-service-pack-2-kiosk.aspx For those of you who have been following the file format issue for a while, you'll recognize today's action by Microsoft...
  • Blog Post: Redmond ODF workshop feels pretty good

    You'll see some blog traffic on this, so I thought I'd throw my own log onto the fire. I attended the ODF workshop yesterday, mainly to sit in the back and watch how things unfolded, but also to learn a little bit myself. I must say that after the conclusion of the event, I was quite happy about how...
  • Blog Post: Compatibility Pack for Open XML passes 100 million downloads

    Sorry for the absence, I took a short break from work and blogging after the birth of our second child. Being a parent is a great blessing. It's just the signing up for 12 more months of 3-hour increments of sleep that I'm not so sure about J . But it's back to work for me now, and it is a pleasure...
  • Blog Post: Got FUD? Here’s a guide for the perplexed

    I saw Bob Sutor's post last week titled " There is humor in the OOXML morass ." This is where he calls out comments from Nick Tsilas as worthy of "a good laugh." I interpreted Bob's post as an attempt by IBM to deny that they are leading the charge against Open XML. I like a good laugh too, so I had...
  • Blog Post: Interesting adoption data for Open XML and ODF

    I recall this Rob Weir post . "Now we shouldn't be so careless as to say that there are only 2,000 OOXML document in existence, or for that matter only 160,000 ODF documents. Not all documents are posted on the web. In fact, most of them are sitting on hard drives, in mail files, behind corporate...
  • Blog Post: “Notes” from the Open XML Battlefront: IBM vs. IBM, part 2

    Stephen McGibbon pointed me toward an interesting development for the IBM products announced at Lotusphere: "But IBM will support Open XML, which is the current document format in Office 2007, in its Lotus collaboration and portal products. IBM already supports older versions of Office." So claims...
  • Blog Post: Balancing the opinions on ODF TC Members

    Given my remarks about the current chair of the OASIS ODF TC , I thought I'd round out my ODF related discussion with something a bit more positive. In fact, I don't even have to add any commentary of my own, I'd just like the work to speak for itself. Patrick Durusau, editor of the ISO26300 and OASIS...
  • Blog Post: Regarding the future of Open XML

    As I troll the blogosphere and reporting on Open XML and ODF, I notice a question has surfaced regarding the future of Open XML that is probably worth addressing. Many have asked or speculated that the recent announcement of ODF in Service Pack 2 is an indication that Microsoft is quietly stepping...
  • Blog Post: Office 2007 Service Pack 2 Kiosk, with more staples

    Read this first if you're looking for SP2 details: http://blogs.technet.com/gray_knowlton/archive/2009/04/27/office-2007-service-pack-2-kiosk.aspx Office 2007 Service Pack 2 is getting quite a bit of attention, it is great to see. There has been world-wide traffic coming to my blog, and I’m sure that...
  • Blog Post: The value of a checkbox as defined by a standard

    Just keeping tabs on the state of matters for document format standards. I thought I'd share some of those interesting data points and connect some dots along the way. Ouch . Rich Jelliffe discusses some of the dynamics of the OASIS ODF TC. Rick says: "It seems that OASIS rules actually ban Technical...
  • Blog Post: On “motivation” and commitment to open file formats

    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...
  • Blog Post: “Harmonization” vs. “Unification”

    Patrick Durusau, Editor of the ODF specification(s) has offered another post in the vein of "can't we all just get along?" For all the discussion however, these documents from Mr. Durusau indicate a good path forward. This path is similar (the same) as what has been undertaken by DIN a while back. This...
  • Blog Post: On Harmonization: DIN releases early draft of Open XML / ODF Translation report

    Picking up on the harmonization topic again , it appears that DIN has published an early draft of their report on translation between the two formats. The report outlines some preliminary findings in the feature differences between the format specs, and outlines some principles for what it thinks appropriate...