I'd like you to sign our petition to support ECMA Open XML as a standard in the UK.... Here are the benefits of the format:
Why is this important? Steve has a good breakdown of why we need your support with this petition:
So what are you waiting for? We need you help so please sign the petition here, it's very quick:
Aren't you Softies embarassed by the constant whining? "Teacher, those IBM meanies are hurting me!" [http://lnxwalt.wordpress.com/2007/02/14/teacher-those-ibm-meanies-are-hurting-me/]
Yes, people want an open standard XML-based file format specification with full freedom to implement it in any product. They want a single format that is not controlled by any particular vendor, so that they have a choice of applications. Unfortunately, the secret sauce ingredients in the not-so-OpenXML format are going to make it impossible to bring this *desired choice* assuming that the format is accepted by ISO and government markets.
What people do *NOT* want is "choice in file formats," each fully supported in one vendor's products and unsupported (or partially supported) in other vendors' products. [http://lnxwalt.wordpress.com/2007/01/20/whats-wrong-with-choice/]
I realize that choice in applications means that your office suite will have to compete on features and price, not on being the only product that fully implements a proprietary file format. This is likely to cut margins in one of your key business units.
However, I expect Microsoft to survive and even thrive in this new environment--after some adjustments.
What I don't get is why MSFT refused to participate in the ODF process at OASIS. There would probably have been some changes in the format to help make it easier for the company to use in their products, seeing that the goal of ODF is to have a universal file format for office applications.
I don't know why we didn't participate in the ODF process either. Why didn't any of the other supporters of Open XML?
Calling it Open XML doesn't make it an open format. I could build 'open' XML tags around my own proprietary file format as Microsoft does with RTF, etc... Does that make Open XML really open?
Besides, people already have the choice: either use Open formats like ODF or proprietary formats like Microsoft's. And there's already a standard: ODF.
IBM were probably the only ones who did the right thing. On Dell's site, people chose Linux and OpenOffice instead of Microsoft's software.
People want choice, yes. But when the choice isn't Microsoft, you don't seem to see it.
Actually the fact that the specification is freely available and implementable by anyone means that it is an open standard.
What choice to people have when it comes to open formats at the moment?