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[News] Microsoft Cannot Really Defend OpenXML

Microsoft Hits Back at Its OpenXML Critics

,----[ Quote ]
| "ODF is what the world needs today to drive competition,
| innovation, and lower costs for customers. It is an example
| of a real open standard versus a vendor-dictated spec that
| documents proprietary products via XML. ODF is about the
| future, OpenXML is about the past. We voted for the future,"
| Sutor said.
| [...]
| The OpenXML specification is very detailed, running to some 6,000 pages...
| [...]
| Asked about the claim that OpenXML is not universally interoperable as it 
| has ties to Windows, which prevents full interoperability with other
| platforms, Yates said OpenXML has no ties to Windows.


The rebuttal is a no-argument. Yates makes some very weak points. It's clear
that Microsoft has no case, but it has allies like Intel whose vote it buys.
Nobody wants Microsoft to retaliate, right? Lotus Notes will use ODF.


Is Open XML a one way specification for most people?

,----[ Quote ]
| Who will implement Open XML correctly and fully? Maybe Microsoft.
| Why? Since it is essentially a dump into XML of all the data
| needed for all the functionality of their Office products and
| since those products are proprietary, only they will understand
| any nuances that go beyond the spec. The spec may illuminate
| some of the mistakes that have been made and are now being
| written into a so called standard for all to have to implement,
| but I'm guessing there might be a few other shades of meaning
| that will not be clear. Fully and correctly implementing Open
| XML will require the cloning of a large portion of Microsoft's
| product. Best of luck doing that, especially since they have
| over a decade head start. Also, since they have avoided using
| industry standards like SVG and MathML, you'll have to
| reimplement Microsoft's flavor of many things. You had
| better start now. So therefore I conclude that while Microsoft
| may end up supporting most of Open XML (and we'll have to
| see the final products to see how much and how correctly),
| other products will likely only end up supporting a subset. 


Is Office Open XML A One-Way Standard? Ask Microsoft

,----[ Quote ]
| Way back in October, Bob Sutor, IBM's open standards guru, wrote
| a piece on his blog where he described the Office Open XML
| standard as a one way standard, because the format is so complex
| and so geared towards compatibility with legacy Office compatibility
| that it could never be implemented as a fully functional file format
| by any competing personal productivity applications (PPAs) like
| WordPerfect and OpenOffice. I agree with a lot of his points but
| didn't feel compelled to write about it since the issue had been
| covered pretty comprehensively in the blogosphere.


Signs That Your "Open Standard" May Not Be Open Enough

,----[ Quote ]
| If OOXML is an open standard, why must Mac MS Office users wait so
| long for OOXML support? Correct me if I am wrong, but MS Office on
| the Mac is developed by Microsoft themselves, how is it that the
| Windows Office development team had access to the OOXML specification
| but the Mac Office team did not?
| [...]
| Microsoft's ECMA submission comprised more than 6,000 pages. The
| challenge of plowing through so much could drag out
| approval by ISO. (ODF's submission was less than 700 pages.)
| [...]
| So, while Microsoft's own developers struggle to comprehend and
| implement their own proposed "standard" file format, perhaps Mac
| MS Office customers can use Novell OpenOffice for their Windows MS
| Office compatibility needs.


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