Microsoft's draft Open XML straitjacket arrives
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| While Microsoft is proposing this as the better alternative to ODF
| (OpenDocument Format), as Andrew "Andy" Updegrove, a partner with Boston
| law firm Gesmer Updegrove LLP and the editor of ConsortiumInfo.org,
| points out, the level is so high, that if Open XML became a standard,
| "only clones can be built, which is good for interoperability, but death
| to innovation. It can also be death to competition, since if (as in this
| case) the standard is based on an existing product, then no would-be
| competitor would ever expect to be able to catch up with the incumbent,
| much less compete on price."
| How extreme is the level of detail? Brian Jones, a Microsoft Office
| program manager, cites "the documentation for the simple type "ST_Border"
| which starts on page 1617 (it's in the WordprocessingML reference
| section under simple types). That shows a list of almost 200 legacy
| border patterns that you can apply to objects in a Word document."
| And, at this point, eWEEK's ace reporter Peter Galli quotes a
| Microsoft spokesperson as saying, "And this is just the first draft."
| This isn't a standard; it's a straitjacket.