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[News] Microsoft 'Support' for ODF Another 'Converter Hoax'?

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ODF Alliance sceptical of Microsoft supporting ODF dropping ISO OOXML

,----[ Quote ]
| Marcich advised caution for now, noting that Microsoft announced its 
| intention two years ago to implement “support” for ODF for via a third-party 
| translator that is still in beta (under development) and will not be 
| completed until the first half of 2009. There was limited functionality 
| available via the converters and they were poorly integrated into the overall 
| Microsoft user interface, as compared with the integration and functionality 
| Microsoft offers for its own OOXML format.      
| “What governments want is direct, internal support for ODF in Microsoft 
| Office. Governments do not want to waste time waiting for translators to load 
| or re-engineering default-save functions for their workforce,” added 
| Marcich. “If Microsoft actually follows through with this most recent 
| promise, it will reinforce the global market-led demand by customers,  
| particularly governments, seeking open standards based interoperability 
| through ODF.”     


[FSFE PR][EN] FSFE Newsletter

,----[ Quote ]
| 2. Lack of quality in standardisation a serious problem
| "FSFE published its 'Six questions to national standardisation bodies'
| before the September 2nd vote last year. [1] Considering the statements
| about progress made on MS-OOXML, one would have hoped that at least one
| of these questions enjoyed a satisfactory response," states FSFE's
| German Deputy country coordinator Matthias Kirschner.  He continues: 
| "Unfortunately that is not the case. Issues like the 'Converter Hoax' [2] 
| and the 'Questions on Open Formats' [3] are still equally valid. As the 
| 'Deprecated before use' [4] and 'Interoperability woes with OOXML' [5] 
| documents demonstrate, MS-OOXML interoperability is severely limited in 
| comparison to Open Standards. In addition to these issues, there are the 
| legal concerns that were raised by various parties. [6]"
| FSFE vice-president Jonas Öberg states: "Governments have to start
| asking themselves what the ISO seal of approval really means. As
| demonstrated by the MPEG standards, it never meant that something
| qualifies as a meaningful 'Open Standard.'"


Microsoft’s ODF support looks good … but on paper only

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft’s pledge to support ODF as a native file format in Office 2007 SP2 
| is good news for  OpenOffice – but on paper only.  
| The devil is in the details – and Microsoft hasn’t spelled out precisely how 
| or if its ODF 1.1 implementation will support macros and other challenging  
| aspects of document interoperability. And it will be some time before we find 
| out. Office 2007 SP2 won’t appear until the first half of 2009.  



My take on why Microsoft finally decided to support ODF

,----[ Quote ]
| Indeed, while OOXML has garnered enough votes to pass, several major
| countries including China, India, and Brazil among others, voted against it.
| It is safe to assume that, in accordance with the opinion the expressed
| through this vote, those countries will not adopt OOXML as a national
| standard either. India has already decided so for one. I know the same is
| true for South Africa. The same will probably be true for others.
| Now, think about this for a minute. This is a huge market that Microsoft
| cannot address with Office as it stands. Can they really disregard a market
| that size? I don’t think so. If not, what can they do about it?
| Well, they can keep trying to fight countries decisions not to adopt OOXML
| but if they haven’t managed to achieve that already, despite all the efforts
| they put in, including some rather unethical if not illegal ones, their
| chances of success on that front are pretty slim.

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