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Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 03:01 PM CDT

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The Future of ODF and OOXML
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, March 30 2008 @ 01:36 PM CDT
1.  The quality of OOXML is not there yet.
Yup. Well-played. By the time OOXML will be cleaned up the real harm will be far, far away. MS Office 2007 will be history and competitors will be forced to support MS Office 14 or MS Office 15.
2.  There will be no OOXML-compliant products for some time.
What are you talking about? The whole hoopla was to make it irrelevant if there will be OOXML-compliant products or not. The fact that there are no OOXML-compliant products will put MS Office in the position of "golden standard": "well, you know - no products are 100% compliant yet, but MS Office 2007 is the most common one so please make sure you are supporting it".
3.  The “billions and billions of documents” that already exist were not created in OOXML.
Wonderfull, doesn't it? Now competitors will be forced to support yet-another-standard in addition to .doc/.xls/.ppt.
4.  Many governments do not wish to support a monopoly.
But many clerks in these some governments do. By one reason or other. Now the have carte-blanche.
5.  Many Governments promote competition.
Yup - but now it'll be harder to do.
6.  Governments may not wish to tell their citizens what software they must buy and use.
Yup. But then some key officials will get "free" copy of MS Office 2007 and will demand to use "standard" OOXML format since it's what this thing uses by default.
7.  “Open” means more now than it used to.
Yup. That's the only good thing. But of course Microsoft will claim that since OOXML is an open standard and free software supports it so bad it just means you can not trust FOSS at all.
8.  The contest between ODF and OOXML has raised public awareness over the importance of document standards.
That it did, but the end result is: Microsoft can continue to use what it likes and can crush alternatives by weight of it's monopoly.
9.  Recognition of the existence of “Civil ICT Rights” secured by “Civil IT Standards.”
We'll see. It's indeed a problem for Microsoft. Will need a lot more "standards" like OOXML. Remember: XPS and others?
10.  Cost.
You'll have harder time with OpenOffice.org compatibility-wise: most of your respondents are using MS Office, not OpenOffice.org! Is it enough to justify the cost? We'll see.

Remember POSIX support in NT 3.1 (back in 1994)? It was strict requirements for the OS to by buyable by government. Microsoft implemented some kind of POSIX subsystem - enough to pass the tests, not enough to really use. Here we have such a situation right now: OOXML is incompatible with MS Office, but it's close enough to claim that MS Office 2007 is using international standard for it's documents. Enough to sell, not enough to harm, because true interoperability will be a myth. Well-played, Microsoft.

Of course Microsoft will be forced to do some motions which are looking like a fullfilment of promises: provide some mapping (probably disfunctional), participate in OOXML “maintenance phase” (the slower the better), etc. But Microsoft is great dissembler - I'm pretty sure it'll be able to it.
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