Microsoft Should Abandon Office Open XML As a Standard

by Preston Gralla

Microsoft's decision to submit its new Office Open XML document format for Office 12 to become an open standard is anything but an attempt at openness. In fact, it's a very clever way to try and fight off a true standard --- the OpenDocument Format (ODF).



ODF is already a widely accepted standard. So why isn't Microsoft using that, rather than trying to get a new format accepted? Because ODF is supported by the Open Source OpenOffice.org suite, which competes with Office. Microsoft worries that if it makes ODF an accepted format, rather than the new Open XML, companies may switch to OpenOffice.org.



It's time that Microsoft accepted that Office is going to have competition again, after many years of being a monopoly. I expect Google to release an Office suite one day, most likely Web-based using AJAX. To fight that one off, Microsoft is going to have to do more than just try to fend off the ODF format. So it might as well get started now, and work on improving Office, not trying to inhibit open standards.


What do you think about Open XML?


2 Comments

bobc
2005-11-24 06:44:54
Isn't that what a business should do?
Basically what your saying is that one company is reacting to possible competiton by doing something that preserves the companies competitive edge. Isn't that exactly what they should be doing? And although ODF is a standard, I would hardly describe it as "widely accepted". The description would be more appropriate to the two defacto document standards, PDF and Word.


Parts of AJAX were practically invented by Microsoft as non standard Active X objects years ago. And if you've used Visual Studio 2005, you'll find various references to Atlas (AJAX) in many contexts. The point is that anyone using AJAX is going to have plenty company.

phoenix-blaze
2005-11-24 14:33:36
Isn't that what a business should do?
It would be more apt to say one company is reacting to possible competition by doing something that preserves their competitive edge by using underhanded and monopolistic strong arm tactics.
If Microsoft wants to claim to support open standards then they should support the full process of open standards and the community as a whole.