Microsoft to Open up Office Formats?
November 23, 2005 1 Comment
This is a topic I've covered quite a bit recently and one that I think is extremely important. The main problem I see with this press release is the lack of details. I've seen rumors that only the information to write will be included, which would seem odd, considering MA's main concern was people being able to read Government documents. It should be noted that this is at least 12-18 months off (an eternity in this industry). It should also be noted that this is going to be an ISO standard, not a completely “open” standard. This could get Microsoft the ability to say their documents are a “standard”, without being beneficial to others in the way a standard developed transparently in the open would. How? Let's say they release office version X and then submit to ISO. 12-18 months later the standard is available and people like OOo can properly implement. By the time that is done though, Office version X+1 will be nearing release. Microsoft could completely change the format, submit to ISO and then the waiting game begins again. In reality, the competition's access to the format lags so far behind that it's nearly useless. Sneaky. This is something I'll be watching closely and I'll be sure to post updates as more information becomes available.
OpenDocument, OASIS, Microsoft, Office