The Contradictory Nature of OOXML II
January 21, 2007 Leave a comment
A quick follow up to this post. Stephen Walli, an ex-Microsoftie (via acquisition) whom I've had the pleasure of having a few drinks with, makes some interesting observations about the current ODF/OOXML situation. From his blog post:
I'm going to take a slightly different view here. ECMA has already approved the specification. One can imagine that the Microsoft marketing and standards engines are in full gear, and Microsoft execs, Office spokespeople, and field account execs are faithfully espousing:
* “Microsoft Office 2007 is standards compliant. ECMA International is a recognized international standards organization, with participation from IBM, HP, Intel, Adobe, and dozens of other companies.” [Subtext: It must be a good standard for all our partners and competitors to have passed it in a fair-minded international standards process.]
* “Indeed, ECMA International has submitted the standard to ISO for fast track approval as an international standard, and the process will complete in 2007.” [Subtext: It's so good, that they have recommended it for FAST track at the world's premier standards body.]
I would be surprised if Microsoft's Massachusetts team isn't already lobbying to have the new “standard” included in the ITD reference architecture alongside ODF. Regardless of the merit of ISO accepting the document, however, buyers will be staring the nasty rhetorical beast in the teeth. So what is a procuring organization to do?
He then outlines a certification process plan that I really think would serve ODF well. Hopefully something along these lines happen soon. Time is certainly of the essence here. He concludes with something similar to what I said in my previous post:
“Standards” with only one implementation aren't. The buying side of the marketplace has always recognized this and chosen the standard with multiple implementations over the specification with only a single implementation. The ODF world has the ability to demonstrate this message in a way that meets the needs of customers, and the demonstration through a branded certification is much more powerful than unaligned vendor rhetoric.
Absolutely spot on. The days of this kind of thing being accepted are thankfully coming to an end. Many companies and institutions have had to learn the hard way, but they are learning.
Microsoft, OOXML, MSFT, Open Source, ODF