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Microsoft to open Office formats

updated 09:05 am EST, Tue November 22, 2005

Microsoft opens formats

Microsoft said it will offer its Word, Excel and PowerPoint document formats as , a move that could spark a war with technology rivals over standard document formats, reports InfoWorld. Microsoft said it would submit its Office Open XML (Extensible Markup Language) document format technology to the International Standards Organization (ISO) to be adopted as an international standard in time for the launch of the next version of its Office software suite, code-named Office 12. A key supporter of OpenOffice says Microsoft is using the move as an "end run" around having to support the OpenDocument format, which has the backing of several companies, including Apple, as well as the Massachusetts government.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. kaisdaddy

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Makes no difference...

    ...to me which standards get adopted. As long as there ARE standards. If MS opens up their Office Open XML format, that's fine with me. The main thing is that everyone will have access to the same exact spec and nobody will be locked into one vendor's brand of productivity software.

  1. mmirage

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    That's assuming...

    That's assuming, of course, that MS will stick to the spec and not add proprietary tags to it in the future. Let's face it... they don't have the greatest track record in that respect. Anybody remember the "blink" html tag? Or any of the other wonderful little bits that they have "added" to the HTML standards in order to incorporate new features in IE that the other browser makers have to catch up to?

    And wouldn't it be the ultimate irony if MS submitted the standard, and then had the worst implementation of it. *grin*

  1. hitoro

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    No big deal

    Open standards are useless if the files are displayed and outputted differently depending on the capabilities of the editing tool. See XHTML and CSS, both are standards and none are displayed identically across platforms. Anyway, OpenOffice being a clone of MS Office (or is it the contrary?), they are both terrible.

  1. ecrelin

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    it truly doesn't…

    ISO standards and open source are not similar or comparable, it may allow others to read and write to their document spec more easily but it is not an "open standard" as they still own it, have it patented and are the only ones who can modify it. Same old M$ "news". Unfortunately lots of ignorant people out there that get fooled into thinking that they are the progressive innovators they claim to be. Thankfully their time has come and gone… although it will take many years for them to diminish, good riddance.

  1. barryjaylevine

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Prediction...

    ...based upon Microsoft's history of participation in "standards" committees:

    MS will dicker as long as they can get away with it. During this time they will have successfully bamboozled the other participants into stalling further development (or postponing add'l marketing) until their suite is ready to be released. Then they will throw up their hands, declare that no one is ready or willing to compromise from their "entrenched positions", and release their product to the accolades of their paid "journalist" shills.

    Microsoft + Open Standards?? This doesn't even pass the laugh test.

  1. Deal

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    I agree with everybody!

    Just one thing to add.

    Microsoft can't even be fully compatible with itself. Look how much trouble it has between versions and platforms now!

    A Microsoft standard will be like a pliers. Sure you could make it work on just about any bolt, but there is a better tool for the job. The problem is, most people only have the pliers in their toolbox.

  1. ATPTourFan

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Very creative...

    As if we needed more evidence of Microsoft's lack of creativity and innovation, just look at their "codename" for the new version of Office: "Office 12"

    Where's Ben Stein to say "Wooowwww" for me?

  1. LuckyJack

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Apple's participation

    Apple participated in OASIS? Really? And the OpenDocument standard is "backed" by the state government of MA? Um, no.

    Apple is listed as a participating party in Microsoft's XML standard, but not OpenDocument -- at least as far as I can tell. And the Massachusetts attorney general (maybe... it was one guy) simply said that proprietary standards were bad. OpenDocument was available, but I do not believe there's been anything official from there yet. Of course, the OpenDocument guys are so desperate for someone beyond the Linux world to take notice of them, they'll be willing to take credit for just about anything. Sad, really.

  1. l008com

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Hey

    Beacon Hill can't be wrong, down with MS's crappy formats!

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Stuff

    That's assuming, of course, that MS will stick to the spec and not add proprietary tags to it in the future. Let's face it... they don't have the greatest track record in that respect. Anybody remember the "blink" html tag?

    Yeah, but everyone was doing this, including Netscape, the other 'major' browser at the time, as they wanted/needed more than what the current spec had, and didn't want to wait for those standards committees to get off their asses and approve a spec. Technology moves faster then people who need to make decisions.

    ISO standards and open source are not similar or comparable, it may allow others to read and write to their document spec more easily but it is not an "open standard" as they still own it, have it patented and are the only ones who can modify it.

    No one said it was open source, just a standard. There's lots of non-open standards. Java is the best known. AAC and MP3 are other ones. Apple pushed Quicktime as a standard, and tried to get it as part of the standard for MPEG4.

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