For some time I've been considering writing a book about what has become a standards war of truly epic proportions. I refer, of course, to the ongoing, ever expanding, still escalating conflict between ODF and OOXML, a battle that is playing out across five continents and in both the halls of government and the marketplace alike. And, needless to say, at countless blogs and news sites all the Web over as well.
Arrayed on one side or the other, either in the forefront of battle or behind the scenes, are most of the major IT vendors of our time. And at the center of the conflict is Microsoft, the most successful software vendor of all times, faced with the first significant challenge ever to its one of its core businesses and profit centers – its flagship Office productivity suite.
I'm wrapping up a Burton Group document on ODF, Open XML, and related topics this week. A preview of one of my conclusions: at current course and speed, ODF is probably going to turn out to be more like VIM, IDAPI, and OpenDoc (earlier everybody-but-Microsoft standards endeavors) than a strategic threat to Microsoft's Office franchise.