Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Closer Look At Those “Single Standard” Policy Mandates : Oliver Bell’s weblog

A timely ODF/Open XML reality check, including a summary of several government policy decisions in this context; see the full post for details.  Via Doug Mahugh.

Looking at the list of current policy positions at the bottom of this post and aligning them with recent experience, I think the following three points are worth some ongoing consideration;

1.Technology and Standards will continue to evolve, is is vitally important for any government defining policy in this area that all options are open for exploiting any new innovations as they become available to the market.

2. Achieving interoperability is rarely as straight forward as selecting a single technical standard, and many of the policy positions around the world recognize this. Applications need to be designed to work together, groups need a solid framework for collaboration and the standards need to be ready to support these two objectives.

3. There are plenty of examples from history where the selection of a single standard has not worked out well for organizations. I have some personal experience of this having spent a few years during the 1990s assisting with the deployment of several agency wide x.400 email systems.

p.s. yes, I realize Oliver Bell is Microsoft's Regional Technology Officer for Asia Pacific

A Closer Look At Those “Single Standard” Policy Mandates : Oliver Bell’s weblog

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