Thursday, May 22, 2008

ODF Wins the Office Document Format War? - Yahoo! News

This sort of spin was inevitable, but it's very far off-track, imho.  For example, it's impossible for Microsoft to support ISO OOXML until the standard specification has been published, and that's still in the future -- perhaps a year into the future -- so no smoking gun there...  And, in the meantime, lots of enterprises and independent software vendors are already exploiting the (ISO OOXML precursor) ECMA OOXML standard that's supported in Office 2007 today.

As for Microsoft supporting ODF in Office 2007 SP2, it's a pragmatic and, imho, politically astute move (as is Microsoft joining the OASIS ODF TC), but it hardly implies Microsoft favors ODF or is hedging on OOXML, and of course the PDF support was already there, albeit a mouse-click and download away (as is ODF support, albeit also a download away, and not officially supported by Microsoft today, and not as seamlessly integrated as it will be in Office 2007 SP2).

Good news for those of you who have been following the XML office document standards battle. Microsoft today announced that Office 2007 will support ODF (Open Document Format), the document standard used by and other open source productivity suites, with the release of Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 2, due sometime in early 2009.

Even more surprising, however, was the corollary to the announcement. While the Office programmer bees are busy buzzing away at ODF, OOXML (Office Open XML) is being put on the back burner. Don't expect Office to support a fully ISO-compliant version of OOXML until the next major release of the suite, currently codenamed Office 14, release date unknown.

The final part of the article:

Any way you slice it, this is a big step toward shaking off Microsoft's dominance of the office software market and ensuring that we can all preserve our files for years to come.

Yes on the latter; not likely, on the former.

ODF Wins the Office Document Format War? - Yahoo! News


Anonymous said...

"And, in the meantime, lots of ... independent software vendors are already exploiting ... OOXML"

Name one.

pbokelly said...

Altova, Apple (not strictly an ISV, of course), Microsoft itself, and many others -- see for a lengthy list.