You want interoperability? Sure, but on our terms…
As noted in this article on WinBeta, with the 3 top word processors in the world supporting Office Open XML “Suddenly the landscape looks very different, as by the end of this week, the world’s most widely distributed and supported document format will at last be an open standard…but it won’t be ODF.”
As evidenced by the lengths that Microsoft went to influence the Massachusetts Open Document decision, it was probably worth a few hundred million dollars to Microsoft to continue their Office domination under the guise of an open standard file format, and it seems it was definitely worth it to Novell.
Complete Open XML?
As pointed out by Bob Sutor months ago, Open XML is a huge specification and is unlikely to be completely implemented by anyone other than Microsoft themselves, leading to limited interoperability – which we were told was the whole point of this exercise.
In my opinion, suggesting “choice” among ODF and Open XML by governments who are seeking control, true choice, and interoperability is nothing more than maintaining the status quo — a requirement for Microsoft products under the guise of supporting a “standard.”
In reaction to today’s announcement. Sutor is unwaived in his assessment:
I’m ready to stand corrected when they demonstrate full translation of arbitrary documents that use all the corner cases of the gargantuan Open XML spec. Presumably they would have a test suite that demonstrates full coverage. If they are just doing a partial translation, then this is just what I said would happen in the blog entry: the only consumers of complete Open XML will be Microsoft, and even that is questionable. The extreme bloat of the Open XML spec will only preserve the network effect when full fidelity is required. Gosh, do you think that could possibly be the point, I wonder?
Geez, what’s with all the conspiracy nuts?