“…we should take the lead in establishing a common approach to UI and to interoperability (of which OLE is only a part). Our efforts to date are focussed too much on our own apps, and only incidentally on the rest of the industry. We want to own these standards, so we should not participate in standards groups. Rather, we should call ‘to me’ to the industry and set a standard that works now and is for everyone’s benefit. We are large enough that this can work.”
–Internal document, Microsoft [compressed PDF]
Applications do not define standards and standards are not made of applications. This is probably crystal-clear, but many attempts are made to portray OpenOffice.org as the embodiment of ODF, which it is not. This happens to be far from the first time that Microsoft systematically spreads lies about OpenOffice.org, which puts at risk Microsoft's biggest cash cow. We will give an example of such lies at the bottom of this post.
Meanwhile, pleasant news is arriving from the OpenOffice.org team, which put together a schedule for the next major release. The Wiki which talks about the dates appears to be dysfunctional at the moment, so here is a rough copy.
• release candidate for all languages: July 25th, 2008, begin of TCM testing
• Product release: September 2nd, 2008 or OOoCon 2008 mid September.008-01-13/
Free Software Magazine has just published an article that takes a look at the most recent version of OpenOffice.org. It tries to validate the suitability of OpenOffice.org for a business.
To continue my look at how non-profits and the free software community can engage, I’ve decided to look at some popular free software products and see how well they fit the need of an average charity—namely my employer.
It is worth adding that an ODF-friendly office suite, derived from OpenOffice.org, is soon to arrive Apple’s platform as well. [via Bob Sutor]
IBM will release Lotus Notes and its Lotus Symphony productivity package, a free alternative to the documents and other software in Microsoft Office, for Apple’s Macintosh computers.
So far, Apple has proven and demonstrated a level of support for ODF. IBM and various versions of OpenOffice.org for Mac (NeoOffice, plus a native version on its way) are just a few among others.
Returning to the point made earlier, remember not to trust what people tell you about OpenOffice.org’s abilities and performance. There is a tremendous amount of FUD making the rounds, especially in unmoderated forums where no fact-checking is involved. Here is a new benchmark that falsifies some ugly myths about OpenOffice.org. Mind this bit:
Therefore, do not fall for the statement that OpenOffice.org is more bloated. Those statements either stem from ignorance or are FUD. Both are dangerous.
This whole post may seem somewhat promotional, but it is not. It is merely motivated by recent developments — and especially the anticipation surrounding version 3. █