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OpenDocument Format Has Solid Foundation in the World Wide Web

Posted in Deception, Formats, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 3:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Permission granted to use this plot, which has been slightly modified (annotation)

Rob Weir has just published an excellent new post which describes not only how far ahead of OOXML OpenDocument Format has already gone, but also shows how Microsoft deception (or “spin”, or “lies”, depending on whose side you’re on) is used to hide this fact. The first comment from Stephane Rodriguez is worth reading also.

There are fewer than 2,000 OOXML documents on the entire internet (as indexed by Google at least) and the trend is flat.

What about ODF? Almost 160,000 and growing strongly.

Looking at the comments, Microsoft has not yet found a response or a decent rebuttal. The silence speaks volumes.

Several times in the past we have shown cases where Microsoft uses the tricks such as (selective) statistics to pretend that OOXML is spreading quickly. It’s a case where the “numbers game” is called “statistics” or “study”, just as “lies” are called “marketing”, "astroturfing" is called “evangelism”, and "bribery" is called “marketing help” (yes, that’s how Microsoft sneaked out of the recent fiasco in Nigeria).

The title of this post is intended to contain a bit of a pun. David Berlind reminds us yet again that the entity which goes by the name “Foundation” has very little to do with the future and great success of ODF. The “Foundation” has become more of an excuse for Microsoft to push some lies into media streams, which it virtually controls.

OpenDocument Format community steadfast despite theatrics of now impotent ‘Foundation‘


…Microsoft, the company whose Office empire is probably more threatened by ODF than most people realize, capitalized on the confusion by spreading its own FUD on the story.

The headline says “theatrics”. Dare I say that Sam Hiser himself has told me that it’s all theatre? Yes, his own words.

Other concerns to bear in mind here include journalistic integrity, which has been put to question. Time after time. After time. After. Time. Peter Galli from eWeek spreads FUD (no, he hasn’t stopped yet) which is based on the Foundation’s views. He seems to have joined the more Microsoft-dependent ‘journalists’, such as Mary Jo Foley.

This isn’t the first time that we catch Peter Galli spreading some FUD (see this open letter). Be cautious whose word you take (possible for granted, without doubts). A few weeks ago Peter wrote an article whose headline was not correct (about Obama’s policy on formats) and some months ago there was unnecessary outrage because of an incorrect headline in an article that speaks about Microsoft and virtualisation.

I have personally given hope on the mainstream media, which now more than ever is inclined to please its advertisers, sponsors, and benefactors. I’ll say more about this in the next post.

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  1. Sam Hiser said,

    November 30, 2007 at 3:51 pm


    Rob’s not getting the .docx’s behind the firewall.

    It’s a pure guess how many are there. Quite a few if Office 2007 numbers are true.

  2. Jim Powers said,

    November 30, 2007 at 4:07 pm


    Certainly the number only reflects documents that can be reached by Google crawlers. Also, sad to say, there are probably a lot more OOXML documents out there, orders of magnitude more. Remember Vista ships with a 25 use Office 2007 install that only saves in ooxml. My parents just got a new laptop and after I lost the fight to get Linux on it I at least got OpenOffice on it and uninstalled the 25 use Office 2007 “teaser”, but the vast majority of people like my parents are sheep and victims of whatever crap vendors and Microsoft decides to pile on a new PC. Seriously, we HAVE to get rid of bundled PCs. All machines should be purchasable naked and you can add an OS (of your choice) during the checkout process. Also, any “bundled” software should not be pre-installed, including Office. S.O.Bs

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 30, 2007 at 4:08 pm


    I said:

    Looking at the comments, Microsoft has not yet found a response or a decent rebuttal. The silence speaks volumes.

    Thanks, Sam, for reminding us that no ODF file has even been served behind a firewall. (sarcasm)

  4. Rob Weir said,

    November 30, 2007 at 6:13 pm


    Note that if we think OOXML adoption is actually high, but my chart artificially shows it as flat because these documents are all behind firewalls, then we would also then need to assume that the % of OOXML document that are placed behind firewalls has been increasing over time. In other words, that the probability that a given OOXML document is behind a firewall has increased over time, and at such a rate that it exactly compensates for OOXML’s adoption rate. That would be an amazing coincidence if true. But is there any evidence or a motivation for such a change in user behavior?

    The more natural assumption (Occam’s Razor, etc)., is to assume that aggregate user behavior is constant over this 12 month period and that X% of documents will appear on the web and 100-X% will be hidden behind firewalls. But if document adoption causes the overall base of users saving to that format to increase, it would raise both counts by the same percentage. So the stark flatness of the OOXML curve is the key indicator here.

    You can talk firewalls all you want. But fewer than 2,000 OOXML documents on the web a year after the format was made a standard? That is hard to explain away.

  5. Jim Powers said,

    November 30, 2007 at 6:30 pm


    Well, OOXML isn’t a standard yet ;-). But with the help of GNOME, Miguel de Icaza, and such they’ll get there. Then Microsoft will abandon it for OO-Silverlight or some such, leaving FLOSS developers no choice but to reverse engineer this new abomination and get more threats of patent infringement. Sounds fun!

    I’m guessing that most folks with fill 2007 Office are still forced to save in .doc format because they need to interact with other folks who cannot read OOXML files yet.

    Well, about the flat curve, I’m not completely comfortable with the idea that the flat curve is representative of the total number of OOOXML documents. In the exact same way that I don’t think that the number of Adobe PhotoShop files indexable by Google are is representative of the total number of PhotoShop files in circulation. There aren’t a lot of OOXML files out there because there isn’t a critical mass of people running software that can read/edit that format (just like the PhotoShop files above). I’m not trying to be contrary, I’d like nothing more than for OOXML to fail miserably and be forgotten in the annals of history, I’m just not convinced that we should take *that* much comfort in these results.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 30, 2007 at 8:26 pm


    Well, OOXML isn’t a standard yet ;-) . But with the help of GNOME, Miguel de Icaza, and such they’ll get there.

    I’m always reminded again and again why I replace the “Oh Oh” in OOXML with a couple of coins. Last reminder came just half an hour ago.

    Microsoft uses its moneyflow to protect that same moneyflow. Isn’t there some law against such practices? It’s the equivalent of “dumping” or “selling at a loss” in the businesses sense (to suppress and eliminate competition). This is related to Intel/Microsoft sabotage of OLPC (covered here just days ago).

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