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05.25.08

Jason Brooks: Microsoft OOXML a Dead Format Walking

Posted in ECMA, ISO, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML at 2:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

OOXML is bad

OOXML: the next music DRM?

There have been no significant developments regarding OOXML so far this weekend, but a few articles are particularly interesting and they certainly stand out from the crowd. The first comes from Jason Brooks, who is not a Microsoft Office skeptic. In fact, he typically defends or raves about that office suite, but watch what he says about OOXML.

Microsoft OOXML: Dead Format Walking

[...]

Since most Office users would be happy to continue using Microsoft’s old binary formats, and since those for whom open standards are important would probably prefer ODF or PDF formats anyhow, I won’t be surprised if OOXML quietly dies before that future Office iteration ever sees the light of day.

Had this come from Steven JVN (as it did), it would not mean quite as much. Coming from Jason, who is a former colleague of Steven JVN at eWeek, it sure seems like a big blow to OOXML. Even heavy users of Microsoft Office are not interested in OOXML, which might eventually become a dinosaur due to ODF.

A blog post from the 451 Group talks about it as a world-turning event.

Oh the drama. Most of us knew ISO approval of Microsoft’s OOXML format was not the end, but more of a beginning in the ongoing fight for the future’s file format. Any doubts of that were put to rest this week with a flurry of activity around OOXML’s approval, ODF adoption, Microsoft’s support and the stance of U.S. states and other governments.

This leaves us facing another very important observation, which was first made by Groklaw on the face of it. Previously, Microsoft lobbyist Jan "you are well paid, shut up" van den Beld messed about with the rule inaugurating OOXML. Talk about conflict of interest. That said, new reports beg to suggest that it might be happening again.

JTC1 directives to be rewritten by ECMA again?

Do you remember that Mr Jan Van den Beld was rewriting the rules of the Fast Track just for one customer and its OOXML standardisation project? Now there is a special (secret) working group inside ISO rewriting those rules again.

Alex Brown was changing them too, as we showed before. Talk about a fox watching the hen house.

Also see:

ECMA is Microsoft

“My opinion of ECMA was already very negative; this hasn’t improved it, and if ISO doesn’t figure out away to detach this toxic leech, this kind of abuse is going to happen again and again.”

Tim Bray, 2008

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