EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS


Microsoft Office Says ODF Files Are Corrupt

Posted in Formats, FUD, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 10:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Steve Ballmer on ODFShades of DR-DOS FUD tactics

One day ago we wrote about ways in which Microsoft seems to be discouraging the use of ODF. It’s a must-read for background. We promised some screenshots and we finally have them thanks to Eruaran. Here is the portion of the IRC discussion which explains what you see at the bottom.

<Eruaran> The first one is what comes up if you try to open an .odt in MS Word 2007 (after I clicked ‘details’)
<schestowitz> Thanks!
<Eruaran> no problem
<Eruaran> so, you click ok and you get the second one
<schestowitz> And the third…?
<Eruaran> so, you click ‘yes’ to ‘recover the contents’ of this document and you get the third
<Eruaran> third shows after I clicked ‘details’
<Eruaran> click ‘ok’ and thats it
<schestowitz> “the file is corrupt,” eh? The last time I checked it’s Microsoft that corrupted Swedish folks for OOXML.
<Eruaran> try to open the same document back in OOo or KOffice and its perfect


<Eruaran> “Microsoft Office cannot open this file because some parts are missing or invalid” ~translation~ “Microsoft Office could open this file but wont because some parts are missing (you know, those binary blobs that keep you dependant upon us), so we’ve decided your choice of file formats is invalid”.

Dialogue 1:

ODF diagloe

Dialogue 2: (click to enlarge)

ODF error

Dialogue 3:



Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one


  1. Shane Coyle said,

    June 19, 2008 at 12:50 pm


    It looks like they fed Word an ODT file, but implied (or word assumed) that it was OOXML – Dialogue 3 says it’s a malformed OOXML file, which it likely is. It’s also likely a malformed mpeg file, if you try to feed it to mplayer as such.

    What ODF plugin is being used here? Word doesn’t support ODF natively, yet, right?

    When you had the open file dialog, what filter for file type was applied, or was it all files? Then, did it ask you to choose a file type because this format was unrecognized, or did it just assume it was OOXML?

    I know MS said that ODF support was coming, fulfilling the last of Stafford Masie’s prophecies, but it’s not here yet that I noticed – something about a service pack, I don’t use Office so I dunno. We’ll also have to wait and see on how well it is implemented, I suppose.

  2. Stephane Rodriguez said,

    June 19, 2008 at 3:39 pm


    The dialog boxes show that Word 2007 tries to open a Word 2007 file, and does not find the parts it expects. This is not conclusive, other than the fact that Word 2007 does not support .ODT natively.

    Is that worth a blog post? Who said Word 2007 natively supports .ODT ?

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 19, 2008 at 3:50 pm


    The reader expressed his concerns about the textual contents of the dialogue/message.

    I’m not sure if you read the previous post. We show here only the fairly intimidating dialugues that discourage ODF use or at least introduce doubt (even for future use). We also mentioned how this relates to the fiasco around DR-DOS in this IRC Chat (full logs posted this morning)

    A reader wrote to tell me about another example a couple of hours ago (E-mail):

    In regards to this one ( or another on the same topic )

    I’ve noticed, second hand, that MSIE gives a ‘security’ warning when accessing Gmail.

    See those ‘smoking gun’ from DR-DDS again. This may not be deliberate this time around, but it does not help, either.

  4. Roy Bixler said,

    June 19, 2008 at 3:56 pm


    You could say that the error message is deceptive because MSO is interpreting a format that it does not support as if it does support it. That would certainly confuse someone who is not technically savvy or who is unaware of ODF and that it is a distinct format from OOXML. It’s not as if ODF was unknown when MSO 2007 was released. At best, I would say that Microsoft was negligent and made a bad assumption that every XML file must be an OOXML file. More likely is that, given Microsoft’s history, they would regard it as “not a problem” or even desirable if their error message caused confusion, all while giving them plausible deniability.

  5. Victor Soliz said,

    June 19, 2008 at 5:34 pm


    It looks to me that they are just assuming any “unknown” (to them) XML file is OOXML that needs to be repaired, well the way to prove would be to feed it a random XML file and see what happens. I hope some of the readers actually have office 2007…

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 19, 2008 at 5:37 pm


    I hope some of the readers actually have office 2007…

    I’m not sure about the word “hope”. :-)

    Either way, about half of the visitors of this Web site use GNU/Linux.

  7. Victor Soliz said,

    June 19, 2008 at 6:28 pm


    Well, they could try WINE, wonder if anyone would actually bother try to run THAT.

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 19, 2008 at 6:51 pm


    It’s possible. Wine Reviews showed it some months ago.

  9. Eruaran said,

    June 19, 2008 at 8:44 pm


    @ Shane Coyle

    “It looks like they fed Word an ODT file” – Yes I did.

    “but implied (or word assumed) that it was OOXML” – Microsoft knows what an ODT is. Word could simply report that the format is unsupported, but it doesn’t do that.

    “Dialogue 3 says it’s a malformed OOXML file, which it likely is.” – It was a simple text document that was not malformed at all. This supports my point – Microsoft’s dialogues have made an impression on you.

    “It’s also likely a malformed mpeg file” – I don’t know why you think that.

    No ODF plugin was used. Office assumes it is OOXML.

    You can also choose “recover text from any file”, and Word will spit out some revealing information: It correctly identifies the document type as an OASIS open document, it can output all of the meta data, it knows what version it is, but it absolutely will not at any time output the single line of text that the document contained.

    The purpose of this exercise was simply to show that Office will give the user information that is misleading in response to a perfectly good ODT file. It is easy enough to replicate.

  10. Eruaran said,

    June 19, 2008 at 9:01 pm


    @ Stephane Rodriguez

    The purpose is to show that Microsoft Word is deliberately misleading.

    This is what Word will give you if you try to “recover text from any file”:

    D[\%R )_úëw
    RAm+Ã!ÉqÒ­tFS¹’ _3C
    SYé¬ÃòŒ2±•²°›å,Ì wi[K…U)
    OpenOffice.org/2.4$Win32 OpenOffice.org_project/680m12$Build-9286Agent Smith2008-06-20T11:32:54Agent Smith2008-06-20T11:33:141PT25SPK
    /ÝÙó´lþõyÇvÍÿ\5ãrfÌúã…ök’uNGðï~k ÷¹Tâùñs;ìïçÙÚÊ/8n=ßn]muŒ
    qÂéoGy2d H
    &__WtÜ‚ñ>íÈIEà’ _?*
    N]¥¡Ï£¹ ðŽ5&CTÑGn*

  11. Eruaran said,

    June 19, 2008 at 9:08 pm


    Actually not all the info displayed correctly when I submitted it… but meh, you get the idea…

  12. Jose_X said,

    August 12, 2008 at 4:04 pm


    >> The dialog boxes show that Word 2007 tries to open a Word 2007 file, and does not find the parts it expects. This is not conclusive, other than the fact that Word 2007 does not support .ODT natively.

    These diagrams seem to indicate Word doesn’t support ODF yet, but consider the following.

    That is the problem with a monopoly. When most businesses and users use a specific product, the vendor calls the shots. What the user sees is “an illegal …blah blah….” They know next time if they want to “preserve” their work to use Monopolyware and not take chances with other products. This is FUD that helps keep the monopoly together to be leveraged another day.

    The user also eventually will recognize the .odt ending and avoid it like the plague.. so much that those advocating it will have another hurdle to overcome to get their legitimate message across or sell their product.

    [Hypothetical] Without a monopoly, it would be much clearer to many users that this product was badly designed in assuming OOXML formatting and in not adequately supporting ODF by this time. Rather than to hold the monopoly fort, in such a hypothetical case, this product would rightly lose marketshare. Thus, even this “innocent” error interaction serves to strengthen the monopoly, and few would claim Monopolysoft was playing dirty. Most would attribute this to incompetency, sloppiness, negligence… point is, all of these natural human failings help support the monopoly automatically.

    Better formats and products get marginalized severely as long as you have a monopoly. It pressures vendors of new products and those contemplating format changes to do so on the monopolist’s terms and timeline. This defeats major advantages of innovators.

    And who can outmarket a Monopolysoft backed by its cashcows and controlled marketing venues (your *desktop* and the many partners kept in line through fear and NDA secrecy).

    Monopolysoft has numerous interlocking monopolies not just one.

    [IMO] Monopolysoft will fight ODF by helping to create the appearances of ODF products and documents that “don’t work”. This is a major facet of what they mean by “supporting” ODF today but “OOXML is the future”. They will partake in the poisoning of the ODF well until they have “fixed” ISO OOXML and changed their software to “match” it.

What Else is New

  1. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC ‘Study’: Survey Comparison Shows Serious Deterioration and Efforts by PwC to Disguise the Truth

    The latest output from PwC turns out to be even worse than initially thought, indicating that not only did it find a degradation in the EPO but also attempted to hide/obscure it

  2. EPO Teaser - The "Iberian Connection" - Some Photos of García-Escudero and His Royal/Government Connections

    A look at the undeniably close connections between Mr. García-Escudero and the most powerful people in Spain

  3. Disruption to Site's Service

    A technical note about why Techrights has not been publishing many articles recently

  4. Links 21/10/2016: MPV 0.21, Mad Max for GNU/Linux

    Links for the day

  5. EPO Caricature: Battistelli's High Five

    Another cartoon about the sad state of the EPO

  6. Battistelli Ruins Not Only the EPO But Also the Whole of Europe By Ushering in Software Patents That Patent Trolls Love So Much

    Battistelli's bad leadership at the EPO threatens to bring to Europe all the ills and menaces of the patent system in the United States

  7. EPO Spokesman Lies to IP Watch in Order to Save Face and Save the King (Battistelli)

    Rewriting history (revisionism) regarding Battistelli and what was demanded amidst abusive behaviour from him

  8. Unitary Patent (UPC) is Dead, But 'Managing IP' and Selfish Patent Law Firms Still Try to Resurrect It

    The latest attempts to shore up the Unitary (or Unified) Patent Court and who's behind it other than the usual suspects

  9. Links 20/10/2016: Linux 4.10 Preview, ONF and ON.Labs to Merge

    Links for the day

  10. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC 'Study': The Raw Outcome Shows Distortion of the Facts at the EPO's Notorious 'Social Conference'

    Results of the Staff Survey carried out by PwC, in order to provide some propaganda for Battistelli's expensive Social Conference

  11. Addendum: EPO's Alberto Casado Cerviño, WIPO's Francis Gurry, and EUIPO's Archambeau

    Photos taken as part of an IP event which took place in Riga (Latvia) in March 2015

  12. Worrisome Connections Between EPO VP2 Alberto Casado Cerviño and Patricia García-Escudero Márquez

    Exploring the potential conflicts of interests implicating the EPO's Boards of Appeal Committee

  13. Site's Infrastructure Under Attack and Upgrades Ahead of Major New Publications

    Protections for the Web site have been improved and capacity increased in order to avoid or at least prepare for another week of abusive/spam traffic

  14. Team Battistelli's Conspiracy Theory: SUEPO is Behind Everything, EPO Management is Trying to Tell the Media

    Attempts to blame SUEPO, the staff union of the EPO, even though SUEPO has nothing to do with articles that are critical of the EPO while many thousands of EPO employees are disgruntled

  15. Links 19/10/2016: Canonical Livepatch Service, Plasma Plans

    Links for the day

  16. The 'Sarah Sharps' of Microsoft: Not the Kind of Scandal the Media Cares Enough to Write About

    Another example of the large (industrial) scale of sexual discrimination at Microsoft -- a company that tries to advertise itself as diverse or tolerant and stigmatise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) as intolerant and/or not diverse

  17. EPO Caricature: EQE Questions

    The latest EPO cartoon, this time about European qualifying examination (EQE)

  18. The Long History or Seeds of Control by Fear and Punishment at the EPO

    The latest hogwash from Team Battistelli (Pinocchio), the latest instance of software patents promotion by EPO Principal Director, and an old (decade-old) nugget of information from the Forum for Principal Directors

  19. Subject of the European Patent Office's Abuses Raised in European Parliament by Ulrike Müller (ALDE)

    A local copy of a bunch of questions asked less than a month ago by Ulrike Müller at the European Parliament, regarding the unacceptable state of affairs at the European Patent Office (EPO)

  20. French Article About the EPO "Crisis"

    Le Monde, which covered EPO suicides and nervous breakdowns a year and a half ago, revisits the subject

  21. Battistelli Wants Us to Believe a Patent Office in a Freefall (EPO) is “Stronger and More Sustainable”

    Still in denial (or self-deluding for self indulgence), Battistelli writes about the EPO as though everything is rosy and people are happy

  22. Leaked Documents Shed More Light on What Happened to Alison Brimelow and How Battistelli Rose to Power

    How Battistelli's (almost) all-male (and all-white, mostly French) management came into being, not too long after Ms Alison Brimelow got elbowed out the Office

  23. Leaked: Outcomes of 149th Administrative Council's Meeting at the European Patent Organisation

    The raw details or a summary thereof, based on the above which serves to confirm what we wrote about several days ago, right after the quarterly meeting had ended

  24. Danish Press Coverage of the European Patent Office and the Problems Explored by Techrights

    Jesper Kongstad does virtually nothing to deny the arguments (or "accusations") and instead alludes to the style of the writings about him

  25. Links 18/10/2016: Release Candidate of Leap 42.2, Looking Ahead at GTK4

    Links for the day

  26. Links 17/10/2016: JS Foundation, Ubuntu 17.04 Named ‘Zesty Zapus’

    Links for the day

  27. EPO Updates: Battistelli in Trouble, Grossenbacher and Battistelli Having a Fight, EPO Doubles Down on Željko Topić

    Interesting updates from the European Patent Office (EPO), where things have taken a turn for the worse for Battistelli while Željko Topić secures an extension of his notorious contract

  28. EPO Social Conference Another Example of Astronomical Waste of Money by Benoît Battistelli

    Having paid the media and attempted to scare/intimidate staff into silence (even among one another), Battistelli now pays some firms to lie for him and present the lies while staff representatives are blocked from entering the presentation

  29. As Expected, Benoît Battistelli Puts Longtime Ally Roland Grossenbacher on Top of Boards of Appeal

    Benoît Battistelli's predecessor Roland Grossenbacher, who has a track record of protection and support for Battistelli (no matter the magnitude of abuses), reportedly takes a key position with Battistelli's approval, debunking the notion that the appeal boards will enjoy greater (perceived) independence from the Office

  30. UPC Preparatory Committee Projects Optimism in an Effort to Salvage Its Dying Project, the Unitary/Unified Patent

    Refusing to let the UPC stay in its grave, Team UPC keeps digging up and dishing out UPC misinformation, in front of an audience that need not be preached to as it's already converted (effectively an echo chamber)


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time


Recent Posts