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Microsoft Continues to Snub ODF (and Why Microsoft is Losing This Battle)

Posted in America, Free/Libre Software, IBM, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Oracle, Standard, SUN at 12:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Warriors of chess

Summary: Office 2010 Starter Edition said not to support ODF but it helps OpenOffice.org adoption; Microsoft ecosystem raises issues with ODF

THERE is a lot of good news for ODF this week but also developments that merit caution. This is a highly compressed post with links to these.

Rob Weir from IBM writes about an ODF spreadsheet for Android, which is called Androffice. It seems to be new at the scene and the word about this gets spread by Bob Sutor, Lynne Pope, Simon Phipps, Jomar Silva and a few others.

People are still being reminded that Microsoft Office 2007 SP2 does not support ODF properly [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] and Weir has a whole new post on the subject (this was pushed by his colleague at IBM, Bob Sutor).

[N]o amount of disclosure from Microsoft on how they interpret the ODF standard will help. We see that today, with Office 2007 SP2, where it strips out ODF spreadsheet formulas. Having official documentation of this fact from Microsoft, in the form of “Implementation Notes” is useless. Why? Because when I create an ODF document, I do not know who the reader will be. It may be a Microsoft Office user. But maybe it won’t. It very well could be read by many users, using many different programs. I cannot adapt my document to the quirks of various ODF implementations.

When you deal with formats, interoperability is achieved by converging on a common interpretation of the format. Having well-documented, but divergent interpretations does not improve interoperability. Disclosure or quirks is insufficient. Interoperability only comes when all implementors converge in their interpretation of the format.

According to this message which links to an article from Maximum PC, Office 2010 Starter Edition will not support ODF. And regarding this ZDNet UK article about Office 2010 Starter Edition, Glyn Moody argues that Microsoft is “getting worried about OpenOffice, perhaps.”

More here:

MS Office Starter Sports Ads, OpenOffice People Ecstatic


Works usually included more programs than just a word processor and a spreadsheet and usually did not include advertising. Giving users a glimpse of the Office 2010 experience may prompt them to buy the paid version for fuller functionality and no ads. But if I had to choose between a program that cost $150 or more and one that did less and flashed ads at me, I would look for a third option. One exists, of course: OpenOffice.

Very little was said by mainstream press sources about the fact that Microsoft essentially killed Works.

Going back to OpenDocument, the technical committee is organising today to discuss matters while the ODF Workshop’s Jomar Silva uploads CONSEGI 2009 videos. The ODF Plugfest is coming up (old details in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 9 10, 11]) and Bart Hanssens speaks about the schedule while IBM folks watch from a distance.

“To counter the threat, the Microsoft ecosystem has been trying to injure ODF from the inside.”IBM may be very prominent in the ODF arena, but IBM, unlike Microsoft, does not attack Free software. It’s also far from the only player in the ODF arena, unlike Microsoft with OOXML.

To counter the threat, the Microsoft ecosystem has been trying to injure ODF from the inside [1, 2]. The insidious behaviour continues as hAl, for example, adds hostility to the ODF entry at Wikipedia. As usual, he is making the article about ODF disparage ODF.

Other Microsoft cronies are getting close to ODF just to talk about problems with it. They are using the same Microsoft-esque party line of “they are equally evil” or “all platforms are not secure” to defend their hidden (but previously well documented) agenda. Weir needs to be nice to them because of threats.

Jesper Lund Stocholm, for example, is linking to old news and we find the the same talking point coming from Alex Brown [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22]. They were getting a chair inside ODF by pretending to be agnostic after they had done their services for Microsoft (they hope people will forget this).

To end with some more positive news, Officeshots turns out to support only ODF. Given that no office suite supports OOXML, why even bother with anything other than the international standard, ODF?

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A Single Comment

  1. NotZed said,

    October 14, 2009 at 11:03 pm


    Microsoft worried about openoffice? Naah.

    Thats why if you search for ‘free office’ in bing, it doesn’t show up anywhere in the first 10 pages! And even at page 10 is is only a link to staroffice.

    Whereas of course, the first result from google – an ‘expanded link’ – is to openoffice.org.

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