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Finland and New Zealand's Fight Against Vendor Lockin; IBM Set to Release Lotus 8 with ODF Support on Friday

OOXML in Finland



A comment just posted in our Web site tells us that Microsoft's 'funny business' OOXML train may have just reached Finland. To quote part of the comment:

I’m saddened to report that ooxml (msxml) corruption trains seems to have hit yet another country, Finland.


How many countries does it make so far? We have certainly lost count, but it's clear that money and predatory partnerships (as opposed to technical merits) play a major role in what ought to have been a purely technical decision.

OOXML in New Zealand



The fight for open standards has just arrived at New Zealand as well. It appears to be a battle between the consumer and the corporate agenda (Microsoft money, as Peter Quinn would shrewdly put it). Here is a fragment from a new article published in New Zealand's press:

But Christie says alarm bells are going off in many parts of the world over Open XML. He says many aspects of the format remain proprietary and because of this the process behind its development has not been robust.

He says the Open Document Format standard went through three years of public standardisation before being submitted to the International Standards Organisation, while Open XML was rushed out at "an unprecedented pace".

The areas where interoperability breaks down are where the detail is just not there, Christie says, either because of haste or to protect proprietary methods. Add the issue of portability across platforms, he says, and OOXML fails to deliver two of the three hallmarks of a good standard.


Let's wait and see how things turn out. Microsoft has a lot of influence in Australia, so don't hold your breath.

ODF with IBM (and Beyond)



Wikipedia maintains a nice page about OpenDocument adoption. The most recent win was in Malaysia, so there is certainly some momentum going for ODF. In fact, this Friday IBM will release an ODF-based applications suite.

IBM is preparing to ship a new version of its Lotus Notes and Domino applications on 17 August, according to a company website that was published on Tuesday.


This product, which is proprietary software, ought to prove that not only Open/StarOffice supports ODF. There are many other programs that either support or will support ODF (e.g. KOffice, Abiword, Google Apps). This ought to prove that ODF is a truly open and free standard, which can be implemented entirely by anybody.

There are some extensions to this suite from IBM and although it is proprietary, it is also Web-based or mashup-enabled.

"Customers can also create mash-ups to feed the information into other systems," she said, adding the REST API is also being used to integrate Connections with BlackBerry which should make its way to early adopters this month.


Microsoft's REST was mentioned before, but not in a positive context. If you have not become familiar with it, then just be aware that it does to SOA what OOXML does to documents. It is a vendor lockin and an example of sheer arrogance (snubbing standards).

Speaking of IBM, there is this new short speculation about Novell and a suggestion for IBM to acquire Novell -- something which is not the first to be suggested. But there are many speculations, some of which lack substance.

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