Bonum Certa Men Certa

More Good News for OpenDocument Format, OOXML Slides Down the Gutter

"Monopoly exists when a specific individual or enterprise has sufficient control over a particular product or service to determine significantly the terms on which other individuals shall have access to it."

--Milton Friedman

How times have changed. BECTA's report shows that even those who are exceptionally close to Microsoft apparently reject Windows Vista, Office 2007 and OOXML. What makes this report mind-blowing is that it's BECTA we are talking about. It has a long track record of secret affairs with Microsoft. This change of tide at BECTA gets a lot of media attention at the moment. It's also in the New York Times.

So, why would someone reject the common carriers and hosts of Sharepoint, OOXML and Silverlight? Is BECTA misinformed? Or is it more informed than most of us? Let's look closer.

Bob Sutor, a Vice President at IBM, responds enthusiastically to the latest statement from BECTA. The headline that he uses gives it all away.

Becta in the UK says “no no” to OOXML

According to an article in, “Becta advises on Microsoft Vista & Office 2007 for schools & colleges”, upgrades to Microsoft Windows Vista and Office 2007.

As pointed out yesterday, it was also BECTA which contributed to Britain's decision to reject OOXML (as an ISO standard).

Meanwhile, Erwin's blog over at Sun Microsystems takes a good look at Microsoft's ODF FUD and shreds it all to small pieces. It's a long and detailed rebuttal which is effective and convincing.

Recent articles, reports and documents show that there are still a lot of misperceptions regarding ODF in the market. Apparently, many people are still not well informed about ODF even though they choose to write about ODF. Therefore, I thought it can't hurt trying to dispel a couple of myths around ODF.

We have already covered Sun and IBM. On we move to KDE, which has just unveiled somewhat of a spinoff that is named (inconsistently) "The Open Document Company".

KOfficeSource GmbH is an international software company with headquarters in Magdeburg, Germany. We are a group of specialists dedicated to mainly KOffice but also other Office Applications in the KDE suite such as the Kontact personal information manager and the Kolab groupware server.

Needless to say, KOffice isn't associated with any company. It's more of a public asset. Google's Summer of Code has supported KOffice developers in the past despite the fact that it compete against Google Apps (with ODF support also).

Looking over at Microsoft's problems (at risk of crossing the boundary which separates "Microsoft misconduct" and "Microsoft bashing"), have a look at the effect of their latest patches (rated "critical") for Windows Vista. One of them seriously ruined Microsoft Office, which no longer works. Ironically, the harsh complaints come from a Microsoft blogger too.

Vista Update Craters Microsoft Word


Keeping your software up to date is very important from a security perspective, but when doing so blows away your productivity because of poor installation or compatibility quality issues, life is very painful.

Microsoft. You get a grade of F for this round of patches.

Watch the comment attached to this post:

You're lucky! Submitted by Andy (not verified) on Thu, 01/10/2008 - 3:24am.

The latest updates have stopped my pc from booting into Vista at all!

It won't even boot in safe mode and because it came with the software preinstalled I don't have a disc to get to the recovery console.

Worst update ever :(

Okay, enough schadenfreude for now. The important thing to remember is that Microsoft Office, in spite of the problems above, contains and encourages the use OOXML, which is a proprietary decoy. Not even Microsoft will implement it. It never did. It's a charade. Not even Office 2007 supports OOXML as it's presented by ECMA.

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