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OOXML is the ‘Standard’ of a Single Company, for One Company

Posted in Apple, Formats, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenOffice, Standard at 3:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“There won’t be anything we won’t say to people to try and convince them that our way is the way to go.”

Bill Gates (Microsoft’s CEO at the time)

Andy Updegrove has just completed and published the 5th installment of his excellent, in-progress eBook. In this chapter he explains what practically separates standards from non-standards — namely diversity and choice.

One of the two articles of faith that Eric Kriss and Peter Quinn embraced in drafting their evolving Enterprise Technical Reference Model (ETRM) was this: products built to “open standards” are more desirable than those that aren’t. Superficially, the concept made perfect sense – only buy products that you can mix and match. That way, you can take advantage of both price competition as well as a wide selection of alternative products from multiple vendors, each with its own value-adding features. And if things don’t work out, well, you’re not locked in, and can swap out the loser and shop for a winner.

Do remember that no software supports OOXML as it is laid out for ECMA. Not even Microsoft Office 2007 supports it, but Office is closest to matching these specifications, which Microsoft is likely to just ignore in the future in the name of more ‘features’ (more undocumented extensions) and larger profits.

The latest Microsoft Word for Mac is hot in the news at the moment. It is important that Apple Mac users are made aware that by embracing Microsoft Word (2008), all documents of these users are then only accessible using Microsoft Word (anything else would be lossy). Microsoft controls patching, upgrade pace, and pricing, rendering the user and his/her data a hostage. SJVN has just published an article about NeoOffice, which makes a brilliant ‘escape route’ for Mac users.

So NeoOffice, while it uses the OpenOffice.org 2.2.1 code base, has been customized for Mac OS X and Aqua. It brings to the Mac essentially all of OpenOffice’s functionality, which I find is approximately the same as Microsoft Office 2004 for the Mac.

The article ought to mention ODF support as well. It is a most fundamental feature that secures the data, which immediately becomes portable (cross-application and cross-platform/device).

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  1. 5fc435 said,

    January 5, 2008 at 8:33 am


    The above article has been written by a known, flaming, community-splitting TROLL with strong paranoid tendencies, known as Roy ‘Fudmeister’ Schestowitz. Please ignore all content above.

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from a known (eet), pseudonymous, nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  2. Yuhong Bao said,

    January 5, 2008 at 3:42 pm


    “all documents of these users are then only accessible using Microsoft Word (anything else would be lossy)”

    That is true of the DOC format as well and DOCX have to be compatible with DOC. I mean, almost no other word processor supports VBA or IRM.

  3. Yuhong Bao said,

    January 5, 2008 at 3:58 pm


    So how much better is DOCX over DOC?

  4. 5tvr53 said,

    January 5, 2008 at 4:31 pm


    “So how much better is DOCX over DOC?”

    For DOCX we have specifications, for DOC we have no specifications.
    How much higher do you rate comprehensive specs over no specs at all?

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from a known (eet), pseudonymous, nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 5, 2008 at 8:28 pm


    You’re missing the point that there’s an escape route from the binaries (OOo for starters). The specifications are not complete and Microsoft will ignore them anyway.

  6. Stephane Rodriguez said,

    January 6, 2008 at 5:52 am


    “For DOCX we have specifications, for DOC we have no specifications.”

    No. We have as much DOC specification than DOCX. That does not mean 100%, that means same level for both formats.

    The DOC spec was made available in MSDN for a long time, until 1998 actually.

    Microsoft makes the DOC spec available for free (officeff@microsoft.com).

    The problem is that the spec is more a description than specs as we know it. A consequence is that not everything is specified, and Microsoft retains the exclusivity in reliably reading, writing, rendering, calculating and migrating those files.

    The hold up is that Microsoft is going to get the ISO timestamp even though they are not opening more DOCX than what they’ve done with DOC. And by retaining the exclusivity to implement this stuff reliably, it’s at odds with what a standard is for.

  7. hey said,

    January 7, 2008 at 8:33 am


    For DOCX we have specifications, for DOC we have no specifications.

    So, you are now unmasking yourself as the MS troll you are. Defending optionally-open xml, that’s just great…

    You shall try implementing a format that requires you to read 6000 pages just to implement it and that even after the 6000 pages there are still things you don’t know about the format.

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 7, 2008 at 8:48 am


    The format is ‘dynamic’ too (a moving target). Microsoft won’t comply with its own broken specifications regardless of the outcome in ISO.

    Don’t be deceived by the “M$” in eet’s comments. I’ve seen his comments elsewhere. He’s not against Microsoft, but he wants you to think that.

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