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Mark Shuttleworth in Support of OpenDocument Format, More OOXML Weaknesses Exposed

Unlike Novell, Ubuntu's founder thinks that OOXML is not a good idea. Novell's support through translation seems to have the blessing of Miguel de Icaza, among others who willingly accept this impossible task (they have to). In his latest blog item, Mark Shuttleworth talks about standardisation of OOXML. He appears to be aware of Microsoft's behind-the-scenes manipulation, as echoed in the following paragraph:

The USA, South Africa, China, and other countries will be voting “no”. Let’s not allow heavy lobbying to influence what should be a calm, rational, sensible and ultimately technical discussion. Standards are important, and best defined in transparent and open forums. Pick up the phone!


The other day we mentioned Microsoft's bending of the word "exponential", as illustrated in this visual blog item. Microsoft attempt to generate hype based on dishonest statements (lies) about pace of OOXML adoption. You might also wish to see the following blog post.

Ben Langhinrichs’ has some interesting stats via Google on the relative number of ODF vs. OOXML documents on the web. His numbers show that there are 162,700 ODF documents vs. 1993 OOXML documents, and 26% of the OOXML documents are on microsoft.com.


That is by no means impressive. According to a very recent article, Microsoft's own support for its own format is rather poor, which is ironic.

Apple Inc.'s release of iWork '08 this week is "embarrassing," an analyst said Friday, not for its maker, but for Apple's rival, Microsoft Corp.


Do not get excited or be led to believe that there is magic in iWork ‘08 (which should never have supported OOXML in the first place). Bob Sutor took it for a test drive and there was plenty left to be desired.

Apple is allowing users to download a free trial version of iWork ‘08 that works for 30 days. Evidently its support for OOXML is read-only, and not complete at that. This means, to be explicit, that you can read some OOXML documents but not write them out again.


The trial version of Office 2007 has similar trickery in place. One can only save work in OOXML format as other options remain grayed out. There are some other artificial limitations.

As we mentioned yesterday, momentum for ODF is building up. Others are cautiously celebrating the win in Malaysia as well.

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