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Is Microsoft Office in trouble?

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At first, when I learned that Microsoft was not quickly supporting its own Open XML, but ODF and PDF instead, I thought it was a great joke. Microsoft went to all that trouble to make Open XML an ISO standard, but then they can’t even support it themselves! Better still, Jason Matusow, Microsoft’s senior director of interoperability, and Doug Mahugh, Microsoft Office’s senior product manager had to ‘fess up to its customers wanting ODF and PDF. So much for Open XML and Metro!

What ever happened to Metro, Microsoft’s PDF killer anyway? Did it just die of neglect like Microsoft Bob?

Getting back to the point, I started thinking more about what Microsoft odd document format moves could really mean. Pamela Jones, editor of Groklaw, suspects that Microsoft wanting to work on the ODF ands PFS standard so that it can foul them up with what Matusow called “Engineering tradeoffs.”

I can buy that theory. It’s right out of the Microsoft playbook.

But, still why is Microsoft doing this? Why aren’t they, at least, promoting their own standard?

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One Comment

  1. I would say they are doing this:

    1) Because they actually obfuscated the OOXML code to such a high degree of complexity and IN-OPERABILITY (they lost the *ter* somewhere) that even they can no longer use it.
    2) To appease the EU and the UK Government (which as we know, publicly stated that it was transitioning to open source, or at least open standards, just before the latest Microsoft *closed-source, closed-doors*(TM) negotiations started up again.
    3) To sell copies of the pricey MSOffice 2007 by promising that it, and only it, will support ODF, eventually.
    4) Cleverly, they are actually NOT currently supporting ODF, they are just so far *saying* that they will do this perhaps sometime next year. To buy time…perhaps to resurrect the specter of OOXML from the ashes of dead code?

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