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Microsucks Loses Vote On OpenXML Format

By on Sep 5, 2007 in Stop The Press, Tech Takes | 0 comments

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Microsoft loses vote on “open” document format – Yahoo! News

People who’ve been following open-source happenings lately would have known about the big debate which had been going on over the standardisation of M
The point is, we already HAVE the OpenDocument format which has been standardised by the ISO long back. So what’s the need for another format from a company well known to tie down stuff to its own software? Sure, people will say it gives more *choice*; but it’s important to note that will the OpenDocument specification is just 860 pages long, the OpenXML specs run into 6000 pages,
s OpenXML format. For those who don’t know, here’s what was happening: Microsucks was trying to push its new OpenXML document saving format for standardisation by the ISO. OpenXML is the default format used by MS Office 2007, the files with an extension like ‘.docx’, ‘.pptx’, etc. Winning this vote would have made OpenXML an official document standard, and loads of trouble along with it. Fortunately, they fell short of the two-thirds majority in a vote of ISO member countries needed to pass the resolution.

The point is, we already HAVE the OpenDocument format which has been standardised by the ISO long back. So what’s the need for another format from a company well known to tie down stuff to its own software? Sure, people will say it gives more *choice*; but it’s important to note that will the OpenDocument specification is just 860 pages long, the OpenXML specs run into 6000 pages. It pretty much seems intentional – because although theoretically Microsucks can claim that it’s an ‘open format’, the huge bloated specs will guarantee that any independent software developer will find it a big task to create applications using it. Which basically means that even with an apparently ‘Open’XML, not many beyond Microsucks programmers will find it cost-effective to use it. Also, translating between the two codes will become a major headache.

I hope that all countries remain in their senses and reject OpenXML when it comes up again for voting next year in February. What good is it when in the end when OpenXML will remain Microsucks’ baby after all?



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