Wednesday, 2 April 2008

OOXML is now an ISO standard

ISO have validated OOXML as a standard, something I personally find disappointing.

Tom Robertson, Microsoft's head of interoperability and standards, said: "Open XML joins the ranks of PDF, HTML and ODF among the ranks of document formats. I think it makes it easier for governments to offer users choice."

No. It was never about choice. It was about restricting choice. It was about mandating a format that was not under the control of any one vendor, and which we could then guarantee interoperability and longevity, something that has not been the case with Microsoft formats in the past. If you adopt a vendor format we no longer have neutrality. If we have choice we have compatibility issues, and the fear is that with Microsoft their sales people will start whispering in CIO's ears "don't worry, use our technology, it's validated as open" and we'll continue the stranglehold Microsoft has on the Office software.

If, as I've blogged elsewhere, we have a common document format and all software has to use it all the problems of vendor monopoly disappear, yet unlike the bad old days we can continue to share and interchange documents.

Having two 'standards' blows that away.

1 comment:

Crimson said...

I'm flabbergasted that M$ did it again... They managed to get this all but open format recognized by ISO which i now disrespect.

And people don't learn. There is always problems coming up every time M$ uses it's little tactic: Spread as much as they can a new version of Office so the new users make pressure on others that use an older version. It would only take a responsible actions from government and big companies: Standardised OpenDOC or similar file format and impose this choice to whoever deal with them.

I'm sick of M$ and sick of the general dumbness of users and companies that still don't understand...