Linked by Adam S on Wed 21st May 2008 19:28 UTC
Features, Office According to BetaNews, Microsoft has announced that they will support OpenDocument (ODF) and PDF in Office 2007 SP2. This comes as a major victory not only for OpenOffice.org and its offshoots, but also for open source in general. Microsoft is planning on making Office 2007 SP2 available in the first half of 2009.
Order by: Score:
Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Wed 21st May 2008 19:40 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

No, not necessarily.
A broken implementation is worse than no implementation. MS are experts at that. They will bend the UI so that you would only *ever* want to import an ODF, and always save to OOXML for any hope of sanity.

The whole PDF thing was a joke also. Mac users have enjoyed printing to PDFs system-wide for years now.

My stance with Microsoft in these days, for _anything_ they say is:
I'll believe it when we see it and not a moment before.

Reply Score: 22

RE: Comment by Kroc
by Ford Prefect on Wed 21st May 2008 23:27 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
Ford Prefect Member since:
2006-01-16

Right.

Let's just think about the past. We had this before with Java. Microsoft told everybody about their great Java support and indeed included it in their development tools.

The result: MS's "java" had several proprietary extensions which made it incompatible to the standard. Sun had to fight MS in court for years to stop this crippled "support" which was just another attempt to keep MS' vendor lock-in. After that, you could see how much MS really cared for Java: They removed their support and instead created the competing .NET.

I expect them to do the same attempt on OpenDocument.

Edited 2008-05-21 23:28 UTC

Reply Score: 10

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by lemur2 on Wed 21st May 2008 23:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Right. Let's just think about the past. We had this before with Java. Microsoft told everybody about their great Java support and indeed included it in their development tools. The result: MS's "java" had several proprietary extensions which made it incompatible to the standard. Sun had to fight MS in court for years to stop this crippled "support" which was just another attempt to keep MS' vendor lock-in. After that, you could see how much MS really cared for Java: They removed their support and instead created the competing .NET. I expect them to do the same attempt on OpenDocument.


Microsoft have announced that they are joining the OASIS committee that designs ODF.

http://www.microsoft.com/Presspass/press/2008/may08/05-21ExpandedFo...
"Consistent with its interoperability principles, in which the company committed to work with others toward robust, consistent and interoperable implementations across a broad range of widely deployed products, the company has also announced it will be an active participant in the future evolution of ODF, Open XML, XPS and PDF standards.

Microsoft will join the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) technical committee working on the next version of ODF and will take part in the ISO/IEC working group being formed to work on ODF maintenance. Microsoft employees will also take part in the ISO/IEC working group that is being formed to maintain Open XML and the ISO/IEC working group that is being formed to improve interoperability between these and other ISO/IEC-recognized document formats. The company will also be an active participant in the ongoing standardization and maintenance activities for XPS and PDF. It will also continue to work with the IT community to promote interoperability between document file formats, including Open XML and ODF, as well as Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY XML), the foundation of the globally accepted DAISY standard for reading and publishing navigable multimedia content."

That never happened with Java ... Sun had control.

If Microsoft want to participate in OpenDocument development ... great! Fantastic! It means that everybody will be able to implement whatever goes into the format.

This was actually what was intended for OpenDocument from day 1 ... Microsoft were invited to participate, but refused to do so.

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Comment by Kroc
by Alleister on Thu 22nd May 2008 10:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Kroc"
Alleister Member since:
2006-05-29

That doesn't say much. Microsoft was also a member of the OpenGL standards board, that didn't stop them from the unholy things they did to OpenGL in Vista.

If Microsoft would finally be really playing fair in the Office place it would clearly hurt their sales. No one i know would still shovel 150€ towards Microsoft for their unsupported student version if they could get a really compatible Office suite for free.

Well maybe they really start playing fair this time, but after all those years lying, sabotaging, blackmailing, bribing, stealing and deceiving it would be naive simply to take their word now.

Reply Score: 8

RE[4]: Comment by Kroc
by lemur2 on Thu 22nd May 2008 10:24 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Kroc"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

That doesn't say much. Microsoft was also a member of the OpenGL standards board, that didn't stop them from the unholy things they did to OpenGL in Vista.

If Microsoft would finally be really playing fair in the Office place it would clearly hurt their sales. No one i know would still shovel 150€ towards Microsoft for their unsupported student version if they could get a really compatible Office suite for free.

Well maybe they really start playing fair this time, but after all those years lying, sabotaging, blackmailing, bribing, stealing and deceiving it would be naive simply to take their word now.


Pamela Jones at Groklaw:

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20080522012330406

... and also the ODF Alliance:

http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/st...

"The ODF Alliance today greeted with scepticism Microsoft's announcement of its intention to include support for the OpenDocument Format in the first half of 2009."

... are similarly sceptical.

I sincerely hope that all that scepticism is unjustified.

Sigh!

As I said before: paradoxically if Microsoft were just to do a good honest implementation of ODF it would actually do more to stop open source adoption than fighting against open source would.

A good honest Microsoft Office implementation of ODF would mean that everybody wins ... probably even Microsoft themselves!

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Comment by Kroc
by IridiumAlly on Thu 22nd May 2008 11:50 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Kroc"
IridiumAlly Member since:
2007-06-29

A good honest Microsoft Office implementation of ODF would mean that everybody wins ... probably even Microsoft themselves!


Those are two words that will never be used in any Microsoft press release because the concept is totally alien to them.

:D

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Kroc
by PlatformAgnostic on Mon 26th May 2008 09:36 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Kroc"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

OpenGL on Vista works roughly like it always has: through an installable driver from the Graphics card vendor. Why do you believe the contrary?

Reply Score: 2

Comment by primelight@live.com
by primelight@live.com on Wed 21st May 2008 19:40 UTC
primelight@live.com
Member since:
2008-03-19

Nice strategy... who the hell uses '07 by '09?

Reply Score: 0

RE: Comment by primelight@live.com
by Kroc on Wed 21st May 2008 20:01 UTC in reply to "Comment by primelight@live.com"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

The same [kind of] people who still use Office 2000 and refuse to upgrade. There's only so many times one's willing to pay for worthless updates.

Reply Score: 12

hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

given recent experience, i hope they have plenty of spare hardware on hand. my recent motherboard update didnt come with 2k drivers, only xp and vista...

Reply Score: 3

Angel Blue01 Member since:
2006-11-01

You can run Office 2000 on XP, that's the software most people I know use (pirated of course)

Reply Score: 1

hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

curse you microsoft for using years as product names. i got my office and windows mixed up...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by primelight@live.com
by BrianH on Wed 21st May 2008 20:33 UTC in reply to "Comment by primelight@live.com"
BrianH Member since:
2005-07-06

Anyone who is using '07 now.

Reply Score: 2

tweakedenigma Member since:
2006-12-27

In reality there will be more people using 2007 in 2009. The last update Office was 2003. So if the same gap exists then it will be 2010 before the next version of Office is out. Also with any luck MS will keep ODF support in that version as well so it will get a welcome move.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by primelight@live.com
by segedunum on Thu 22nd May 2008 10:38 UTC in reply to "Comment by primelight@live.com"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Nice strategy... who the hell uses '07 by '09?

Absolutely tons and tons and tons of businesses. The Office 97 format is the dominant office format out there.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by primelight@live.com
by AnXa on Thu 22nd May 2008 11:22 UTC in reply to "Comment by primelight@live.com"
AnXa Member since:
2008-02-10

Many people still use Office 2000, XP and 2003 in schools and offices around world although we are living year 2008 by now. ;)

Windows Vista and Office 2007 are having same problem. Why to upgrade? Previous version gets the job done better. New office requires that people who are going to work with it take some training.

Moving to OpenOffice.Org would be much more logical since it acts and behaves like older Office suites. Than moving to new Microsoft Office.

Reply Score: 1

MS learning
by Yamin on Wed 21st May 2008 19:45 UTC
Yamin
Member since:
2006-01-10

Call me optimistic, but I think MS sees the writing on the wall. You don't gain/keep customers by threatening them or extorting them with vendor lockin.

Heck, even if we switched to ODF at work and MS supported it perfectly, we'll probably still use Office instead of open office. The cost (relative to the employee / workstation) is minimal and we're all used to it.

We can see it with their free releases of visual studio / asp.NET... They're making money off the hosting servers... instead of the content creators...

It's interesting to see how they will adapt.

Reply Score: 1

Office 2007 Beta 2
by jpobst on Wed 21st May 2008 19:59 UTC
jpobst
Member since:
2006-09-26

Weird, MS originally wanted to include Save to PDF in Office 2007. In fact, it shipped as part of Office 2007 Beta 2.

However, Adobe threatened to file antitrust actions against MS if they didn't remove it, so MS did.

I wonder what has changed since then?

Reply Score: 7

RE: Office 2007 Beta 2
by kaiwai on Wed 21st May 2008 20:34 UTC in reply to "Office 2007 Beta 2"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Weird, MS originally wanted to include Save to PDF in Office 2007. In fact, it shipped as part of Office 2007 Beta 2.

However, Adobe threatened to file antitrust actions against MS if they didn't remove it, so MS did.

I wonder what has changed since then?


Not too sure; maybe Adobe realising that if they didn't step down from their position, Microsoft would push XPS hard. Right now, XPS (when compared to OOXML) is alot more open and well documented; it also isn't laced with legal gotchas, so it should make implementing it and distributing binaries a non-issue.

I have to admit though, although I do not like Microsoft all that much, I do have a deep seated hatred of Adobe due their arrogance towards non-Windows based operating systems - and their incessant whining over Microsoft's monopoly but ignoring the fact that through their failure to support alternative platforms, they are in effect propping up the Microsoft monopoly on the desktop (and all the technologies attached to it (aka file formats, audio and video formats etc.)).

As for how this helps OpenOffice.org - I personally think it'll have negligible impact on it. The problem is not only file formats but getting the end user to realise that the features Microsoft adds to Office, such as Sharepoint, have negligible impact in terms of improved productivity and only, in the end, are tools to making Office more entrenched in the organisation. People moving to things, not because there is a quantifiable reason to back it up, but 'because....' - anyone have children here? ever remember asking a child why they want something bought for them and the only reason they can come up with is 'because....' - well, Office falls into the same category of that.

Edited 2008-05-21 20:37 UTC

Reply Score: 8

RE: Office 2007 Beta 2
by Adam S on Wed 21st May 2008 20:41 UTC in reply to "Office 2007 Beta 2"
Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

Weird, MS originally wanted to include Save to PDF in Office 2007. In fact, it shipped as part of Office 2007 Beta 2.


http://osnews.com/story/12743/Microsoft_to_Standardize_Office_Forma...

I can personally guarantee it definitely included export to PDF. The above docs were both created with Office 12 beta.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Office 2007 Beta 2
by Beresford on Wed 21st May 2008 20:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Office 2007 Beta 2"
Beresford Member since:
2005-07-06

They removed it from the default install but it's still available to download as an addon.

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=4D951911-3...

Edited 2008-05-21 20:59 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Office 2007 Beta 2
by smashIt on Wed 21st May 2008 21:10 UTC in reply to "Office 2007 Beta 2"
smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

I wonder what has changed since then?

ISO 32000 happened
with this adobe lost all rights they had under the old pdf-license

Reply Score: 7

RE: Office 2007 Beta 2
by andrewg on Thu 22nd May 2008 07:34 UTC in reply to "Office 2007 Beta 2"
andrewg Member since:
2005-07-06

Office 2007 has a pluugin you can download which lets you save to PDF. For some reason Adobe did not want them to include it in Office 2007.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Office 2007 Beta 2
by WarpKat on Sat 24th May 2008 15:54 UTC in reply to "Office 2007 Beta 2"
WarpKat Member since:
2006-02-06

PDF became an ISO standard. That's what changed.

Reply Score: 1

Excelent....
by grayskull on Wed 21st May 2008 20:15 UTC
grayskull
Member since:
2008-02-08

Excelent, now we will have an incompatible version of ODF available only for Windows and under the Microsoft's control. This is great news.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Excelent....
by Bending Unit on Wed 21st May 2008 20:29 UTC in reply to "Excelent...."
Bending Unit Member since:
2005-07-06

What incompatibility have you discovered so far in your advance copy?

Reply Score: 9

RE[2]: Excelent....
by intangible on Wed 21st May 2008 22:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Excelent...."
intangible Member since:
2005-07-06

That old adage "fool me once... etc" always applies to Microsoft.

With anything MS does, it's going to be "I'll believe it when I see it" for a very long time for me. They've exhibited atrocious behavior for a long time and they aren't showing any signs of stopping the same old practices yet.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Excelent....
by lemur2 on Wed 21st May 2008 23:22 UTC in reply to "Excelent...."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Excelent, now we will have an incompatible version of ODF available only for Windows and under the Microsoft's control. This is great news.


Unlike any format of Microsoft's, OpenDocument has a test suite.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenDocument#Specifications
"There is a comprehensive set of sample documents in OpenDocument Format available. The whole test suite is available under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 license."

http://testsuite.opendocumentfellowship.com/

When Office 2007 can open and save these documents flawlessly, only then can it claim that it supports ODF.

This fact IMO, coupled with the claim that it will be possible to set ODF as the default file format, makes this announcement wonderful news.

Interoperability ... finally!

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Excelent....
by marafaka on Fri 23rd May 2008 10:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Excelent...."
marafaka Member since:
2006-01-03

And if they do extend it and get the twisted word out by a PR campaign? It will not even be your word against their. If there was any logic here, MS would be long dead.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Excelent....
by gustl on Sun 25th May 2008 19:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Excelent...."
gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

Don't get me wrong, but ODF is SUPPOSED to be extended.

It is just not suposed to be extended the Microsoft way - creating an extension in their own namespace for which a standardized tag already exists.

Want an example?

MS Office has the possibility to create "art-borders", that are borders consisting of lots of small clip-arts. In OOXML format these borders get saved by writing a tag which just specifies a number, and the number is associated with whatever should be drawn (for example, number 1234 might be a little Santa Claus, whereas number 5678 might be the Easter Bunny). No picture is actually stored in the document itself.

MS has those possibilities to save the art-borders in ODF:
1. - Store the clip arts forming the border as inserted graphics (no good idea, since it might happen, that some of the small pictures end up in the wrong place).
2. - Create a new tag within the microsoft: namespace, which marks the border as an art-border, and add the clip-art file forming the border to the document. So applications which decide to implement this tag can render the document correctly, applications which don't implement it will just display a normal line border.
3. - They create a new tag within the microsoft: namespace, but store just the clipart reference number. Then every application other than MSOffice which decides to implement this tag would have to provide their own clip-arts to be able to render the file correctly.

I would say, number 2 is the technically best solution, number 1 is a crutch but very interoperable, and number 3 is what I expect microsoft to do if they extend ODF at all.

What I even expect more is MS implementing ODF 1.1, and never ever moving up to ODF 1.2. Then MS can pop up the "you might loose some formatting" with even more vigor.

MS actually participating in a constructive way in the ODF development would be fine, I just don't believe in their constructiveness unless I see it happen. The danger ODF now faces is if Microsoft stuffs the ODF development team with their own "independent" experts, like they did during the last year with the various national commitees which were casting their votes at ISO. In that way they could halt the ODF development, or sabotage it completely.

Reply Score: 2

Excellent news!
by fretinator on Wed 21st May 2008 20:21 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm glad Microsoft has decided to Embrace the ODF. As an end user, I'm sure they will Extend it with many useful features. This Extinguishes my fears about Microsoft not supporting open formats!

Reply Score: 11

wow
by SoloDeveloper on Wed 21st May 2008 20:22 UTC
SoloDeveloper
Member since:
2008-03-16

either it will be a bad import feature, or satan is looking for his snowshovel.

Reply Score: 4

Awesome
by tomcat on Wed 21st May 2008 22:14 UTC
tomcat
Member since:
2006-01-06

Finally, all the usual suspects who complain about lack of ODF support can go onto complaining about something else...

Reply Score: 3

RE: Awesome
by Alleister on Wed 21st May 2008 22:20 UTC in reply to "Awesome"
Alleister Member since:
2006-05-29

We will see... i fully expect an intentionally broken implementation... that was the Microsoft strategy since earliest Windows days.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Awesome
by tomcat on Wed 21st May 2008 22:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Awesome"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

We will see... i fully expect an intentionally broken implementation... that was the Microsoft strategy since earliest Windows days.


Cynic. ;-)

Personally, I think what will happen is that there will be a certain amount of Office content that simply can't be moved over to ODF (eg. embedded controls, embedded spreadsheets/docs/presentations, VBA, etc) without reducing it to static content (eg. JPEG/PNG). It will be useful for more simplistic/least common denominator documents, but that's about it.

And, regardless of how well (or pooly) Microsoft services the ODF format, I'm sure that its critics will claim that it's "broken" or "poorly-designed" or "intentionally intended to EE ODF" or whatever. Complainers complain. It's what they do.

Edited 2008-05-21 22:35 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Awesome
by lemur2 on Wed 21st May 2008 23:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Awesome"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"We will see... i fully expect an intentionally broken implementation... that was the Microsoft strategy since earliest Windows days.
Cynic. ;-) Personally, I think what will happen is that there will be a certain amount of Office content that simply can't be moved over to ODF (eg. embedded controls, embedded spreadsheets/docs/presentations, VBA, etc) without reducing it to static content (eg. JPEG/PNG). It will be useful for more simplistic/least common denominator documents, but that's about it. And, regardless of how well (or pooly) Microsoft services the ODF format, I'm sure that its critics will claim that it's "broken" or "poorly-designed" or "intentionally intended to EE ODF" or whatever. Complainers complain. It's what they do. "

Well, if Microsoft doesn't permit parts of MS Office functionality to be saved in ODF format (eg. embedded controls, embedded spreadsheets/docs/presentations, VBA, etc), and other Office suites (say OpenOffice 3.0) are perfectly capable of representing equivalent functionality in ODF format, then the failing will clearly be with Microsoft's product and not the format itself.

Despite Microsot's vehememnt historical opposition to OpenDocument format, the format itself (especially at version 1.2) is actually quite capable of representing any such content you might wish.

Interactive and animated vector graphics ... SVG. Macros ... choose from a number of supported scripting languages such as Javascript, beanshell or Python ... OpenOffice 3.0 even supports VBA.

So, if Microsoft comes out with a lacking ODF implementation, and other Office suites can pack far more functionality into the ODF format than Office 2007 SP2 can ... then indeed there is a legitimate complaint to be made that "it's "broken" or "poorly-designed" or "intentionally intended to EE ODF" or whatever.

Given that there is an agreed compliance test suite for ODF ... I'm actually a bit optimistic here.

If Microsoft do the right thing ... then kudos to Microsoft.

Reply Score: 9

RE[4]: Awesome
by tomcat on Thu 22nd May 2008 01:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Awesome"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Well, if Microsoft doesn't permit parts of MS Office functionality to be saved in ODF format (eg. embedded controls, embedded spreadsheets/docs/presentations, VBA, etc), and other Office suites (say OpenOffice 3.0) are perfectly capable of representing equivalent functionality in ODF format, then the failing will clearly be with Microsoft's product and not the format itself.


It's probably not possible, because some of the embedded content (eg. ActiveX) only runs on Windows. Microsoft doesn't own all of the potential embedded content code, either, (let's not forget that third parties have add-ons for Office) so it just won't work reliably.

Despite Microsot's vehememnt historical opposition to OpenDocument format, the format itself (especially at version 1.2) is actually quite capable of representing any such content you might wish.


Disagree, for the reason stated above. Another example: .NET code.

Interactive and animated vector graphics ... SVG. Macros ... choose from a number of supported scripting languages such as Javascript, beanshell or Python ... OpenOffice 3.0 even supports VBA.


See above.

So, if Microsoft comes out with a lacking ODF implementation, and other Office suites can pack far more functionality into the ODF format than Office 2007 SP2 can ... then indeed there is a legitimate complaint to be made that "it's "broken" or "poorly-designed" or "intentionally intended to EE ODF" or whatever.


Some of these Office suites may be able to make it work on Windows, but it's not clear how they will handle cross-platform with embedded content that only works on Windows.

Given that there is an agreed compliance test suite for ODF ... I'm actually a bit optimistic here.


Yeah, but ODF is a subset of what Office can store. So, I wouldn't be too sure about that.

If Microsoft do the right thing ... then kudos to Microsoft.


Agreed.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Awesome
by gustl on Sun 25th May 2008 19:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Awesome"
gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

So in your view complainers only complain because they want to complain?
The thing they complain about being completely irrelevant?

Microsoft's behavior during the past 15+ years gave many reasons to complain. It also gives many reasons to be EXTREMELY cautious.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

What do I mean by "rebellion"?

For Office software and formats, I mean events like this one:
http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquirer/news/2008/05/21/open-source-...

Microsoft doesn't want to see too many rebellions lkie that happening all over the world, I'd imagine.

Reply Score: 4

odd
by TechGeek on Thu 22nd May 2008 00:07 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

Odd that they are going to support ODF in 2007 and won't support OOXML until the next version. This kind of debunks all the reasons they said that they just had to make OOXML a standard.

Reply Score: 4

ODF1.1
by bandido55 on Thu 22nd May 2008 01:12 UTC
bandido55
Member since:
2006-10-02

What they are promised to implement is ODF 1.1 and not the soon to be ratified 1.2 that OpenOffice 3 and StarOffice 9 will offer in the fall 07. They will do the same thing they did to DR-DOS. Everytime you will try to save a message it will send bogus messages to discourage people from using it and think that their document will not be saved properly and recommend the user saves into their proprietary format. Don't forget that 1.1 does not support the formula specifications and that was one of their main criticisms of ODF. Suddendly they will support 1.1 and not 1.2 that support formula specs and much more.

it is extremelly suspicious that just a couple of months they were fighting to get OOXML as a standard and today they are talking about supporting ODF and not theit own standard until at 2011 or 2012.

Reply Score: 5

RE: ODF1.1
by lemur2 on Thu 22nd May 2008 02:45 UTC in reply to "ODF1.1"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

What they are promised to implement is ODF 1.1 and not the soon to be ratified 1.2 that OpenOffice 3 and StarOffice 9 will offer in the fall 07. They will do the same thing they did to DR-DOS. Everytime you will try to save a message it will send bogus messages to discourage people from using it and think that their document will not be saved properly and recommend the user saves into their proprietary format. Don't forget that 1.1 does not support the formula specifications and that was one of their main criticisms of ODF. Suddendly they will support 1.1 and not 1.2 that support formula specs and much more. it is extremelly suspicious that just a couple of months they were fighting to get OOXML as a standard and today they are talking about supporting ODF and not theit own standard until at 2011 or 2012.


AFAIK ODF 1.0 and 1.1 does fully support formulas though ... just not specified in enough detail to guarantee interoperability.

After all, there were a number of of Office suites written that used ODF 1.0 as a native format, and they all actually did have spreadsheets ...

The problem, AFAIK, was that because ODF 1.0 did not have a detailed specification of the formulae, then it was not guaranteed that a spreadsheet saved in one ODF 1.0 compliant application would work exactly the same when opened in another ODF 1.0 compliant application.

ODF 1.2, which now includes the full OpenFormula detailed specification:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenFormula
fixes this problem, although ODF 1.2 is not yet officially approved.

OpenOffice 3 will be compliant with ODF 1.2, as will KOffice 2. If Microsoft is on OASIS committee, and ODF 1.2 and with it OpenFormula is about to be approved ... then I don't see any reason why Microsoft should not just conform here.

After all ... Microsoft's own formula stuff is in a bit of a shambles:
http://www.dwheeler.com/blog/2008/05/19/#excel-oxml-yearfrac

What is perhaps even more interesting (and may be surprising to some) is that MS Office may be further away from conforming with the OXML ISO standard than it is from conforming with the ODF ISO standard.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,146162-c,unresolvedtechstandards/...

Edited 2008-05-22 02:47 UTC

Reply Score: 5

Message to Corel
by tyrione on Thu 22nd May 2008 03:22 UTC
tyrione
Member since:
2005-11-21

Open Source Quattro Pro and let the community write Cocoa, Qt and GTK+ frontends for it.

People will dump Microsoft Office more rapidly, especially in the Science Fields.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Message to Corel
by trenchsol on Thu 22nd May 2008 13:29 UTC in reply to "Message to Corel"
trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

How are their shareholders going to benefit from it ? Are they ?

DG

Reply Score: 2

Well, well ...
by MollyC on Thu 22nd May 2008 03:34 UTC
MollyC
Member since:
2006-07-04

Seems that ODF advocates should celebrate rather than complain (unless they're mad that they've lost a talking point). ;)

I see talk of Microsoft coding Office to intentionally produce "bad" ODF files, but Microsoft has no history of that. Their PDF plug-in has been available for months with no complaints that it produces "bad" PDF. Similar for their support for WordPerfect, Lotus, etc formats. So why assume that Office would be made to produce "bad" ODF? (BTW, not even OO.o's files are fully faithful to the ISO ODF spec.) Also, since Microsoft will be joining the OASIS ODF Technical Committee AND the ISO ODF Maintenance committee, it seems all the less likely that they'd intentionally produce "bad" ODF.

I've read a number of Microsoft blog entries on this announcement, the best by Gray Knowlton, who talks about the forthcoming support, the ODF/PDF/XPS committees that Microsoft is joining, and anwers the questions "Why" and "Why now", but from a more technical perspective (rather than the business/political perspective of the other blog entries).
http://blogs.technet.com/gray_knowlton/archive/2008/05/21/microsoft...

It's interesting that Office will have ODF 1.1 support before ISO OOXML 1.0 support (Office's current OOXML support is for ECMA OOXML 1.0 which lacks the changes that were made for ISO ratification), as the former is scheduled for Office 2007 SP2 while the latter is scheduled for the next version of Office.

I'm actually more interested in the announced native support for PDF/XPS since it was Adobe's threat to whine to the EU prompted Microsoft to remove built-in support for those formats in the first place. I'm curious as to whether Adobe will just accept this or will raise a stink.

BTW, the onus is now on Office's competitors and/or Office's detractors, as the document format issue is no longer an excuse. If Office continues to get great sales and maintains dominant user share, it'll be due to something other than document format lock-in (like mabye Office is just better ;) ).

Edited 2008-05-22 03:36 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Well, well ...
by sbergman27 on Thu 22nd May 2008 04:02 UTC in reply to "Well, well ..."
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

If Office continues to get great sales and maintains dominant user share, it'll be due to something other than document format lock-in (like mabye Office is just better

As long as true interoperability is possible, it doesn't matter. Everyone would be able to use what they preferred. I am cautiously optimistic for now, if a bit suspicious. This seems too easy, and I'm wondering what the hidden catch might be. We'll just have to wait to see what they implement, and then judge it as fairly as we can.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Well, well ...
by lemur2 on Thu 22nd May 2008 04:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Well, well ..."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"If Office continues to get great sales and maintains dominant user share, it'll be due to something other than document format lock-in (like mabye Office is just better
As long as true interoperability is possible, it doesn't matter. Everyone would be able to use what they preferred. "

Precisely ... except note that true interoperability is only available via everyone using the OpenDocument format.

I would be pleased as punch if they preferred to use Microsoft porduct and use Office ... as long as they also used ODF and didn't just expect everyone else to neccessarily use Microsoft products and Office.

I am cautiously optimistic for now, if a bit suspicious. This seems too easy, and I'm wondering what the hidden catch might be. We'll just have to wait to see what they implement, and then judge it as fairly as we can.


I'm hopeful.

The ONLY reason that I can see that Microsoft is doing this at all is to appease customers who are demanding cross-platform interoperability and sovreignity over their data. This demand would mostly come from customers who were governments. I'd suggest that a number of governments were heavily threatening to jump ship unless they got true interoperability and sovreignity over the government's own data.

If Microsoft drop the ball and fail to provide what (I believe) customers were demanding, then I would suggest that even more ship-jumping would ensue.

Therefore, I am hoping that this is FINALLY interoperability and co-operation from Microsoft.

If it is ... then kudos to Microsoft.

The ironic thing here is that IF Microsoft do it correctly, and provide honest and capable support for ODF in MS Office, then at the same time that they open themselves up to copmpetition and remove their lock-in, paradoxically they remove a major incentive for anyone migrating to an open source platform in the first place.

This move may prove yet to be the one really effective move against more widespread adoption of open source that Microsoft have been able to come up with to date.

... but it won't matter. People who want to use an open source platform will be able to do so!

Seems like win-win to me.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Well, well ...
by ari-free on Thu 22nd May 2008 05:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Well, well ..."
ari-free Member since:
2007-01-22

yeah because you don't want a situation where important documents won't be accessible 50 years from now because they happened to be in some closed file format.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Well, well ...
by segedunum on Thu 22nd May 2008 16:01 UTC in reply to "Well, well ..."
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Seems that ODF advocates should celebrate rather than complain (unless they're mad that they've lost a talking point). ;)

Forgive me if I don't ignore the past twenty five years of experience with office and a wide variety of other formats ;-).

I see talk of Microsoft coding Office to intentionally produce "bad" ODF files, but Microsoft has no history of that.

Excuse me while I get back on my chair, and totally forget that DR-DOS, RTF, Kerberos and 'standard' schemas in Active Directory and Java, amongst a host of other things, ever happened.

The chances of Office saving a file with full fidelity that an ODF application can open, and then exchange back in full fidelity, is about the same as Steve Ballmer walking on the surface of the moon in a sweaty shirt. It's rather like RTF in Office. Yes, you can use it as a basic exchange format with other applications, but don't expect anything meaningful to have been kept in it.

Their PDF plug-in has been available for months with no complaints that it produces "bad" PDF.

Producing bad PDF in a market where they are behind wouldn't be a great idea, would it?

(BTW, not even OO.o's files are fully faithful to the ISO ODF spec.)

Leave that excuse at the door please because we've all heard it.

Also, since Microsoft will be joining the OASIS ODF Technical Committee AND the ISO ODF Maintenance committee

People are like goldfish. You'd think Microsoft had never joined a committe before.

(Office's current OOXML support is for ECMA OOXML 1.0 which lacks the changes that were made for ISO ratification)

What changes would these be?

BTW, the onus is now on Office's competitors and/or Office's detractors, as the document format issue is no longer an excuse. If Office continues to get great sales and maintains dominant user share, it'll be due to something other than document format lock-in (like mabye Office is just better ;) ).

Sorry sweetheart, try again ;-). The format lock-in is still there and very much alive and kicking, and it remains to be seen whether this interoperability olive branch will amount to anything of note at all. This needs to be proven.

On that note, the ball is very much in Microsoft's court to prove itself here. Forgive me for not having amnesia, and being sceptical.

Reply Score: 9

I'm still sceptic
by Darkelve on Thu 22nd May 2008 07:08 UTC
Darkelve
Member since:
2006-02-06

Do they mean 'support' or 'micro-support'?

With micro-support: I means half-hearted support or even to try and break things on purpose (which could be as simple as wrong margins when printing out pages or tabular data that is wrongly displayed).

Edited 2008-05-22 07:09 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: I'm still sceptic
by lemur2 on Thu 22nd May 2008 08:49 UTC in reply to "I'm still sceptic"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Do they mean 'support' or 'micro-support'?

With micro-support: I means half-hearted support or even to try and break things on purpose (which could be as simple as wrong margins when printing out pages or tabular data that is wrongly displayed).


In that case Office 2007 would become the worst choice of Office suites because of lack of decent support for the interchange format.

There is a compliance test suite for ODF. If MS Office was the worst performer against that test then in any sane comparison it would lose marks.

Reply Score: 2

Part of the deal
by h3rman on Thu 22nd May 2008 11:14 UTC
h3rman
Member since:
2006-08-09

This shouldn't even have to be "news" at all.

In 2006, Novell and Microsoft made a nice little deal in which they pretended to agree to work on "interoperability".

Perhaps some of us remember that.

The ability to be able to read, process, and produce documents in the Open Document Format seems to be one of the quite natural things to do when you make such a deal.

Naively, not being an MS Office user,

( http://www.lyx.org/Home )

I had expected that this was already available with some sort of plugin. It's not a cheap office suite, after all.

How ironic, someone just sent me something ending on .doc that I have no idea how to open.

Reply Score: 1

docx
by Darkelve on Thu 22nd May 2008 11:25 UTC
Darkelve
Member since:
2006-02-06

The really funny stuff is people in our company sending '.docx' documents to my collegues. My collegues could not get those open.

Then IT installed some kind of upgrade so OOXML documents can be converted. But recently we got OOXML files with .doc extension so the filter did not recognize it... again: failure.

With such behavior, who needs enemies? :o)

Reply Score: 3

I will not belive them unless I see it myself
by AnXa on Thu 22nd May 2008 11:28 UTC
AnXa
Member since:
2008-02-10

Come on, they are Microsoft.

They will promise something to get some attention although they have no will to fill those promises.

Having ODF implemented directly into Microsoft Office is just a response for those British schools who told and complained to EU about MSO's dificulties with currect ODF implementations.

Remember OS/2, Microsoft made Os/2 Warp printing system to the point it was so hard to use that people opted Windows printing system and Windows 3.11 instead... It was just pure sabotage so that Windows would look more advanced.

I think they are trying same trick here. Saying that Office supports ODF althought implementation is not useful in anyway you can imagine.

Reply Score: 2