Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 3rd Mar 2006 21:44 UTC
Microsoft While Microsoft faces a host of challenges in maintaining its market share numbers and persuading customers to upgrade to its 2007 Office System suite of products when released in the second half of this year, its competitors face an equally daunting task of winning users away from Office 2007 and growing their numbers. Heading the list of challenges facing Microsoft is the fact that Office 2007 has a new user interface, which could require extensive staff retraining at a significant cost, as well as a new file format, which has the potential to create compatibility issues.
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Don't get blinded by the "standards" argument. Standards are only useful if they are widely used and supported by different vendors, plattform independent, ridig and not restricted by licences (even royalty free ones).

Even if MS XML becomes an ISO/ECMA standard, MS can pull the old "incompatibility trick" by introducing a new format with its next Office version. Such a new format would stomp the old one into oblivion (even if it is an ISO / ECMA standard) by the simple fact that there is always a mass of users jumping to the new formats and then start sending documents around - not caring about standards or older versions - so everybody is practically forced to upgrade. This has happend several times in the past. Or was there any other reason to upgrade to Office 2000, XP, 2003, ...?

The sole purpose of a standard is free data interchange without any restrictions to vendors or platforms, freeing people from becoming dependent on single vendors.
The sole purpose of MS is gaining market share (or rather: not losing it), making money and stay in a power position. Somebody must be really naive to believe MS is going to make anything a standard in the sense of freeing people from being independen of MS ..

The best thing to do: Simply ignoring Office2007 (and save a lot of money and time).

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