Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 4th Dec 2006 22:26 UTC
Novell and Ximian The first fruit of the recently announced Novell/Microsoft interoperability agreement arrived on Dec. 4, with Novell's announcement that its version of the OpenOffice productivity suite will now support the Microsoft Office Open XML format. The release candidate of Novell's modified version of 2.02 is now available for Windows for free download by registered Novell users.
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RE[6]: ah...
by MollyC on Tue 5th Dec 2006 18:07 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: ah..."
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ODF is not capable of supporting the functionality of MS Office files. What about this do you not understand?

Let me break it down for everyone here:
OpenOffice and its backers (Sun, IBM, etc) decided that they could not compete with MS Office on features. So they came up with ODF, for two reasons:
1. With ODF, they can say, "We can't compete on features, but choose us because we have an open format."
2. ODF codifies a format that excludes the MS Office features that OO.o lacks. So any one (e.g. a misguided govt entity) that mandates that all documentation be ODF is makes the extra MS features unusable, allowing OO.o to better compete.

That's all this is about. But the tactic backfired. MS opened up its own format (something that the ODF folks didn't think would happen), and MS is getting others to use the format (Corel, Novell, Apple), and is getting it recognized by international standards organizations (ECMA, and soon ISO), and has a covenant not to sue (unlike Adobe with PDF; Adobe reserves the right to sue anyone that uses PDF for whatever reason suits their whim, and have exercised that right). So MS can now say, "If you want to use an open format, you don't have to use ODF (and therefore miss out on the features that ODF lacks); you can use OpenXML (and keep using the extra features that OpenXML supports).

So, MS can no longer compete based on a locked file format (that was never MS's strategy anyway; that was the excuse used by competitors as to why they couldn't compete), rather, MS is competing on features. By the same token, OO.o can't compete on "Our file format is the only one that is open", so they must compete on features as well. Meaning that they'll lose, and they know it. That's why we get all of the moaning and FUD from the MS bashers like certain posters to osnews and IBM's ODF folk, because they know that their grand stragegy is not going to succeed.

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