Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 4th Feb 2010 20:48 UTC
Microsoft Now this is something you don't read every day. Dick Brass, vice president at Microsoft from 1997 to 2004, has written an article for The New York Times' Op-Ed section, detailing the flaws in Microsoft's corporate culture, and how they've severely affected the company in a negative way. Telling, and painful. And, in a way, very sad. Update: Microsoft responds. "For Microsoft, it is not sufficient to simply have a good idea, or a great idea, or even a cool idea. We measure our work by its broad impact."
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RE[2]: The "Accidental Monopolist"
by gustl on Fri 5th Feb 2010 21:36 UTC in reply to "RE: The "Accidental Monopolist""
gustl
Member since:
2006-01-19

I honestly don't know any more on this than anyone else on OSnews. I don't work in Office.

However, it doesn't seem strange to me that MS was not about to adopt a file format controlled by its competitors (ODF), and many MS customers wanted the Office format to be an open standard. There is a positive angle here, which is now Office uses a human readable format by default which is well specified and documented. That's goodness.


The reason for Microsoft wanting their file format to be an ISO standard was ODF already being an ISO standard, and Microsoft wanting to balkanize the ISO office format standards.

If Microsoft just wanted to give other programmers access to their file format, why not just publish it? Why corrupting a (easily corruptable) standarization process, if ODF being the only ISO office format did not matter to Microsoft? Microsoft has not been keen on giving anybody information about it's file formats and protocols, why then this attempt to confuse people about office file formats?

Really, look at the easily confusable Names: OpenDocumentFormat (an XML format) is the standard document format of OpenOffice. Along comes Microsoft and names it's new file format "OfficeOpenXML".

Nobody will be able to convince anyone with half a brain, that this was not deliberate.

By the way, that Microsoft does not want interoperability at all was proven by - yes - Microsoft. Their Microsoft Excel ODF export filter writes formulas in a way that is not interoperable with any other spreadsheet application that can read ODF spreadsheets. Why? Because they can. ODF 1.0 does not specify how formulas should be written. And Microsoft already announced, that they would not support the openformula format, but rather stay with their crippled version of ODF 1.0.

And it is completely clear to me why Microsoft does not want interoperability: They want to lock-in their customers a little longer into their MS Office ecosystem. Makes sense, doesn't it?

The company I work for (very small company) has switched from MS Office to OpenOffice, because we still could (no Macros yet). But it was not completely without trouble due to Microsoft's lock-in strategy.

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