Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 6th Aug 2009 22:04 UTC
Microsoft Just when you thought the world couldn't get any crazier, something happens that makes you move your expectations of the world up a few nothces. We already have to deal with the browser ballot, but that's not the only ballot Microsoft will deliver. Hold on to your panties, as Microsoft will also offer a file format ballot in Microsoft Office 2010. On a happier note, Microsoft makes a whole load of promises to the EU about opening up technologies and file formats.
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Half Full or Half Empty
by jayson.knight on Thu 6th Aug 2009 22:45 UTC
jayson.knight
Member since:
2005-07-06

I can't wait to see what kind of negatives folks can come up with in response to this latest move by MS. TCOBaGT (This Can Only Be a Good Thing).

But of course someone will probably say something along the lines of "MS is just doing this so they can sell more copies of Office."

Oh wait, I guess I just did.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Half Full or Half Empty
by lemur2 on Thu 6th Aug 2009 23:11 in reply to "Half Full or Half Empty"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I can't wait to see what kind of negatives folks can come up with in response to this latest move by MS. TCOBaGT (This Can Only Be a Good Thing). But of course someone will probably say something along the lines of "MS is just doing this so they can sell more copies of Office." Oh wait, I guess I just did.


I sincerely hope that this offer of interoperability from Microsoft is as much "TCOBaGT" as it certainly seems to be on the face of it.

Everyone wins with true cross-platform interoperability. Actual competition is finally enabled in the software marketplace.

Pardon me for introducing a tiny note of scepticism, however, as I make the cautionary note that this is entirely and utterly opposite policy to everything else Microsoft has done for the past upteen years. One has to ask ... where is the catch?

Reply Parent Score: 5

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Pardon me for introducing a tiny note of scepticism, however, as I make the cautionary note that this is entirely and utterly opposite policy to everything else Microsoft has done for the past upteen years. One has to ask ... where is the catch?

The catch, my dear Lemur, is that the Ayatollah K'Ballmer would never allow this democratic ballot unless he had a plan which absolutely ensured that his candidate would win it.

Edited 2009-08-06 23:23 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Half Full or Half Empty
by theosib on Thu 6th Aug 2009 23:11 in reply to "Half Full or Half Empty"
theosib Member since:
2006-03-02

Honestly, there's nothing wrong with selling more copies of Office....

As long as they have 100% compatibility with open formats with ODF without artificially sacrificing features.

Some will argue that there's a problem in general with closed-source software. Sure. But an even bigger problem is lock-in. Microsoft is notorious for doing this with their file formats and even their web browser. People use their software because "it works", but it only works because everyone else is uding their software.

Now, the thing is, even if they finally manage to get around to supporting ODF properly (turned out that no other office suite could read ODF files produce by Office or vice versa), they'll probably also treat it like a second-class citizen, artificially restricting features. Now, while there may certainly be a difference in philosophy between the way MS Office was originally designed and the way ODF is designed, necessitating some extra work to shoe-horn it in, the loss of functionality should really only be very minor. Microsoft, however, is likely to "get lazy" (on purpose), and thereby encourage people to use the native format to get all the features.

Reply Parent Score: 2

PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

Currently-released forms of ODF simply do not support a number of things which are needed for Office features that already exist. There would be quite a big loss of functionality in the formulas space (as we have seen already) and in the change-tracking space (which we haven't seen yet).

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Half Full or Half Empty
by VistaUser on Fri 7th Aug 2009 01:28 in reply to "Half Full or Half Empty"
VistaUser Member since:
2008-03-08

Well, Microsoft trying to make money is not really a problem - that is the point behind doing business afterall.

However I do wonder how compatible Microsoft's ODF support with be with OpenOffice.org's - currently in the spreadsheet department I hear the two are incompatible.

Reply Parent Score: 1