I read about how Microsoft held a conference in Malaysia and had some Q&A about their so-called “OpenXML” file format. When asked “Why did Microsoft push OOXML through the “Fast Track” process instead of the standard ISO process? Wouldn’t they get less resistance than faced now?” the response began:
Office is a USD$10 billion revenue generator for the company. When ODF was made an ISO standard, Microsoft had to react quickly as certain governments have procurement policies which prefer ISO standards. Ecma and OASIS are “international standards”, but ISO is the international “Gold Standard”.
Now, any normal vendor would have ‘reacted quickly’ by implementing ODF quickly. But no, this is Microsoft; digital drug dealers interested in addicting their clients through vendor lock-in rather than generating real demand by creating first-rate products. So to finish the quote:
Microsoft therefore had to rush this standard [OOXML] through. Its a simple matter of commercial interests!
[Update 9/27: Even more amazing: Microsoft ITSELF refuses “to commit” to adhere to future versions of the official OOXML ‘standard’. Ugh; its like they aren’t even trying to pretend they’re in favor of interoperability anymore…]
Speaking of, I have a nice little story to share :) Sun has released a plugin for MS Office to allow it to read and write the various ODF file types. A friend of mine works in a small office where some computers run OpenOffice.org and the others run MS Office (possibly more than one version). They were saving files in DOC format to share but a file produced on one computer might not open right (or even open at all!) on another. I suggested the plugin and that problem is now solved :)
(minor update Oct. 4: version 1.1 of the plugin is now out)
Update 2: As an amusement, an image from this article which appears to be Steve Ballmer doing his Lord Voldemort impression… a little too well ^_-
I’m going to fucking kill Harry Pott… er… ODF.