Saturday, April 12, 2008

Microsoft Wins The OOXML Battle ... - InformationWeek

There's been some heated up rhetoric: On April 2, criteria organisation Ecma International said that Microsoft's Office Open XML garnered positive ballots from 75% of ISO/IEC Joint Technology Committee 1 members, making OOXML an functionary standard. However, oppositions vow the fighting isn't over. The European Union is investigating the methods Microsoft used to buttonhole for support, and some countries, including Norway, are crying foul. Serious technical concerns remain, including uncertainties over Microsoft's care standards.

And much of the industry still cleaves to the Open Document Format (ODF) standard, which is supported by the OpenDoc Society and used in OpenOffice, KOffice, Google Docs, IBM Lotus Symphony, and other productiveness suites.


Office Open XML is Microsoft's replacement to its proprietary Office written document format. It's touted as an international, unfastened industry criterion for word-processing documents, presentations, and spreadsheets. THE PLAYERS
Microsoft created OOXML and submitted it to Ecma International as the IT and communication theory criteria maintainer. Oasis and the International Organization for Standardization are involved, as are a assortment of vendors, including Apple and Novell. OOXML vies with the ISO Open Document Format, which is used in unfastened beginning productiveness suites. THE PROSPECTS
On April 2, Ecma announced that it had received enough ballots to O.K. OOXML as an ISO/IEC International Standard. Not everyone is on board, however: Appeals are expected based on allegations that Microsoft improperly influenced voting.

Undeterred, Microsoft goes on with OOXML, saying the specification can co-exist with ODF while offering new characteristics and whipping ODF in written written document transparence and cross-platform interoperability, decreased data file sizes, less opportunity for document corruption, greater compatibility, and easier integrating with extant Office packages.

But the large inquiry for IT is, when are too many criteria not criteria at all, but wholly differing and competing chopine that muddy the Waters of written document interoperability?

Microsoft representatives we spoke with declared that OOXML is designed to be backward compatible, thereby enhancing written document preservation, and that it accommodates multiple linguistic communications and civilizations and back ups engineerings that enable people with disablements to utilize computer science devices. Further, they say, the new specification lets information from other systems, such as as wellness attention and fiscal records, to be easily incorporated into written documents and to be updated in existent time, functionality not present in ODF.

Still, not everyone is installing an ODF-to-OOXML transition tool just yet. In particular, Google, a heavy user of ODF in its Google Docs Web applications, takes a negative view. "We believe OOXML would be an deficient and unneeded standard," states Zaheda Borat, unfastened beginning programmes director at Google. Borat's statement is: ODF isn't broken, so why hole it?

Microsoft counters that multiple criteria can and make co-exist, citing mental image formats, such as as as JPEG and TIFF, and digital picture formats, such as MPEG-2 and H.264. In Microsoft's opinion, at least, that's cogent evidence that the computer science environment can back up multiple business office written document formattings as well, all of which can be complemental as well as competitive.Still, competing productiveness suite sellers may be forgiven for pointing to Microsoft's past scheme of "embrace, extend, exterminate."

IT groupings must be wondering if they should experience confident putting their most cherished asset--corporate data--into OOXML.

Microsoft states yes, citing irrevocable, royalty-free patent committednesses to all implementers of OOXML, which both Ecma and ISO/IEC state fulfill minimal licensing requirements. Any physical thing can freely implement OOXML, and in fact, Apple, Corel, IBM, Novell, Sun Microsystems, and others have got already adopted, or announced acceptance of, the specification on a assortment of platforms, including Java, Linux, Macintosh OS, and Palm OS. Even Google back ups OOXML, and Microsoft have funded an that's available at no cost and enables interoperability between OOXML and ODF.

That's the cardinal phrase: "enables interoperability." Despite renewed involvement in OpenOffice, Microsoft is still dominant, and the most widely used business office suites, Office for Macintosh os and Windows, already accede to OOXML. Clearly, Microsoft have the tools and industry influence to acquire OOXML off the ground. Ultimately, it may be ODF that discoveries itself needing compliance.

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