FSFE ignoring OOXML?

Anastasios Hatzis ah at hatzis.de
Thu Apr 26 09:42:43 UTC 2007

On Thursday 26 April 2007 10:02, Alex Hudson wrote:
> Sean,
> On Thu, 2007-04-26 at 00:50 +0200, Sean DALY wrote:
> > It *will* help their monopoly -- that's why they are going to such
> > lengths to slow ODF and push their format to ISO. Ask yourself
> > this question: why, since 1987, has Microsoft never submitted
> > their Rich Text Format pseudostandard to any standards body? Or
> > Excel CSV?
> I don't understand that point at all. Neither RTF or CSV are terribly
> important, so whether or not they standardised them seems neither here
> nor there: that's not what their monopoly is based on.
> Yes, they are pushing to standardise their XML format. I just simply
> don't believe it does much to help their monopoly. In the world of
> office suites, their monopoly is basically total at this point: you
> can't really improve on 100%.

Although I agree with your 100% market share statement, you should consider 
other reasons for Microsoft's ISO campaign. Microsoft Office is still one of 
the two cash-cows (the other is Windows), which bring in the $$$ they need 
for their extra-ordinary profits. Do not forget that Microsoft makes losses 
in many other markets.

Given this, the actual goal of this ISO theater is to defending the current 
market share. There are already laws and policies in public authorities all 
over the world which require open or even ISO certified standards for 
document exchange. This implicates that users are going to install an 
additional office suite that fits these requirements. (I don't think 
Microsoft wants the majority of its user-base to know that other suites do 
exist :) By doing so may make the MSO installation superfluously, 
increasingly erasing the market-share and so drying out Microsoft's 
first-class source of profits.

Even though there is an Open Document add-on for MSO (which is inconvinient 
for their typical users), Microsoft has no control over this format. And even 
if OOXML would really become the most ridicolous standard in the history of 
ISO: Microsoft has a good track record making sufficient marketing (or 
propaganda)... they assume that most deciders wouldn't care how good or bad 
that ISO standard would be, if there would be just one (and as a 
plus-plus-good it would be from the market-leader). I'm afraid, that Redmond 
is likely right with such assumption.


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