To try to salvage its opportunity to cause harm in Massachusetts, Microsoft has submitted its new XML file formats to some standards agencies for a rubberstamp. It’s unlikely they’ll succeed, but this announcement of vaporware is a standard trick in their arsenal of FUD: They’re running around town claiming to have an open format and trying to draw attention away from the superior ODF!
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols covers the situation in Microsoft Drops the Office Open Standard Ball, just published on eWeek.
Vaughan-Nichols quotes RMS: “Richard Stallman, president of the Free Software Foundation and the author of the GPL, said in July that the current license governing the use of the formats is “designed to prohibit all free software. It covers only code that implements, precisely, the Microsoft formats, which means that a program under this license does not permit modification.” And with the recent announcement, nothing of substance has changed.