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Macworld on Microsoft’s Double Standard

Macworld Magazine reports on Microsoft’s latest machinations in Microsoft: One Open Document Standard Good, Two Better.

In short, Microsoft now claims that competing standards are a desirable situation. This is simply because they refuse to acknowledge the existing standard, ODF, is superior to their own planned offering.

Everyone else in the world seems to think that competing implementations of one standard offers the best way to maximize innovation. The world also seems highly suspicious of Microsoft’s intentions, because every time they have supported an external standard in the past, they have subverted and attempted to wrest control of it. They have not been successful in every attempt, but they continue to try.

Why is Microsoft going so crazy? Because they feel the stakes are very high; in fact, their monopoly may be on the verge of cracking: “Massachusetts is the canary in the mine on this issue,” John Palfrey, clinical professor of law and executive director of the Berkman Center on Internet and Society at the Harvard Law School, said during the debate. “If Massachusetts gets this right, others will follow.”

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