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ODF Defeats MSOOXML

Ironically enough, despite MSOOXML being (controversially) accepted as an ISO standard, most of the media is triangulating on the conclusion that ODF has already won the next generation format war.

Infoworld reaches this conclusion in “Red Hat Summit panel: Who ‘won’ OOXML battle?

They even find a Microsoft employee saying as much:

“ODF (Open Document Format) has benefited from the two-year battle over the ratification of Microsoft’s rival OOXML (Open Office XML) standard, which is native to its Office 2007 suite, Microsoft’s national technology officer said Thursday during a panel discussion at the Red Hat Summit in Boston.

“ODF has clearly won,” said Stuart McKee, referring to¬†Microsoft’s recent announcement that it would begin natively supporting ODF in Office next year and join the technical committee overseeing the next version of the format”

This could certainly be a ruse on the part of Microsoft, but with several functional ODF suites already available, it will be extremely difficult for MS to support ODF in a broken way and then blame ODF for that failure. (As they’ve done with other standards in the past.)

“Panelist Douglas Johnson, an official involved with corporate standards at Sun Microsystems, said the attention caused by the debate has enabled other office-suite products to be competitive.

“The office-suite market has been ruled by one dominant player after another, but those markets were never governed by good open standards practices,” he said. “What has happened is that this dominant-player market has actually been upset and opened to competition that didn’t exist before.”

A competitive office suite market is a fundamental change that will benefit consumers and competitors going forward. It’s an important step in the ongoing effort to establish digital freedoms world-wide.

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