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CNet on the Document Format Contest

Right now an extremely important contest is being carried out for the default next generation office document format. It’s Microsoft against everybody else (in the form of ODF).

While Microsoft is currently claiming the openness of its new file format, most cautious observers are skeptical because of patents it holds on some parts of the format. (It has promised not to sue or collect royalties from others who use that IP, but that’s not a comforting guarantee to competitors.) Controlling document format compatibility was the trump card that allowed the creation of the MS Office monopoly and led to billions of dollars in revenue; they wouldn’t let that go without a fight, because they are guaranteed to lose marketshare in a free marketplace.

CNet discusses many aspects of this ongoing battle in Microsoft’s document gambit moves ahead.

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