The Sweet Smell of Redmond…

I’ve previously talked about the horrors of the native document format in the Office 2007 (and now 2008 for Mac as well), OOXML. I’m not going to go through an extended talk about the nonsense that Microsoft has done to essentially bankrupt the legitimacy of ISO bodies around the world. I’ll let you head over to Bob Sutor’s blog if you want to do that (disclaimer: Bob is a VP at IBM. He’s super smart, but IBM is an ardent supported of ODF, and opposed to OOXML. That position comes through in the blog.).

Now, I just want to note something that you might have missed in some of the FUD that has been swirling about OOXML receiving ISO certification. While it’s true that OOXML may indeed receive such certification (which will be a sad, sad day), the current office suites that Microsoft has on the market (i.e. 2007 and 2008) do not support ISO 29500 – the OOXML standard. That’s right: if you’re saving your documents in OOXML right now, you are NOT saving it as the default standard that Microsoft is championing. Instead, you’re just saving in the ‘transitionary’ format. This means that you could potentially be stranded with a lot of OOXML documents in the future, especially if you decide to move to a non-Microsoft office package. At the very least, it’s looking as though only Microsoft will be able to be ‘backwards compatible’ with 2007 and 2008 when and if the ISO 29500 is approved – no Open Office, Neo Office, Abiword, Google Docs, or anything else for you!

I’m so impressed that ‘open standards’ are translating to ‘closed, proprietary based standards’. It seems in accordance with the thousands of pages that go into the OOXML so-called ‘standard’.