CP Hennessy said:
>> Is it vaporware or just a stalling tactic ? ( or am I too cynical ? )
I haven't been following this with great detail. However, some points to
1. It is reported that one of the features of the XML format is the
capacity to store information in the XML file in binary. This is
little different from storing the complete document in a binary
format. However, dropping the total cynicism, it's worth wondering
how much and what elements of any document Microsoft intends to
encode as XML and how much in an XML-wrapped BLOB.
2. Microsoft is actively pursuing patent applications on the XML
format (or probably on the process of writing or reading the
format). Now the physical difficulty of reverse engineering an
undocumented binary file format is being replaced with the legal
and financial difficulty of implementing a documented format. Even
if the option to use the binary data elements in the XML is never
taken up, Microsoft can prevent any project from using the format
due to patent constraints. In fact, if it wanted to, it could even
use the patent to threaten the Open Document Format. At the very
least, it could say to any project, Free Software or not, that it
may not implement its XML format, thereby completely killing
competing products which need to be able to interoperate with
3. There are currently many times more projects and products that
are using, or intend to use, the Open Document Format natively
than there are projects or products that intend to use Microsoft's
XML format natively. The Open Document Format has recently received
ISO acceptance as a standard (I think).
4. As pointed out elsewhere in this thread, the issue of users having
trouble with OpenOffice is one of perception and culture. My
father-in-law ditched what he referred to as "Microsoft Open Office"
after a few months, because he couldn't get used to it, and bought
a copy of MS Office. It's hard to change the perception that the
only vendor of office applications is Microsoft?
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