ODF Debate

By Michael Flanakin @ 11:40 AM :: 2766 Views :: Technology, Microsoft, Open Source/Standards :: Digg it!
iTWire Mobile-ready link pulls together its less-than-factual reporting skills together to get some attention by posting an article claiming standardization of the Open Document Format (ODF) is a threat to Microsoft Mobile-ready link -- because this is the only one you can find on the web nowadays :-P First, off, I have a big problem with ODF and the stance of its backers: they are professing the need for one and only one standard in this area when they know the format doesn't fit all circumstances. For instance, ODF does not have a way to embed custom data, if I remember correctly. This is one of the [many] big advantages to Open XML, which is used in Office 2007. The article goes on to claim that Open XML is a proprietary format, which is absolutely not true. In fact, Open XML is an Ecma Mobile-ready link standard Mobile-ready link. Yes, that's an international standards body; the same standards body that standardized C# and the .NET Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) Mobile-ready link. The last thing I'm going to say about this [for now] is that Microsoft acknowledges the fact that Open XML may not fit every situation and is actually promoting choice here. Sound familiar? This is what the open source community has been saying for years. Now, it seems the tables have turned. Microsoft is suggesting choice is good and typical open source backers are saying you, the consumer, should have no choice. As proof of Microsoft's dedication to choice, there's an add-in to add ODF support to Word Mobile-ready link. When has the ODF community done anything to support consumer choice?