October 19, 2005

OpenDocument: "What Were We Thinking?"

There's never an opportunity too slim to hype the hyperbole of OpenDocument:

"...turn everything inside out..."
"Now we have the potential to explode the world again, to turn everything inside out again, if we get the widespread use across the office desktops of the world, of a common, open, unencumbered, reusable data format, namely OpenDocument."
Tim Bray | Sun Microsystems

"...biggest battle the computer industry has ever seen."
Warning. If you read any further, you will find yourself at ground 0.0 of the biggest battle the computer industry has ever seen. It is where the biggest warriors from the proprietary software world, the open standards world, and the open source world are engaged in hand-to-hand combat.
David Berlind | ZDNet

Agreeing with these statements, I believe the "battle" will actually be a fizzle. As states and then more major governments around the world joint the OpenDocument cueue, the sense of inevitability sets in and the shock and news-value evaporates as everyone gets used to the idea of choosing their own text, spreadsheet or powerpoint applications.

The idea of free access to documents and format portability is so natural that within 3 years people will be hitting their palms on their foreheads to exclaim, "Frickin' Microsoft Office. What were we thinking?"


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