October 25, 2005

OpenDocument's a Win-Win

Microsoft CTO, Ray Ozzie, indicates that Microsoft is at least watching how work in France on an OpenDocument Format filter for MS Office is coming out. According to Ozzie, the technical questions around doing Office-to-ODF output for office document files center around support resources issues.

This is a change from the messages that came out at a lower level during Alan Yates' and Stuart McKee's Laurel & Hardy public relations displays; it opens up a new tactical branch of pursuit which would culminate in Microsoft's adoption of OpenDocument in MS Office when the market and other avenues indicate no alternative.

Elsewhere, we've been hearing about an Australian software company working on ODF filters for MS Office.

If Microsoft Office adds an ODF output option, then competition is restored to some extent to the office suite market. To quote Ian Lynch, a contributor to the OpenOffice.org project:
Poor old MS. If it adopts ODF it loses its monopoly on document files. If it doesn't adopt ODF it risks losing not only a few US States but the whole of the European Union.
Microsoft's gamesmanship issues down two distinct tracks: one is the political track, trying to call the "bluff" in Massachusetts through legislative hearings (there is no bluff because the CIO is committed to an open multi-vendor scenario which includes Microsoft); another is to prepare for ODF adoption if stalling, PR and legal avenues produce not fruit.


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