Contrary to Bob Sutor’s viewpoint, Brian feels the work being done on the Office Open XML format is definitely a team effort. He points out on his blog that it’s been a team effort from the beginning with companies participating like:
- Barclays Capital
- the British Library
- Intel Corporation
- NextPage Inc.
- Statoil ASA
Of those companies listed, some will be users of the new format while others will actually be assisting with the development. I find it very interesting that Apple is on that list. Last time I checked, Apple and Microsoft were pretty big competitors with each other. So, why is Bob Sutor with IBM is complaining about Microsoft controlling the show?
Brian provides a link to the initial draft of the proposed document on his blog. [WARNING! This is a large file, almost 10MB and the document itself is 1,901 pages! Just in time for reading over the holiday break or wrapping up all those Christmas ornaments for storage.]
Brian said one of the goals of the proposal is that everything is backwards compatible so that the end-users won’t be impacted at all, something I alluded to in my previous post as well. Brian states:
We want to make sure that you don’t lose anything, and that the average end user (who doesn’t care about XML) isn’t impacted.
Brian goes on to say he undersands where Bob Sutor is coming from as well:
You can see that IBM (and Sun to a lesser extent) is still pushing pretty hard against the Open XML formats; which is understandable given their investments in OpenDocument. Hopefully they’ll eventually see that this is a good move for everyone though, as this means they will be free to implement the Open XML formats if that’s what their customers want just like we are free to implement OpenDocument if that’s what our customers want. That’s really what this all comes down to; it’s important to let the market decide.
I like what I’m hearing from Brian as the results of this meeting, and like Brian I understand IBM’s concerns. I just think it’s a little too early to be throwing down gauntlets on what’s going to be the final outcome.
[Brian Jones Blog: Back from the Ecma meetings]