[Linux-aus] [Osia-discuss] Re: OOXML support (was: If you could ask Microsoft a question...)

Jeff Waugh jdub at perkypants.org
Tue Jan 15 01:08:57 UTC 2008

<quote who="Con Zymaris">

> I see no 'mind-blowingly irrational rage'. What I offered is (I believe)

8< snip ... I wasn't referring exclusively to your post (or even just the
discussion among these lists).

> > Why has OpenOffice.org succeeded to the degree it has thus far? Well,
> > it's not software quality, innovation or user delight. :-) It's
> > *compatible* and cheap and therefore viable to play with and then
> > ultimately continue using.
> Times are different.

With liberal application of rose-coloured glasses, sure. They're really not
that different, unless we're feeling self-aggrandising and self-righteous.

> This inertia is compounded by the lacklustre uptake of Vista, and the
> perception across the industry that Microsft has hatched two turkeys, and
> not one.

For sure. And that's awesome. But to think that means that we can further
retard its growth by not implementing the Office 2007 formats is goofy at
best. What we need is mind-blowingly awesome products (which, sadly, OOo is
not), and demonstrable user value (which, sadly, ODF doesn't exactly speak
to very convincingly, at least for 'normal users' who just want to get on
with things).

> Unlike that time, there is now an additional group of users,
> OpenOffice.org users, who can provide enough of a critical mass of
> non-OOXML users to help ensure that OOXML never gains the mantle of
> industry dominance that its predecessor did.

There's a David with growing strength, a Goliath tripping over his own shoe
laces, and a market that is not particularly impressed or interested in

Again: We don't "win" by boycotting the opportunity to steal Microsoft's
customers from them. Doesn't matter whether they're waxing or waning from
their current position. It just doesn't make any sense at all.

... and, of course, that's why pretty much all of their competitors -- FLOSS
or not, ODF backers or not -- are already (wisely) implementing it in some
form, which makes this entirely political and hypothetical argument moot.

- Jeff

linux.conf.au 2008: Melbourne, Australia        http://lca2008.linux.org.au/
     "I think it was Shakespeare who said -- or it might have been Joss
            Whedon. I get those two mixed up..." - Mike Lawther

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