Format War : ODF vs OOXML

Off late you might have been hearing a lot about the format war between ODF versus OOXML. ODF as per wikipedia is "a free and open file format for electronic office documents, such as spreadsheets, charts, presentations and word processing documents." while OOXML as per wikipedia is also "a free and open international standard for representing electronic documents such as spreadsheets, charts, presentations and word processing documents."
If they both are similar then why there is need for such format war ?
One Reason in my view : ODF was already an accepted ISO standard and used by many countries as their document standards. It is growing large and finding acceptance all over world. M$ felt threatened and released their own 'defective' and 'broken' standard OOXML. M$ felt threatened that their Office Suite which has great market share might lose out to other free ones.

There are many *novices* who think Format war is OpenOffice.org Vs Microsoft Office. I myself have met such ignorant people. They feel nothing can even close to Microsoft Office just because it has great support for Rich Documents. They dont care if any other office suite opens their documents. In my view its really absurd. There are many around who doesn't have clear idea of what exactly it means to have a Open Format than to proprietory ones.

Here are few links for people who want to know more:

ODF ODF Alliance
ISO:
Blogs: You can find more links here


An interesting excerpt from a popular site:
"Microsoft announced on May 21st that it will support ODF version 1.1 in the release of Office 2007 Service Pack 2 (SP2), scheduled for the first half of 2009. The company will also support PDF and XPS in Office 2007 SP2. In Microsoft's announcement, the company said it was adding native support for ODF due to increasing pressure from customers "and because we want to get involved in the maintenance of ODF". The company now says OOXML support would require substantially more work"

News from Microsoft's official site : Microsoft Expands List of Formats

I hope now everyone will know what exactly a Format War is. It is not related to good Office Suite. Its all about Openness, freedom, interoperability. :)

8 comments:

Sabine said...

Good words.

Amit M Surana said...

Thanks Sabine

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