Feeds

Sun presents XML Office challenge

Lines up partners

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

Sun Microsystems Corp has floated a series of XML-based specifications designed to crack-open Microsoft Corp's Office monopoly and improve interoperability with StarOffice.

Sun has lined-up partners to form a technical committee at the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) that will drive the proposed formats.

Joining Sun are Corel Corp, XML publishing specialist Arbortext Inc, standards specialist Drake Certivo Inc and aircraft giant Boeing Corp among others.

Sun's goal is to successfully challenge Microsoft's monopoly of desktop productivity suites using StarOffice 6.0, which will ultimately support the formats. The file formats are already used in OpenOffice 1.0, the basis of StarOffice 6.0.

Vendors like Corel, meanwhile, are hoping for a larger slice of the desktop pie with increased interoperability between their own suites and those from Microsoft and Sun.

Sun said the OASIS Open Office XML Format Technical Committee's work would enable exchange of data in XML-based formats while retaining a "high-level" of formatting between text, spreadsheets, charts and graphs.

Only one vital piece of the puzzle is missing - Microsoft. Sun said it has invited Microsoft to join, but that it is "not optimistic". Simon Marks, Product Manager for Microsoft Office, said in a statement that Microsoft is still evaluating the offer.

Should Microsoft decide not to join, Sun believes it can ultimately force the company to the standards table - and "teach Microsoft a lesson" - as its share of the desktop productivity market is whittled away.

Office's market share could come under pressure as customers, who are unhappy with Microsoft's latest licensing program, switch to low-cost offerings from rivals such as Sun and Corel.

Microsoft, an OASIS member, said it sees "no benefits" to joining as its customers will have "great" XML support in its planned Office 11 product. Microsoft said the company supports XML Schema Datatypes (XSD) 1.0, and anything that the technical committee develops will work with Office 11. That version of the suite will use XSD 1.0.

However, Joerg Heilig, Sun director of software engineering, said Sun's proposed formats do not use XSD 1.0. Heilig said they use "standard" XML and existing standards such as Mathematical Mark-up Language (MathML) and Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG).

© ComputerWire

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.