Feeds

Microsoft accuses Office rivals of 'standards conflict'

Open Office, StarOffice - just not that good

The essential guide to IT transformation

Microsoft is digging in against an alliance pushing OpenDocument Format (ODF), accusing IT rivals of creating "standards conflict" to mask the fact they are lagging Microsoft’s Office in terms of functionality.

Jason Matusow, Microsoft's director of corporate standards, told The Register Tuesday IBM and Sun Microsystems have an economic agenda in advancing ODF, which is used by both their StarOffice and Workplace desktop products.

Matusow was speaking after a group of 35 IT vendors and government organizations announced the formation this week of the ODF Alliance. Those backing ODF include long-time Microsoft rivals IBM, Sun, Red Hat, Oracle and Novell.

While the ODF Alliance hopes to encourage uptake of ODF in governments around the World, Microsoft is pushing a rival set of XML formats for desktop suites, the Office XML File Format. Microsoft is working with a smaller group of customers and vendor partners to have its Office file formats ratified as standards through the European Computer Manufacturers' Association (ECMA).

Matusow believes the final Office XML File Format standard will be picked-up by vendors apart from Microsoft leading to multiple implementations. He said Sun and IBM are advancing ODF as an "exclusive standard."

"The alliance is an effort to push an economic agenda with a competing product," Matusow said.

Matusow said customers and vendors should pick the file format and product based on value. To that end, Matusow believes products using ODF lag Microsoft Office in areas like the functionality of spread sheets.

"These are problems we solved. They are going to go back and solve problems we have already solved. By pushing the format conflict they are looking to deflect some of the shortcomings in their product today," Matusow said.

His words echo those of Alan Yates, a general manager for Microsoft's Information Worker group, who dismissed Open Office.org - the foundation for Sun's StarOffice - as "being 10 years out of date."

"Open Office is fine if you have very limited needs because it was really designed around what Microsoft Office products were designed around 10 years ago," Yates told iTWire

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV
Pureed-carrot-in-ice cream C++ surprise
China: You, Microsoft. Office-Windows 'compatibility'. You have 20 days to explain
Told to cough up more details as antitrust probe goes deeper
Windows 7 settles as Windows XP use finally starts to slip … a bit
And at the back of the field, Windows 8.1 is sprinting away from Windows 8
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?