Feeds

OOXML marks the spot, says research firm

ODF? It's for poseurs

The Power of One Infographic

Large organisations that are considering a move away from Microsoft's Office Open XML (OOXML) in favour of rival standard (Open Document Format) ODF should think again, concludes a new report.

Analysts at Burton Group on Monday turned up the heat in what is an already fiery debate about which standard should be internationally adopted by saying that "ODF should be seen as more of an anti-Microsoft political statement than an objective technology selection".

They said organisations that already use Microsoft's Office should stick with OOXML file formats, which are the default standard in the 2007 version of its software.

Underpinning that argument, the report also predicted that OOXML will be widely adopted by businesses which in turn will beef up Redmond's market share and swat open source vendors to one side.

But ODF, which is the default file format of the open source OpenOffice suite, still has plenty of fans, particularly among the budget-tightening public sector.

Last week, the UK's education technology agency Becta issued a three-pronged attack on Microsoft's licensing model, rubbished the vendor's document format policy, and said schools and parents should be made fully aware of "free-to-use" products.

It said there should be "no widespread deployment of Office 2007" until schools and colleges could be sure they have mechanisms in place to deal with "interopability and potential digital divide issues".

The report's authors also argued that multinational tech firms such as Sun Microsystems and Novell are backing ODF to loosen Microsoft's grip on the XML-based documents cash cow.

Despite its strong support for Microsoft to continue to dominate the Office landscape, the Burton report warns the software giant to work closely with other vendors and customers to ensure it lives up to its commitments. It said: "If Microsoft abuses standards initiatives, the market response will be swift and severe."

But, in recent months, Microsoft has been facing growing criticism of its bid to have OOXML accepted as an international standard ahead of a crucial vote by the ISO scheduled for February.

Redmond initially promised that the ISO would have control of OOXML if and when it became a standard.

Last month's critics argued that Microsoft was backsliding on that promise via plans to retain indirect control of the standard through Ecma International, the group that originally rubber stamped OOXML. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.