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Business as usual in Redmond

Open XML.
Two standards, both open, from two different sets of vendors. Of course you've already gathered that one of the standards is coming from Microsoft who, like the cheese, stands alone.
OpenDocument is supported by the likes of Sun Microsystems and IBM while Open XML is a competing standard proposed by Microsoft.

Both standards attempt to address the issue of proprietary standards used by office suites such as Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, and Sun's StarOffice by introducing an open, XML-based format that can easily be manipulated by ISVs as well as competing products.

In a debate on the future of electronic document standards in Boston, Microsof't general manager of business strategy with Microsoft's information worker group said, "Additional standards give you more choice over a period of time."

Really. How interesting you say that, Mr. Yates, because in the past additional standards have generally resulted in end-users being locked in to using a particular vendor's tools to avoid using third party conversion tools which are often incomplete and complex.

Oh, you see that too, don't you? Yes, you do, as you apparently also were quoted as saying: "In the near term, the transition period from proprietary document formats to Open XML-based ones will be messy and complex"."

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