Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Vendor-Led "Standards"?

I find myself agreeing that the pragmatic development of specifications where no standards exist is a good thing:

Microsoft defends vendor standards lead | The Register

But undermining existing standards is certainly not a good thing, and Microsoft does rather more of the embrace, extend, extinguish than it does of the producing genuinely creative solutions to previously unsolved problems.

Also, the word "standard" is misleading when used for specifications which are not in fact standards. And while I'm at it, I think "vendor-led" is not a useful term in this context either. Just because you flog something does not qualify you to produce specifications.

Microsoft pretty consistently adopts one of two strategies when it comes to standards: Reluctantly adopt them where the market makes a stand (e.g. IP vs. NetBouy) or undermine them by any means possible where the market does not have a clear and firm view (e.g. ODF vs the Microsoft office format or Kerberos etc.).

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