Saturday, December 29, 2007

Microsoft demonstrate total control over MOO-XML

Microsoft are pushing their latest document format as a "standard" in the form of MOO-XML (Microsoft Office Open - XML).

One of the key things about real standards is that they are formed through a consensus. The mechanism for reaching consensus is defined by a standards body and allows the involvement of any interested party.

Microsoft does not want to play that way:

Slashdot | Microsoft Deprecating Some OOXML Functionality

In this Slashdot article we see Microsoft squirming to quell to the many concerns raised about MOO-XML as it is rammed through the ISO process, and in so doing Microsoft demonstrate that they alone say what this format will look like.

MOO-XML is not a standard (it's not even a specification!) and the format is not being defined in anything like an open fashion. Instead it is a very cynical attempt by Microsoft to derail an existing open standard - ODF (the Open Document Format). In the process of pursuing it's monopolistic goals Microsoft has not only muddied the standards waters, but has harmed the standardisation process itself.

The EU recently compelled Microsoft to behave itself in one sphere of it's operations. Perhaps the EU could step in and help preserve the world of open standards against the anti-competitive onslaught of Microsoft.

One can hope.

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