Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Lately there have been great strides made in the MSO (MicroSoft Office) format to ODF (Open Document Format) plug-in. The good news is that it works. The bad news is - it works (mostly, sort of).

Don't get me wrong - the amount of effort going into the project is tremendous - and fantastic strides have been made - the thing DOES work. It's yet another "nail in the coffin" to the end of Office domination in the workplace. But it hasn't exactly been a bed of roses.

Office is still the #1 money-maker for Microsoft. It's estimated that over 90% of all computers have MS Office on it. According to Information Week, even at the first week of launch it was 106.1% more than the same shipment of Office 2003, and the Q1 2007 sales of the Business division (which is also responsible for ERP sales as well as Office) was $4.83 BILLION. For the QUARTER.

That brings us back to the MSO -> ODF question. Can it, will it ever seamlessly work? I would bet not.

Microsoft's proprietary binary format is their cash cow. If there is some kind of translator that ever really works seamlessly - then who the hell needs Office (at $399 MSRP)? NO ONE.

They could use (like I do) OpenOffice, or the ever-better Google applications - or I would bet there would be a flood of others in the marketplace if there was a translator between proprietary and open source anything.

It's just the way of the world. Things are getting more open and transparent - not more closed off and proprietary. That is good news if you're trying to change the world - but maybe not such good news if you're trying to retain your title as the biggest software company in the world...

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