Apparently Microsoft is a little worried and trying to win me back. I mean, I know that XP probably spies on your processes and un-install information (I've come to expect, if not demand, compromising surveillance from all authority) but this is ridiculous. I un-installed MS Office
two weeks ago and now Microsoft is smearing OpenOffice.org on performance accusations.
Here's the deal, OpenDocument format
was created by everyone but Microsoft as an alternative to .DOC
, .XLS, or .PPT formats. (which, undocumented and proprietary, had to be reverse engineered for opensource support) Microsoft has now developed Office Open XML format
for Office 2007. While Microsoft holds patents on this format, they promise
to let everyone use it. To justify a need for this new standard they compared the new Open XML with OpenOffice.org using OpenDocument Format. The new one is faster. Surprise, surprise. Despite all the other apples to oranges problems with this test, OpenOffice.org isn't even optimized for that format yet. But that doesn't matter, lets take their word that Open XML is faster.
Lets just take a look at what Microsoft has done. They've just told the entire opensource (and consumer) community that their standard is obsolete. They've replaced the public standard with one that they own and maintain. They've opened implementation of it to everyone, eliminating excuses not to adopt. (They know from experience that locking it and keeping secrets won't protect them) They've started a scuffle that most consumers care little about (admit it, you don't care), introducing confusingly named products into an obscure field. And they're favored to win as the incumbent industry leader. They're way ahead on development (since they created the standard) and everyone else is playing catchup.
Here's the kicker though: Open XML has 4,000 pages of documentation. Compare that to the 700 page OpenDocument specification and you'll see what an obstacle supporting this is. Its almost as if Microsoft is saying "Go ahead, I dare you to use our format." So you see what a quandary the little guys are in now. Everyone thinks their product sucks and its a huge pain to upgrade to the new one. Looks like Microsoft read the opensource fairy tale
and decided not to lock up their fruit. They just dumped a huge pile of paperwork on top in hopes that no one will be able to dig through it all.Microsoft: OpenDocument is too slow | CNET News.com