“How many Microsoft engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
None. They just declare darkness the new standard”.
Welcome to the Monopoly.
One would be excused to think, the fact that Microsoft software has become the de-facto standard for Office productivity, would give these guys are sense of security. But the irony of the matter is that the leader of the bunch is probably the most insecure of them all… and it shows in their actions (and lawsuits). So much so that today they are trying to “influence” a sacrosanct neutral standards organization such as ISO to adopt their office document standard as an ISO standard. This one is called the Office Open eXtensible Markup Language (or OOXML). OOXML is an XML-based file format specification for electronic documents such as spreadsheets, charts, presentations and word processing documents.
Now – the problem is that ISO already has a Document standard called the ODF – or the Open Document Format. ODF is used by IBM, Sun and other supporters of the Open Source movement in their Office productivity software and also in the solutions that they develop for their customers. Still – one can hardly compare the sales of MS Office and the others OR take very seriously the impact that open source software is having on MS Office market share. But does this stop MS from worrying?
In an interview with ZDNet, Microsoft’s senior director of interoperability and IP policy, Nicos Tsilas, expressed concern that IBM and supporters of the Free Software Foundation have been lobbying governments to use the rival OpenDocument Format (ODF) standard exclusively because they are unable to compete with Microsoft through their Office products.
This only shows an underlying insecurity, that people will finally realize that they are over-paying for underperforming software…and that will be the end of their reign at the top. Why can’t MS adopt ODF instead – and benefit from the collaboration of thousands of engineers globally? Why can’t it join hands with IBM and Sun to build better products?
Because – it will give the customers a choice. And creation of choice for a Monopoly is like having a prison without walls. Doesn’t work well for the prison’s business model…
I implore my readers to try out alternate office packages – like Openoffice.org… they are free and bug-free. If you cannot do this in office…at least try them at home. They might not have feature glut like MS Office…but these are genuine attempts at innovation and deserve our attention and patronage.