But it's NOT "dropping Office software"!

Story: Microsoft fights bid to drop Office softwareTotal Replies: 6
Author Content

Sep 14, 2005
3:16 PM EDT
It's not even "Dropping MICROSOFT Office software". It's just "dropping software that does not support a portable open standard". Which Microsoft could quite freely implement in "Microsoft Office" without anybody else's permission, even. If they didn't have so much invested in preventing themselves from playing well with others by using their bastardized version of the OASIS format instead of the standard one...

Sep 15, 2005
5:09 AM EDT
Well, they are admitting the value of their company rests in their secret closed formats, and not in their closed secret software. Apperently, the value of not having an OpenDoc im/export filter is greater than the Massachusettes deal. They have understood the only drawback of OpenOffice is the conversion between closed MS and open formats, and if there was a filter, the only drawback of OpenOffice would be gone. Even more, if there would be an export filter for OpenDoc in MSOffice, since MS-Office is going to read (support) al previous MS-Office formats, MS-Office would be a great tool for converting all your old Office-documents to an open format, after which you'd never need MS-Office anymore. I think that's there biggest fear, since somebody with only one MS-Office license could convert millions of documents if MS-Office had an OpenDoc export-filter. I think we'll have to wait for the rest of the world, only if more countries support the Massachusettes policy, both losses could be more equal.

Sep 15, 2005
5:19 AM EDT
I'm willing to bet money that Massachusetts backs down on this one, probably at the last minute.

MSFT's bankroll is just too darn big, and people are just too darn corruptable, for something as idealistic as this to happen.

Sep 15, 2005
7:09 AM EDT
And should they back down, the publicity right now would have some interesting ripples. Who knows what side effects we'd see? Could range all over the place.

Sep 15, 2005
8:31 AM EDT
A couple of points:

1. This IS Massachusetts. That increases the chance that they will stick to to their guns. It is a lovely state, with lovely people, but...a bit prone to stick to whatever looniness they deem important. OpenDocument is not loony, but that stick-to-it-iveness is a good thing here.

2. It seems unlikely that, in the home of MIT, Microsoft techies will be able to make a convincing and un-rebutted case.

3. If the Mass folks are remotely serious, they glom on to the FEMA web site fiasco. It's apples and oranges from a technical point of view, but it's the same thing philosophically: Some government functions are too vital, especially in times of emergency or other special need, to be restrictive in any way.

4. People tend to over-estimate the power of corruption in a democracy. I live in the Chicagoland area. We know corruption. We're good at it. The federal government must train all its new prosecutors by sending them into Chicago to send up corrupt officials. It's almost like shooting fish in a barrel.

However: You collect perqs, make friends rich, and enjoy special attention only so long as you have the power to do favors. If people want something badly enough, you have to deliver it or lose the bling.

Sep 15, 2005
8:32 AM EDT
PS -

Not to mention risking time in the Big House.

Sep 16, 2005
1:54 PM EDT
I hope dinotrac is right. If he's not, Mass will get a nice discount from MS anyway. But which American taxpayer is interested his money is going to a company which was convicted for monopoly abuse, has billions on its bank accounts, and is leaded by a jumping monkey? And all this while Bush says he needs $200 billion for New Orleans and Mr Greenspan is saying the country needs cutbacks? I always thought Mass was like a technology 'leading' state (because of the MIT), but by cowardly backing of, they would degrade themselves to conservative followers with mouths far bigger than their brains. A soccer club in my country has a nice 'clubsong' which I'd recommend to Mass: "No words, but deeds".

Posting in this forum is limited to members of the group: [ForumMods, SITEADMINS, MEMBERS.]

Becoming a member of LXer is easy and free. Join Us!