Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Google Gets Hammered; Microsoft to Support OpenDocument Format

I finished the DaVinci Quest on Google today a few minutes after 1pm. Now, pulling up Google results in a message that my request (for "http://www.google.com") looks like a spyware request. Looks to me like they're getting hammered by contestants. I wonder if they saw this coming...

I'm interested to see if I'm one of the 10,000 finalists. I'm not looking to win the contest (I'd hate to have to pay taxes on the grand prize, to be honest about it), but I would like one of those cryptex thingies. Heck, I don't even plan to see the movie. I've read the book, and it was historical hogwash. Sadly, books that claim, "this is true," rarely are.



As reported in Computerworld, Microsoft will support interoperability with OpenDocument Format (ODF) files, though no timetable for this implementation of this compatibility was announced:
“There are hundreds of industry-specific XML schemas used right now by industries spanning health care, real estate, insurance, finance and others. ODF is yet another XML-based format in the market,” he said. “The ODF format is limited to the features and performance of OpenOffice and StarOffice and would not satisfy most of our Microsoft Office customers today. Yet we will support interoperability with ODF documents as they start to appear and will not oppose its standardization or use by any organization. The richness of competitive choices in the market is good for our customers and for the industry as a whole.”
This announcement by Jason Matusow, director of Standards Affairs for Microsoft, was intended to downplay the importance of the ODF standard. However, those of us who support Open Source software can see this as a major win. It's the first time I've seen Microsoft openly declare their intent to support the format. This does, of course, come a few days after OpenOffice.org announced a plug-in for Word that would support the format, Microsoft-support-or-no. As with so many things, Microsoft has announced its support only after the tide of history has made it absolutely impossible for them to avoid it. Great way to innovate, there, guys!

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