Thursday, July 06, 2006

Critical Mass.

Today in ComputerWorld: Sun, Microsoft answer Mass. call for ODF/Office converter.

Part of this is old news... Sun, through the OpenOffice.org project, has had a converter for some time now... it was delivered for testing to Massachussetts officials weeks ago.

Microsoft, on the other hand, has been crying "foul," and "not possible," etc., etc. for months. They were full of it, and yesterday Massachussetts called their bluff.

Well, now it's official... it's not just a converter, it's an open-source converter. And that means that documented file specs are forthcoming from Microsoft. And that means that Open Source projects everywhere will be able to improve their interoperability with Word docs, with Excel and PowerPoint to follow.

This is what happens when people stick to their guns. If more of Microsoft's customers followed Massachussetts' example and said, "we don't like your way, we're prepared to hit the highway," then other annoyances like the WGA debacle and draconian DRM could disappear as well.

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