On Friday, there was a meeting at the Harvard Berkman Center called “USER Perspectives on Open Document Format (ODF).” I was not able to attend but several of our ODF experts were there. Once I get a chance to talk to them, I’ll add some discussion, but in the meanwhile, James Love has posted a blog entry called “When Standards Are Political — ODF (the Open Document Format)” at The Huffington Post about his impressions from the meeting.
This bit toward the end was especially good, in my opinion:
The State of Massachusetts and the government of Belgium and Denmark have already put in place requirements that ODF be supported by software companies, and now other governments are beginning to consider similar initiatives. If they succeed, it could result in a revolution in the structure of the entire software market, and bring much needed competition and innovation to these important areas.
Next year Microsoft will try to sell the public on it’s latest file format — “Open XML”, which they are marketing as a “competitor” to ODF as an “open” data format. Open XML was described by one expert as a standard that only Microsoft could implement – similar to a job description custom made for a single job applicant.
I did a blog entry last Monday regarding Microsoft and just who will be implementing Open XML (hint: not a lot of people).