There’s some news today regarding Novell adding Open XML support into their flavor of OpenOffice.org. No disrespect intended, but I absolutely stand by what I said in my blog entry “Is Open XML a one way specification for most people?”.
I’m ready to stand corrected when they demonstrate full translation of arbitrary documents that use all the corner cases of the gargantuan Open XML spec. Presumably they would have a test suite that demonstrates full coverage. If they are just doing a partial translation, then this is just what I said would happen in the blog entry: the only consumers of complete Open XML will be Microsoft, and even that is questionable. The extreme bloat of the Open XML spec will only preserve the network effect when full fidelity is required. Gosh, do you think that could possibly be the point, I wonder?
By the end of 2007, I expect to see various corporate and government policies that say something like “thou shalt use no features in Open XML that cannot be translated perfectly into ODF.” At that point, ODF usage will further accelerate as more people realize they might as well use ODF in the first place. Open XML will then be headed onto that dusty shelf right next to Microsoft Office XML 2003 (or whatever it was called). Just my opinion, usual disclaimers apply.