How would the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) look if a Meter was 39.3700787 inches in Europe and 42 inches in the USA. My guess would be that it would cause a lot of confusion.
The same applies to the Open Document format or ODF as it is known. You see the ODF is a group effort where a number of companies decided to sit down together and create a format for document interchange that they would all be happy with, all companies except one who decided it would be more fun to throw chairs around like a spoilt 4 year old who’s used to having everything they want.
That company is known to you and I as Microsoft and they have also submitted a document interchange format to the ISO called Open XML. A format that is controlled by this one company and a format that the structures for are stil not 100% published.
With the ISO approval on the ODF format within the last few weeks I can’t see how it will be able to approve the Open XML and this will be a big blow to the Microsoft Office userbase that MS rely on for a lot of it’s profits. Of course we in the IBM Domino world don’t have to worry too much. With the announcements this week that the next version of IBM Lotus Notes/Domino ( codename Hannover ) will include the IBM productivity tools that already support the ODF it’s not going to cost much for any Domino shop to start using the new ODF format and could even enable them to dump the MS Office licenses which would be a big cost saving to even the smallest of Domino shops.
It’s time to rally around the OpenDocument format and hit Microsoft where it really hurts, in the pocket. Three cheers for IBM.