Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Language Bias for OpenXML and ODF

It's amusing to see, in Microsoft's Open Letter 'Interoperability, Choice and Open XML', the bias in the language used to describe Open XML and the Open Document Format (ODF).

On the one hand, ODF is: "closely tied to OpenOffice and related products, and reflects the functionality in those products."

On the other, Open XML "reflects the rich set of capabilities in Office 2007, offers a platform for exciting user productivity scenarios through user-defined schema, and was designed to be backwards compatible with billions of existing documents."

See any difference in the way these two are described?

Pots, Kettles, and Shades of Black
I'm not bashing Microsoft here; they have a position, and they're trying to state their side in a positive light, as many people would. I wouldn't be surprised in the least to find that IBM had described the two in a way that's equally slanted to their own opinions (although I believe that both sides of this argument have some merit).

I just hope that everyone reading these discussions is able to read through the marketing material, the positioning and the spin doctoring.

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