Rob Weir has an interesting essay comparing the viciousness of RTF and OOXML: "The [document format standard] concerns of 2004 (or 1995 even) are very similar to the concerns of 2007... 'RTF is defined as whatever Word saves when you ask it to save as RTF.' This should sound familiar. OOXML is nothing more than the preferences of Microsoft Office. Whenever Word changes, OOXML will change. And if you are a user or competitor of Word, you will be the last one to hear about these changes. The coding of Office 14 a.k.a. Office 2009 is well underway. Beta releases are expected in early 2008. But are file format changes needed to accommodate the new features being discussed in Ecma? No. Are they being discussed in ISO? No. Are they being discussed anywhere publicly? No. By owning the 'standard' and developing it in secret, in an Ecma rubber-stamp process, Microsoft rigs the system so they can author an ISO standard with which they are effortlessly compatible, while at the same time ensuring that their products maintain an insurmountable head start in implementing these same standards. Is this how an open standard is developed?"
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