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IBM Slams Microsoft, Calls OOXML "Inferior" 238

cristarol sends word that Microsoft's accusation, that IBM has sabotaged Redmond's attempts to have the Office OpenXML format approved by the ISO, has drawn a heated response from IBM. Ars Technica has the story. "'IBM believes that there is a revolution occurring in the IT industry, and that smart people around the world are demanding truly open standards developed in a collaborative, democratic way for the betterment of all,' IBM VP of standards and OSS Bob Sutor told Ars. 'If "business as usual" means trying to foist a rushed, technically inferior and product-specific piece of work like OOXML on the IT industry, we're proud to stand with the tens of countries and thousands of individuals who are willing to fight against such bad behavior.'"
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IBM Slams Microsoft, Calls OOXML "Inferior"

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  • by jacquesm ( 154384 ) <j&ww,com> on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @09:04AM (#22305464) Homepage
    When a company that used to be a monopolist is now one of the staunchest defenders of openness, I really do hope there is no hidden agenda here.

    IBM used to make overpriced hardware sold at tremendous profit until that little upstart microsoft came along and elegantly used their own weight against them in a classic game of corporate judo. It may just be that IBM still smarts from that or it may be that they've really 'seen the light'. This is good news, personally I'd like to see the transparency of these committees and their members go up a notch or two, too much potential for procedural trickery still exists.
  • by pegdhcp ( 1158827 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @09:11AM (#22305502)
    (Semi) official Microsoft view worded as

    IBM is solely responsible for ISO's recent decision to deny OOXML fast-track approval. "Let's be very clear," Jean Paoli, Microsoft's senior director of XML technology, told ZDNet. "It has been fostered by a single company--IBM. If it was not for IBM, it would have been business as usual for this standard."

    One wonders if Microsoft officials do not recognize their own organization as a "single company". Although there are claims of MS statehood, I prefer such ideas remain in the "jokingly funny" domain.

  • by Zygamorph ( 917923 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @10:06AM (#22305968)

    I keep "hearing" the statement but I don't experience it. I use regularly with absolutely no problems. I use MS Office occasionally with no problems so how is it that MS Office blows away

    BTW - I have no interest in "reasons" such as the following:

    1. xx starts up 3 seconds faster = 1 more sip of tea, where's the down side?
    2. The user interface isn't the same = well duh, that just means you're more familiar with one than the other
    3. xx is more compatible with other parts of the xx suite - mega duh, and not always true
    4. xx is more "standard" - whose standard? I lean toward ODF because it is truly open but either way our main problem 10 years from now will be finding hardware to read those funny plastic disks and paying someone to do it.
  • IBM 1, MS 0 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by blacklabelsk8er ( 839023 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @10:10AM (#22306000) Journal
    I'm definitely liking the stance IBM is taking here. OOXML clearly has some serious problems and its a relief to see that regardless of Micrsoft's perceived power, they can't muscle their way into ISO standards. However, I'm still eagerly awaiting IBM to fully embrace this open ideal they're talking about.

    Free the OS/2 codebase.
  • by Futurepower(R) ( 558542 ) <> on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @10:34AM (#22306220) Homepage
    Godzilla may have thrown chairs, but he didn't have such a potty mouth: Ballmer Throws A Chair At "F*ing Google" [].
  • Re:Battle of giants (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cp.tar ( 871488 ) <> on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @12:55PM (#22308180) Journal

    Most business people know instinctively that the more dirty tricks a vendor pulls, the more likely their own product is to suck. MS's antics are getting large enough and frequent enough that people outside of IT who don't read /. or groklaw are starting to notice.

    I do hope you're right.

    From where I stand, it doesn't seem that many people are starting to notice anything, and even if they did, somehow I doubt many would be prepared for the cost of migrating to a different platform.

    To anticipate the "Linux is free" response by a random AC: yes, it is. The software people use to run their various businesses usually isn't.
    Besides, a running business can't easily afford to re-train its employees on a completely new environment.
    That's what lock-in really is all about.

  • Re:Battle of giants (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tehschkott ( 1233744 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:23PM (#22310624)
    You know I was going to make a similar point about Office and Lotus. IBM already got smacked around by MS back in the day with the whole Office/Lotus thing. What made it worse is that MS has been strong arming Intel ever since and Intel is a little tired of it. Its the whole "burn me once, shame on you, burn me twice, shame on me" thing. I don't think we'll watch Intel roll over on such large issues again - historically its something of a sore point.

You know, Callahan's is a peaceable bar, but if you ask that dog what his favorite formatter is, and he says "roff! roff!", well, I'll just have to...