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   What should be open/free? (Was: Low-end Office 11 won't do user schemas,

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In a message dated 12/04/2003 18:25:06 GMT Daylight Time, uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com writes:

But I've always been skeptical that Microsoft has it in their DNA to make the fundamental changes in outlook required to truly open up XML to their Office users.  Even the slickest UI cannot overcome a mismatch between the interests of a vendor and its customers, which, I think has become very large recently in the case of MS.


Realistically, do you do all your coding for free? Do I write or code for free? If we did do everything for free then, in one sense, our customers would ... in the short term at least ... benefit. But it isn't a sustainable business model, or so it seems to me.

If Microsoft made "fully open" or "gave away the source" for MS Office or its XML what would the results be? In the short term? In the long term?

MS "gave away" Internet Explorer. That has led to, in internet terms, a pretty lasting slowdown in browser development. (Now beginning to change due to open source browsers).

Vendor / customer relationships are, in my view at least, well expressed in the notion of a continuing tension. .... Resembling marriage in this! :) ... If the plus points outweigh the negative points the relationship continues. If not then, at least in our modern society, people move on to find another relationship.

Surely it can't be a surprise to anyone that cheaper versions of a product will do less than more expensive versions? It is nothing new that the aspects with "enterprise value" are positioned in the high end and more expensive versions.

I guess this question of what should be given away is pretty much on topic for XML-Dev since it is, to a significant extent, the existence of XML and its widespread adoption which makes the question so pertinent.

Oh ... while I remember ... why would anyone want to make changes in Outlook? Isn't Outlook already perfect? :)

Andrew Watt


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