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   Re: [xml-dev] Low-end Office 11 won't do user schemas, it seems

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In a message dated 11/04/2003 23:16:46 GMT Daylight Time, jcowan@reutershealth.com writes:

http://news.com.com/2100-1012-996528.html says that the low-end version of
Office 11 won't do custom schemas, unlike the beta release and the
Professional and Enterprise versions.  The built-in schema will still
be available in the low-end version, but it has not been fully documented.


Why is it a surprise that the high-end, more expensive version will do more? Why should it be a surprise that the high-end-only aspects are those that an enterprise customer will be most likely to pay for?

Having asked that, there is an interesting question about Microsoft's approach, IF I understand the article correctly. Is this the first time that there will be different versions of, for example, Word? As far as I recall past versions of MS Office differed only in which programs were or weren't included.

Might this be potentially paving the way for Word Lite? To be given away?? Like Internet Explorer was?? It certainly seems to open that door a little ajar. Maybe one of Ballmer's options as Linux/open source eats into Microsoft's traditional markets?? Will a putative Word Lite be the free competitor to OpenOffice.org?

So both Word Lite and OpenOffice.org Writer would produce "simple" XML. But ... here the marketeers smile knowingly ... to have *powerful* XML capabilities you have to sign up for more expensive (full) Word.

In addition, InfoPath will be available only in the high-end version, which
requires Licensing 6.0 (large companies only, and pay-to-play).

Again, this may make a lot of sense.

InfoPath seems, if I understand the publicity blurb correctly, to be primarily a forms front end. The biggest pay off from InfoPath is likely to be for those customers who have a MS back end which knows how to process/link/crosslink the stuff InfoPath sends it. Perhaps InfoPath will also fit in with MS's CRM ambitions? And, so it seems, those enterprise guys are the customers to whom InfoPath is being targeted.

Since I may as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb, I wonder if this ... if taken too far ... could end up producing the same results as IBM produced a number of years back by trying to lock customers into an IBM-only world. If the customer-vendor tensions get too strained the customers eventually get to the "Stuff this!" point. In IBM's case it almost toppled the company.

Andrew Watt


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