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   Re: [xml-dev] What should be open/free? (Was: Low-end Office 11won't do

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On Sun, 2003-04-13 at 08:24, AndrewWatt2000@aol.com wrote:

> Probably I am not making my points clearly. Quite possibly because I haven't 
> thought this through fully. Partly also because it is, in my view at least, 
> multi-dimensional with several subtleties involved.
> Let me try again on the final point you make.
> Does the data belong solely to the customer?


Umm, instead of "not clear" I have to go with "completely different".
But this time, it is relevant to the thread.

> Implicitly, it seems to me that by putting "our" data into a data container 
> which belongs to Microsoft (as it happens to be in this case) we are creating 
> what I (provocatively?) might term "jointly owned data". The data, held in 
> Microsoft format, has more value (to us, to our customers) than raw data.

Yup, very interesting point. Your whole thesis is interesting and
reasonable. The point you don't address, which I recall Mike Champion
making very explicitly, is the feeling of being used. Again.

No matter how legally, and even morally, (look I really don't have any
problem with what they're doing) ok their position is, Jean Paoli stood
up at XML 2002 in Baltimore and led a few thousand influential people to
expect something that is apparently being only partially delivered. I
sincerely doubt I'm the only one who has mentioned Office 11 to his
customers. One has an enterprise license already, so it's no biggie, but
I really feel bad about the 2 or 3 copies of XMetal that I might have
sold instead had I realized that small businesses will not get the
benefits that JP led me to expect. (I have no clue whether Jean Paoli
knew what would happen. If not, well, he supped with the devil and his
spoon wasn't long enough.)

> So here is the vendor-customer tension. We might want to take full ownership 
> ... to make the data fully "ours" .... but MS is more commercially 
> comfortable to retain "part ownership". Yes, MS will open the data more fully 
> to customers but only, if I understand the situation correctly, to enterprise 
> customers who pay enough by subscription to (from Microsoft's point of view) 
> justify (on commercial grounds) being given a full share in the "jointly 
> owned data".

I repeat, my problem is with being misled about MS's intentions, not
with any actual product delivery.

> But, hopefully, somewhere among the outrage at least a few will recognise 
> that there is a modicum of truth in the view I am putting forward. :)

I can't speak for others, but I feel chagrinned rather than outraged. I
not only believed, but propagated MS marketing BS.

> I don't recall the exact term, but wasn't it Simon who said that XML was 
> (something like) a subversive technology?

'Disruptive' perhaps?


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