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Re: [xml-dev] "Open XML" et al... Blech... Re: [xml-dev] Microsoftbuys the Swedish vote on OOXML?

Michael Kay wrote:
> Office and Windows are good products and are highly successful because they
> meet user needs, but they are also outrageously profitable. The high profits
> are derived essentially because (a) there's a natural tendency in the user
> community to converge on a single product, thus creating an effective
> monopoly, and (b) the beneficiary of such a monopoly also benefits from the
> existence of a copyright law that was designed to reward individual
> impoverished writers but now allows mega-corporations to exploit the very
> individuals it was designed to protect.

Another factor: exchanging office files with anyone was once very 
difficult, because there were quite a few competing programs, and they 
didn't do that great a job of reading and writing each other's formats. 
They were often bad even at handling their own earlier formats. Many 
environments were eager to see one file format win. RTF was one non-XML 
format that was trying to play this role.

An XML format has real advantages for this. Docbook never became that 
format. So far, ODF hasn't either. OOXML will make it easier to read 
Microsoft's data, but I'd be surprised if it becomes the universal 
document exchange format, partly because it is 6,000 pages and not fully 

Not sure if we'll ever get there ....


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