Subject: Re: Mass. Bill to Block OpenDocument Format Standard
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <stephen@xemacs.org>
Date: Tue, 08 Nov 2005 12:25:55 +0900

>>>>> "g" == DV Henkel-Wallace <gumby@henkel-wallace.org> writes:

    g> OpenDocument itself won' t make much of a difference if all
    g> that it does is allow you to run an inferior opffice suite.

As far as I can tell "inferior office suite" is a redundant phrase.  I
know very few people (except those who have only recently graduated
from pen-and-ink to electrons) who are _happy_ with any office suite.

From the FSB point of view, we can hope that what Open Document will
do (if well-designed) is to allow you to market a superior word
processor without having your dead-in-the-water spreadsheet and clunky
calendar app drag it down.  Think "IBM and the plug-compatibles".
Think how hard Microsoft worked to plug the chink in its armor that
the browser constituted, both by improving IE and by attempting to
weld it into the OS.

    g> Somebody needs to develop a cool (i.e. useful) app that only
    g> works with Open Document -- a web app, a mobile app, something
    g> new -- in order to make it worth switching.

That's pessimistic.  Remember, we're talking _a requirement for
government documents_ here.  We have a _big_ customer saying "we
_require_ interoperation by protocol design, not embedded in anyone's
proprietary software."  This is the same kind of motivation that
drives second sourcing, which has been the source of significant
profit, enough to make AMD competitive with Intel.


-- 
School of Systems and Information Engineering http://turnbull.sk.tsukuba.ac.jp
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              ask what your business can "do for" free software.