basically tech

60 Microsoft: Office Format War Over

Wednesday 7th March, 2007

Microsoft Office program manager Brian Jones says the format war with OpenDocument is officially over ... and the winner, he says, is both ODF and OpenXML.

Well, Microsoft don't play second fiddle to anyone if they can help it, nor is equal footing acceptable to them, not in the long or even medium term. In fact, by saying that both formats are winners, Brian Jones reminds me of my eldest (five years old) son. If he wins (a race, game, or whatever) against his younger (four years old) brother, then he boldly and loudly declares that he was the winner. If he comes a close second, he will still often assert that he was the winner. If he is clearly beaten, then he says: "Both are winners!" 'Til the next race of course.

So, lets just review the real meaning behind these two statements:

  • "The format war is over" means "The format war is not over"
  • "The winner is both" means "The winner at the moment is ODF"

These statements are intended to make you relax, but you can't relax against a competitor like that.

I wonder what the future holds for my two boys ...