There is an interesting article over on the BBC News Technology website. It about Microsoft and the British Library warning us of a ‘digital black hole’ because of the amount of data that is stored in old proprietary formats. And how we need to move to Open Standards such as Microsoft’s ‘Open XML‘
I thought thats rich coming from Microsoft, who would like nothing more than for the whole world to be storing data in formats dictated by Microsoft. For those that don’t know a few years ago a new format for office data files was created by a independent group of companies and organizations called the OpenDocument format. This standard was eventually made a ISO standard format. And since then various companies, organisations and goverments round the world have declared that they will be moving to this format as their standard.
In response to this, Microsoft came up with an alternative ‘standard’ called the Open XML format, and have since been pushing to get that adopted, it has not yet got ISO accreditation, but I understand they are working towards that.
So as the BBC article states, why couldn’t they just have adopted OpenDocument? Maybe they think that it would not be in their commercial interests? I don’t know, but they didn’t and they are now trying to defeat the adoption of OpenDocument wherever they can.