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office-comment message

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Subject: Re: [office-comment] Public Comment

comment-form@oasis-open.org scripsit:

> Will the OpenDocument format be usable by Microsoft Office?

That is up to Microsoft.  At present they have stated that they
will not use OpenDocument as their native format nor will they
provide a converter.  I'd say that the latter would be more likely
to change, if OpenDocument takes off.  However, OpenOffice.org
can serve as a converter between OpenDocument and Microsoft
binary format.

> I do not understand what it means to be an application or vendor
> independent format - will it be usable by ALL office suites (Microsoft
> Office) or will each suite need to implement your file format
> specification (in which case it does not seem to be "independent")?

It means that no individual vendor or application controls the format.
Microsoft native format can be, and has been, changed at Microsoft's whim.
Furthermore, it is unclear just what patents may affect it.

OpenDocument format is as patent-free as possible (some unknown third party
may have a patent affecting it that they are keeping secret, as is true
of any software), it is publicly described, and nobody can change it at whim.

John Cowan  jcowan@reutershealth.com  www.reutershealth.com  www.ccil.org/~cowan
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the
continent, a part of the main.  If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a
manor of thy friends or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for
whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.  --John Donne

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