The Microsoft evil genius of docx format

I'm sure I'm not the first to reflect on the evil genius of .docx document format but I feel the need to vent a little spleen. Only the Evil Empire of MickeySoft could be this twisted.

The ITSM community should ponder this for two reasons: (1) just how much do we trust Microsoft's 'free' MOF 4.0? (2) ITIL's inability to play nicely with COBIT or other de-facto standards might result in eventual convergence or it might not - watch the scrap between OOXML and ODF for clues.

After years of resisting open standards, Microsoft suddenly sees the light and embraces open standards. Most were suspicious from the start and quite rightly so.

First they promote an alternate "open" standard of their own so as to provoke a standards war with their competitors.

Then they indulge in suspect shennanigans to gerrimander adoption of the standard.

And when they finally release a version of MS-Word that uses the new standard, they make it the default save format, so that early adopters start emailing .docx files to those who have yet to upgrade.

They even start publishing some of their own support documents in the new format.

Pure evil genius.

You can now get the Microsoft add-on to Office 2003 here (thanks to digital inspiration). I installed it - it works. And there are a few file convertors around for those who don't have Office.

Until now I've said I am too far over the Word learning curve to go back (I did try Open Office), but there are days... Must go look at Google Apps.


bloated Microsoft software

The compatibility pack to allow Office 2003 to read 2007 format files is 27MB! For a format convertor...

Ranting against Microsoft is like flatulence in a Highveld storm

In this neck of the Kalahari the storms might not have great wind speed but the light and sound show is like no place on earth. Some mates of mine, when they first heard it, dived under the table. Now Microsoft is much the same, great bells and whistles but do they really blow you over? However, the show is so loud and bright no-one notices any other disturbance during the storm.

However, Skep, I noticed you wrote a great piece in ITSMwatch, on 12 December. One of your best yet. You should podcast it!

Forced upgrades

This has been Microsofts policy for as long as I remember. At least now they allow you to set the default save format. And of course Office 2007 is a horrible resource hog when compared to 2003.

We had some issues with people from India 'forgetting' to save documents in the old format, still used in our NL office and by the customer. In all such cases we requested them to resend the documents in proper format and rescheduled the meeting by 5-6 hours, meaning it would be 10-12 PM in India. That sure helped with compliance.

Google Docs is not yet ready

Google Docs is not yet ready for professional use, I use it a lot private and love it. But there are things like not being able to paste images or not being able to control tables that rules it out of professional use so far. However OpenOffice 3.0 is really good, I suspect that the transition from MS office 2003 to OpenOffice 3.0 will be easier than moving from MS Office 2003 to MS Office 2007.

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