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The OOXML Odyssey: Reader Outrage Edition

I like to think of myself as a fair-minded guy who's open to both sides of an argument. So when I wrote about the recent no-vote for the Microsoft Office Open XML (OOXML) spec by the International Organization of Standardization (ISO), I was a bit astonished by the nature of the response.

To wit: Not one person wrote in to say they supported Microsoft or the OOXML specification. Not one.

Instead, what I read was a parade of impassioned protest. Readers railed against what they found to be a sloppy, complex and potentially dangerous XML-based technical specification. Several wrote to express concern about Microsoft strong-arming the ISO process, stacking national ISO voting bodies in an effort to win approval. And to a man (or woman), the writers condemned OOXML on its technical merits.

What surprises me about this response is that these are people reading Redmond Developer News -- you know, a publication for developers and managers working with the Microsoft technology stack. You'd think this audience would have a lot invested in Microsoft tools and skill sets, and that they'd be at least somewhat likely to have a favorable opinion of OOXML.

But they don't.

What does it say about Microsoft and its current OOXML push that our readers -- essentially, the home field for Microsoft in this contest -- are so clearly opposed to the Redmond-sponsored technology?

You tell me. Because I really want to hear it. E-mail me at [email protected].

Posted by Michael Desmond on 09/19/2007


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