Pardon my French but de jure information technology standards such as the Open Document Format [ODF] suck and never achieve their intended goal. Especially when they are just the creation of one company using the standards movement, and complicit governments, to try to make up for total failure in the marketplace.
To the extent that Eurocrats want to waste their time on standards, so be it. Talk about activity having a negative effect on economic development (but does it matter since the EU will shrivel to nothing as an IT market shortly anyway?).
But Microsoft (MSFT) continues to waste shareholder value on standards too, trying to placate Brussels. It’s a bunch of European academics trying to dictate that the little thing that turns on the automatic windshield washer in your car always be on the left hand side of the steering column… from the same people who cannot agree on where the steering column should be in the cabin. Or what side of the road to drive on.
Please Microsoft, for the sake of your shareholders, let these hypocrites adopt Sun’s (JAVA) and IBM’s (IBM) “standard” Open Document Format. Tell the world that this is a company vs. company thing that goes back to the dirty tricks played by them in Massachusetts four or five years ago. Then let the market decide the way it always does.
What’s the current score? Something like 12:1 in downloads (measured in millions) with Office with OOXML leading Sun and others’ ODF.