IBM VP Bob Sutor sums up the perilous position of Microsoft's Open XML effort vs. the ISO approved Open Document Format standard:

I think there are many reasons why Microsoft's XML specification for its own Office products, OOXML, will ultimately fail in the marketplace. Many people, including myself, have described how it is monstrously large, not particularly good XML and so not amenable to easy processing by standard XML tools, essentially a dump of Microsoft's own product requirements and mistakes, and will, in the end, be fully implemented by Microsoft alone. If that's not enough, it just won't be one of the three main document formats that people use.
Bob goes on to explain the momentum behind ODF versus the on-going lock-in of OOXML.

The other day, my girlfriend forwarded me an attachment that she said she was having trouble opening.  It turned out to be a ZIP file, within it an OOXML document -- over a dozen files in three subfolders.  The only reason I knew it was an Excel 2007 spreadsheet was that I read the XML schema, which contained
This is progress?  While she might not have been able to open an ODF attachment yet either, one quick google search would have shown what kind of attachment she received.  The XML documents give the recipient no clue.  I eventually directed her to the document creator, asking her to ask them to save the file as a .XLS.  At least that way, we could work with it.  Who will this be practical for?

Link: Bob Sutor: Why OOXML will ultimately fail >

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