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LinuxWorld: Is the Sky Falling and the End Near for Open Source?

May 14, 2003, 20:30 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Paul Murphy)

"Does what Microsoft is doing with XML spell the end for open-source office applications in general and OpenOffice.org in particular?

"Gary Edwards, a design consultant for Web applications and OpenOffice.org's representative on the OASIS Open Office XML Format Technical Committee, seems to think so. Certainly, he has repeatedly expressed his concern that next-generation Microsoft Office Suites will force an even greater degree of Microsoft lock-in than current releases do.

"Edwards is undoubtedly right to be worried. Microsoft's use of XML is sufficiently Microsoft-centric that the price of use will almost certainly include platform-consistency--meaning that all users must be at the same release level for both the Microsoft operating system and Microsoft Office. Because Microsoft Office documents operate a bit like Internet worms, spreading Microsoft Office wherever they land simply because there's no other reasonable way for the recipient to access them, the concern is that early adopters will force their business partners to follow suit and eventually lock out open-source products like OpenOffice.org..."

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