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NewsForge: Commentary: New Windows "filesystem" a Threat to Open Source

Mar 26, 2002, 03:00 (43 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by James Treleaven)

[ Thanks to Benjamin Urias Diaz for this link. ]

"So Microsoft wants to get rid of application files (such as MS Word doc files) and store everything in a database. The ramifications of this are staggering. It is a brilliant strategic move in that Microsoft users are not "chained down" by their loyalty to Windows -- they are chained down by their loyalty to their most heavily used Office applications -- principally Word and Excel. Microsoft's ability to keep users locked into Windows is largely a function of its ability to keep users locked into Microsoft Office.

"Open Source projects such as OpenOffice and KWord hope to win these users over, but to do so, they rely on the critical interoperability provided by their import/export filters. The Microsoft file formats have become the IT lingua franca of office workers all over the world. Whether it is professional writers submitting articles in Word doc format to their editors or consultants emailing cost breakdowns to their clients in Excel xls, people have to be able to speak "Microsoft" to do business in the world today..."

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