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ODF vs. OOXML and the Future of the Great Powers of IT

Jan 19, 2008, 13:00 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Andy Updegrove)

"Great companies, like great national powers, compete aggressively--not for territory and resources, but for customers and cash. Just as countries fall into hierarchies of power and alliances for long periods of time based upon their respective advantages at the beginning of such periods, or the outcome of wars, multinational corporations often succeed in establishing themselves in power positions that must be jealously defended. In both cases, the factors upon which dominant positions were originally established inevitably change even as their competitors become increasingly determined to supplant the incumbents. Today, the information technology (IT) marketplace may be on the verge of a fundamental reordering of its 'Great Powers' as new technologies (e.g., Software as a Service) and new strategies alter the landscape upon which Microsoft's dominance has to date been based. This article examines the conflict being waged between Microsoft and its commercial rivals over document format standards, attempting to examine the underlying forces, motivations, strategies, and possible outcomes that this contentious standards war helps reveal..."

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