Why Microsoft wants Indian NGOs to support OOXML?

Microsoft is urging Indian NGOs to support OOXML (i.e. Office Open XML) format – and persuade Indian IT Secretary and the Additional Director General of the Bureau of Indian Standards with letters supporting MS’s OOXML proposal.

What’s OOXML? What is the fuss about?

Office Open XML (OOXML) is XML based file format specification for electronic documents like word, spreadsheet, presentation etc.

Unlike it’s open counterpart OpenDocument Format (ODF) which has gained industry acceptance, OOXML is tightly coupled with MS office proprietary standards and is not yet approved as a full International Standard.

What’s the big deal?

It’s all about Microsoft building a strong lock-in to their Office proprietary standards and of course, an attempt to be the world’s widely used document formats.

Most importantly, the OOXML standard is loaded with MS patents and the tight integration with MS Office makes the entire standard unfit for others.

“India has not woken up politically,” ..”to the impact of [selecting the right standard]. So while we are discussing OOXML at a technical level, the issue is far deeper than that. Many people now say that holding of patents on standards is a non-tariff barrier to trade.”

MS has tried the same tactics in Sweden, i.e. urged partners to support OOXML proposal (and in lieu, MS offered them “free marketing support and additional MS resources” , i.e. bribe); but failed.

Lets see what happens in India.

What’s your opinion?

Related links: MS’s Letter to NGOs, More Details, NoOOXML

Leave a Reply

Sign Up for NextBigWhat Newsletter