News
News
12/23/2005
12:31 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

IBM Exec Says Microsoft Standards Plan Has 'Bizarre Restrictions'

The document format that Microsoft submitted to ECMA is "not collaborative," among other issues, a rival charges.

Microsoft's move to sidestep the OASIS OpenDocument format (ODF) standard by making its own standards submission to the European ECMA standards body appears to contain 'bizarre restrictions' and are designed to give Microsoft 'complete control by tying products' together, IBM's standards chief said in an interview Friday.

Bob Sutor, IBM's vice president of standards and open source, said he expects ECMA to issue "a blessing" of Microsoft's submission. "I don't expect it to be a standards process," he said.

However, Sutor said he holds out hope that the two competing standards sides--OASIS and ECMA--could one day "converge" their approaches, if two standards are developed.

The formats issue over office software has been galvanized in recent months around a struggle in the Massachusetts state government. As things stand now, the state's Informational Technology division has stipulated that OASIS' ODF be the state's standard, beginning in 2007. Microsoft has challenged that position and has gathered important political and legislative support that is attempting to amend the IT ruling in Microsoft's favor. The pro-Microsoft officials have cited Microsoft's submission to ECMA as a way to challenge the ODF standard.

Sharp lines in the sand over the issue have been drawn, with IBM and Sun Microsystems favoring the OASIS standard while Microsoft has picked up its most influential support for its ECMA position from Apple Computer and Intel. Two co-chairs at the ECMA unit are Microsoft representatives. IBM has representatives at the European organization, but will not participate in the review of Microsoft's 1900-page-plus submission.

While the office software standards controversy has wallowed in arcane format details, the matter involves several billion dollars of annual profits. Microsoft is said to collect billions of dollars in annual profits alone from its popular office software.

Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Agile Archive
The Agile Archive
When it comes to managing data, donít look at backup and archiving systems as burdens and cost centers. A well-designed archive can enhance data protection and restores, ease search and e-discovery efforts, and save money by intelligently moving data from expensive primary storage systems.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Elite 100 - 2014
Our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue -- our 26th ranking of technology innovators -- shines a spotlight on businesses that are succeeding because of their digital strategies. We take a close at look at the top five companies in this year's ranking and the eight winners of our Business Innovation awards, and offer 20 great ideas that you can use in your company. We also provide a ranked list of our Elite 100 innovators.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.