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Latest ODF News from Andy Updegrove
Wednesday, November 09 2005 @ 10:26 AM EST

Andy Updegrove provides us with his take on the first media statements coming out of the recent meeting in Armonk on ODF, the fascinating details of which he reports on his blog, "First Public Statements from Armonk Meeting (and supporting details)".

He tells us about the plans to begin telling the media, and hence the world, about ODF and the meeting, and you can see in the first interview with Elizabeth Montalbano at InfoWorld how it worked out.

The meeting was not just IBM and Sun, by the way. Here's who attended, according to the report:

The meeting last Friday was attended by executives from IBM and Sun, as well as representatives from some of the technology industry's biggest names, such as Apple Computer Inc., Computer Associates International Inc., Intel Corp., Google Inc., Red Hat Inc., Corel Corp., Oracle Corp., Adobe Systems Inc., OpenOffice.org and Nokia Corp., Sutor said.

Andy tells us that Scalix and SIIA were there too, as well as representatives of CCIA, OASIS (including many individual members of the ODF Technical Committee), and Open Office. Individuals invited were Sam Hiser, Adelstein-Hiser; Peter Quinn, Massachusetts CIO; Stephen O'Grady, RedMonk; Leon Shimer (consultant to the MA TDF); Andrew Updegrove, Gesmer Updegrove/ConsortiumInfo.org.

Why do all these companies, most of whom do not offer an office suite, care so much about ODF? Andy explains:

One answer to that was provided by one participant at the meeting that explains why there is something to be gained by all technology companies from the displacement of a dominant and pervasive product that controls monopoly pricing: billions of dollars of IT budgets currently being spent on abnormally high office suite licensing fees could be redeployed to buy other products and services from the IT industry across the board.

The disability issue is being addressed head-on with the formation of a disability subcommittee. Not only are the corporations addressing this important issue, so is the FOSS community. I'll let Andy tell you the rest, while also recommending that you read the rest of his report on his blog.

************************

Report from Andy Updegrove for Groklaw:

Here's another ODF installment:

This one transitions into the next step in the ODF saga: watching as the plans made at the Armonk ODF meeting start to move out of the meeting room and into the press, with a first interview given by Bob Sutor, IBM meeting host, to Elizabeth Montalbano of IDG News Service: http://www.infoworld.com/article/05/11/08/HNibmsumopendoc_1.html The message Bob delivered yesterday was:

1. We will make the accessibility issue go away,

2. We will push this globally, and

3. There may be a formal organization in the future to make this all happen.

My own sense at the Armonk meeting was that everybody in attendance was solidly behind the initiative. Stephen O'Grady of RedMonk echoes that in the statements he made in the same interview. Still, who makes what announcements over the next several weeks will provide a critical indication of how successful the ODF initiative will be. As in many other situations, the perception of momentum can be huge, particularly in providing courage to the CIOs of other states and governments to make the move to support ODF. Being a leader isn't the most common trait in bureaucracies, and if those in charge in other states feel like the industry giants are protecting their back and will deliver, it's more likely that they'll stick their neck out.

Although the phrase "nobody ever got fired for buying IBM" isn't heard as much now as it used to be years ago (when it was a mantra bewailed by emerging company salesmen) there's still a lot of power behind the Big Blue name. Still, it's important that the other companies that attended the meeting do their job by:

- delivering the same message persistently, consistently and aggressively

- promptly putting some deeds behind their words (like patent non-assertions), and

- all pulling together in the new OASIS subcommittees to address the disability problem as well as technical opportunities to improve the appeal of ODF

For more context (such as why a non-office suite vendor should care about the outcome) and details, see http://www.consortiuminfo.org/newsblog/blog.php?ID=1721


  


Latest ODF News from Andy Updegrove | 53 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Kerrektions here
Authored by: alisonken1 on Wednesday, November 09 2005 @ 11:35 AM EST

Don't forget to check the originals.


---
- Ken -
Registered Linux user #296561
Slackin' since 1994 -
import std_disclaimer.py

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT begins here
Authored by: alisonken1 on Wednesday, November 09 2005 @ 11:37 AM EST

Don't forget clicky links and to set POST MODE to HTML.

Follow the red allowed tags below your entry box.


---
- Ken -
Registered Linux user #296561
Slackin' since 1994 -
import std_disclaimer.py

[ Reply to This | # ]

Latest ODF News from Andy Updegrove
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, November 09 2005 @ 12:11 PM EST
Hey Bill, how's it feel to have the whole world against you?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Disability Issue?
Authored by: Observer on Wednesday, November 09 2005 @ 12:25 PM EST
I don't quite understand yet why the "Disability Issue" is something of concern to the document format standard. Obviously, it's an important consideration for the implementations, and the fact that there is an open standard means that the implementers know what they are working with (as opposed to a closed, patent encumbered formats where developers are left to reverse engineering and guessing), however I don't see (yet) how you would need to build any special considerations into the underlying format for the use of such implementations. What am I missing?

---
The Observer

[ Reply to This | # ]

Use the Disability Issue
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, November 09 2005 @ 02:54 PM EST
The real disability issue is that there is a significant group of politically
aware folks putting a lot of time and money behind the needs of the disabled
community. FOSS really should turn the tables with this one by talking to these
folks and addressing their needs better than Microsoft. If there is a better
open standard product for these folks they will kick down the doors to get it
installed *instead* of MS Office or, for that matter, the windows OS's.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Use the Disability Issue
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, November 09 2005 @ 03:20 PM EST
The real disability issue is that there is a significant group of politically
aware folks putting a lot of time and money behind the needs of the disabled
community. FOSS really should turn the tables with this one by talking to these
folks and addressing their needs better than Microsoft. If there is a better
open standard product for these folks they will kick down the doors to get it
installed *instead* of MS Office or, for that matter, the windows OS's.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Latest ODF News from Andy Updegrove
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, November 09 2005 @ 06:09 PM EST
I have read that there is a "disability problem" with ODF but
exactly what is the complaint??

[ Reply to This | # ]

They found the leverage .... and other comments
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 10 2005 @ 04:28 AM EST
I'll bet IBM and Co. have been searching for years for a leverage to dislodge M$
- and with ODF I think they finally have found it .....

They openly invited M$ to join the work with the ODF M$ declined - and that was
their biggest mistake.

M$ gave IBM and Co. the tool they needed and with M$ not (willingly)
participating they can even make IBM and Co. look like the "White
knight" while M$ will be the "evil one" as this unwillingness
clearly can be read by many (and even management people who only know
comparatively little about all this) as M$ continuous try preserve and enforce
their monopoly (from M$’s view this is not bad – however I’ll bet it leaves a
“bad taste” in the mouth of many customers (and has for some time). As more a M$
appears as the “misbehaving” child in their struggle to “maintain status quo”
more customer try to investigate other possible solutions.

It may take some years for his to pan out fully (as they not only have to grow
the leverage but also M$ is a hell of a heavy weight to dislodge), but I think
it is inevitable that M$ "secure seat" is about to become a lot more
loose in the future.

I'll use M$ software products daily - and it is not that they are BAD, but in my
view hugely overprices compared to the "service".

What is happening is that the Office Suites are being commoditized and M$ has
had a great deal in doing this. As soon as a goods become commoditized we as the
consumers expect the prices to decrease something that has yet to happen for M$
products in that range.

On top of that many people are beginning to fully appreciate IT (mind you that
wide use of IT is fairly new to many people <10 years) and thus finally can
understand WHY open standards are important. If you look at the industry for
many other consumer products you'll see open standards (ISO).

Think of car tires, fittings of all kind (although there are world wide
differences - within one country they are usually standardized), 35mm film just
look around your home. Imagine open standards had not existed in this area ....
you really think the customer would have accepted that in the long run? I'll
doubt it.

I think with people gaining greater IT understanding they want things to become
standard and do not understand why they have to buy something from one
particular vendor - we as the consumer are used to in ALL OTHER daily areas to
buy what we need form the vendor we choose. People WANT to do it that way!

We as the "technology" crowd however already understand that and as
the "technology" crowd is inherently impatient we are frustrated and
sometime "vent" that frustration on sites like grooklaw. We must try
to be more patient but continuously keep pushing.

Sorry not logged in

Dr. Zee (yes, this is an alias :-)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft formats are so incompatible ...
Authored by: clark_kent on Thursday, November 10 2005 @ 02:22 PM EST
crowd: How incompatible are they?

me: They are so incompatible with any other piece of software, that Microsoft's
own MS Office for Mac has problems with MS formats from the Windows product.

I think a certain company is trying to keep people on one peticular platform and
away from others, not mentioning any names, wink, wink.

[ Reply to This | # ]

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