Disappointed But Not Surprised: Will the Real Interoperability Standard Please Stand Up

April 2, 2008

by Legal Team

Red Hat was disappointed but hardly surprised that the single-vendor, monopolist-promulgated standard, Office Open XML, made it though an unfortunately flawed fast-track ISO approval process. We also note that there remains an ongoing investigation by the European competition authorities into the practices employed in the process.

So, if you define interoperability as single vendor’s format to promote operation with that same vendor’s dominant product, you can declare victory. But Red Hat thinks governments and enterprises are not so easily confused. The Open Document Format, which has long been a multiparty-supported ISO standard, will continue to be a force in procurement decisions to be reckoned with. Government and Enterprises are tired of the lack of choice, lack of innovation, and premium rents from vendor lock-in. We doubt anyone will be confused by this outcome.

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