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Re: OT: Massachusetts Verdict: MS Office Formats Out

On Wed, 2005-09-28 at 11:57, Tim wrote:
> On Wed, 2005-09-28 at 11:14 -0500, Mike McCarty wrote:
> > Or MS could "open" its document format...
> Or, they additionally support some open format, but not as good as their
> own formats.  Giving you the, "you can be compatible, or be full of
> features, but not both," lie.

I think I'm missing a piece of history here.  Long ago, back in the
early days of AT&T unix, many (most?) US government contracts required
multiple vendors to be able to supply any item used and in most cases
competitive bids had to be taken.  In an effort to show that other
vendors could theoretically supply a working unix replacement (back
when they really couldn't), AT&T published the SYSVID - an api
specification for unix SysV.  And eventually there actually were
competing versions.

Meanwhile the government use seems to have switched to Microsoft,
a completely monopolistic player.  How was that possible, and
what happened to the multiple vendor requirement that drove
AT&T to publish its specification to a level that permitted
competition?  (There was, of course, the problem that AT&T never
got the idea of personal computers and charged at least $1000
a copy for their unix version plus extra for X and a compiler...).

  Les Mikesell
   lesmikesell gmail com

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