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Re: OT: Massachusetts Verdict: MS Office Formats Out



Les Mikesell wrote:
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

You know what? You make a very good point, here, Les.

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

Umm, not completely monopolistic. The API was completely published.
And the FAT file system was completely described.

BUT...........

How about NTFS, which AFAIK is completely closed? And the closed
file formats their tools (like Word, Excel, etc.) use?

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...).


Very good question. I'd like to know the answer...

Mike
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