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Hi :)
I have forwarded a long rambling rant i just sent to the "Open Standards" agency.  Short and sweet 
might have been better.  Please feel free to write your own or perhaps modify bits of mine.  The 
marketing list had a great post a few weeks ago from someone in Thailand or Vietnam or somewhere 
and some of the comments from that would be superb.  

I would really like to see "e-letter" write to them because it's one of the things he is fantastic 

Please, even if you don't live in England (or the rest of the UK) or/and are not English please 
write in to the "Open Standards" office to express dissatisfaction about the Microsoft formats.  I 
guess it wouldn't work if your email address clearly places you in a different country but .com or 
.org addresses would be great.  

Regards from
Tom :)

--- On Fri, 30/3/12, Tom Davies <> wrote:

From: Tom Davies <>
Subject: 'Open' Standards dependant on a single company?
Date: Friday, 30 March, 2012, 12:24

Dear Sirs,

I heard that an American company is trying to push their exclusive formats as an "Open Standard".  

The format as used in their programs apparently differs according to which version of their 
operating system is being used and which version of their product is used to view the format.  
While they have managed to get a format granted ISO status and the format they use in their 
programs has the same name it seems there are significant differences between any of their 
implementations and the ISO version.  Other companies are kept out-of-the-loop about variances so 
agreeing to use their formats means being tied in to constantly buying their latest products.  

Interestingly they attempted to do this before with a format called .Rtf (= "Rich Text Format").  
The newer format seemed to magically appear just after
 they lost a court-case involving the Rtf format and they have withdrawn development support for 

Meanwhile all other programs and office suites continue to happily use the ODF format that has been 
an ISO standard for so long.  The upgraded 1.2 version of the ODF standard has recently been 
released after extensive testing out in the field with many programs on many different platforms.  
The older ODF format will continue to be supported for many years.  Most other programs and office 
suites allow add-ons that can provide support for specific formats.  Such add-ons are usually 
maintained by various companies or individuals.  

So, unlike the American company's format the ODF standard does not depend on a single company to 
maintain and develop it.  If one company withdraws from developing and supporting it the others 
carry on and new ones join the umbrella organisation.  

Also from a security
 point of view the American company's format makes a lot of noise about security but keeps getting 
compromised.  Just this week my company has had trouble with a few machines running their office 
suite.  Microsoft seems to blame the user after their formats have been compromised and then sell 
them their latest product.  

By contrast the ODF format has never been compromised out in the wild (ie "in the field").  Indeed 
a huge fuss was recently made when someone noticed a theoretical possibility of a potential problem 
and a patch applied far before anyone could take advantage.  

Perhaps Microsoft don't keep records of how often their various products get compromised and so 
they can claim "there are no problems on record".  I would try google or any other search engine to 
test the validity of such claims.  

Regards from
Tom Davies

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