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Hi :)
I think MS have been really clever.  Their .DocX and such have been pushed through as  ostensibly 
being an accepted ISO  standard even though each of their programs seems to mis-implement it in 
strange and different way.  

So, they can say the DocX is a standardised format and then that it's the user's fault for not 
using the right version of MS Office in order to read this so-called standarised format in the 
right way.  

"Third party" programs such as LibreOffice have to decide which of the DocX formats they follow.  
Should they implement the spec as agreed with the ISO people, in which case none of the MS programs 
display it properly or should they pick 2007, 2010 or 365?  Whichever of the 4 choices are settled 
on people will then grumble that their documents produced in any of the others doesn't display 
properly AND because DocX is an ISO format then therefore it is the fault of LO for not following 
the 'standard' properly.  

So, people have to stick with MS Office in order to read and produce the standardised MS format.  
More than that, they have to upgrade to whichever one all the people they deal with uses otherwise 
it wont look right.  All that is the user's fault because the standard is DocX and the format used 
in each program is called DocX and therefore it must be the same, right?!!?  (The big NO from all 
those that know gets ignored).  So who is claiming that it is the users fault when it clearly 
isn't?!  The users themselves blame themselves and make excuses as to why they haven't bought the 
'right' version yet!  They honestly don't think it's a bit strange that a so-called 'standard' is 
not acting the way a standard should and that they need to keep upgrading.  

So, while file-compatibility is often cited as a reason to stick with MS Office that compatibility 
only happens if the people sharing the document are using the same version of MS Office.  Also a 
disclaimer during installing 2010 states that it needs to be on the same OS.  It says that 2010 on 
Xp will look different if viewed by 2010 on Win7 [on the same machine with the same printer]

The whole thing is crazy.  

Add in that MS made a big fuss about trying to work with other people by including "OpenDocument 
Format" but used the older format rather than the 1.2 that everyone else uses and now says it shows 
that the ODF format is fundamentally broken so people should stick with DocX.  It's only MS Office 
that fails to display ODF properly.  Sometimes one product makes an honest mistake but that is seen 
as a bug and gets reported and hopefully fixed. It's not blamed on the user for not using the right 

Amazing that people keep falling for MS.  
Regards from
Tom :)  

From: Carl Paulsen <>
Sent: Tuesday, 20 November 2012, 1:51
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-users] Re: OpenOffice to be dumped in Freiburg ?

Without trying to defend MS, it can only dominate markets that customers allow it to dominate. 
Nobody is forced to purchase MS products. They do so because, for whatever reason, they perceive 
that MS serves their needs. One of those needs is file compatibility with others, which by its 
nature, allows MS sales to feed on themselves. The more people buy MS products, the more people 
need to buy MS products to communicate with all the others who went before.

But, of course, the only reason file compatibility is an issue - the only reason MS can behave as 
it does - is that it is an effective monopoly.  Last time I checked monopolies are 
anti-competitive, and there are LAWS in the US to curb them.  So I agree, there is a role for 
gov't to step in.  Good luck waiting for that though.  Break the monopoly for a few years by being 
hyper-vigilant about code development and marketing and you might actually break the monopoly for 

Furthermore, if enough people forced gov't to accept standardized document types (e.g. ODT or even 
PDFs!), the monopoly would weaken.


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