Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth is on a personal mission to crush Microsoft’s Open XML standards effort.
On his blog Tuesday, the Canonical executive and Ubuntu developer encouraged members of the global open source community to reach out to their respective International Standards Organization (ANSI in the U.S.) and push for a single document format standard: OpenDocument Format (ODF).
He said South Africa and the United States have stated that they will vote against a second standard, the deal is far from over.
Shuttleworth claimed the Redmond, Wash. software giant, developer of the leading Office office suite, is waging a global political campaign to push through its Open XML as a second industry standard for document formats. Office holds roughly 95 percent share of the Office software market.
“Microsoft has been working very hard, and spending a lot of money, to convince many countries that don’t normally vote to support their proposed format,” Shuttleworth wrote on his blog today, noting that there are about 150 countries that belong to ISO but normally only about 40 vote on proposals.
He advised his audience to emphasize that their objections are not a vote against Microsoft but rather a vote for creating a single unified standard that is open and consensus driven.
A single standard with “multiple implementations” has far more value than multiple incompatible standards, said Shuttleworth. And an open process works better. A vote for ‘No OpenXML’ is a vote for a single unified standard, not a vote against Microsoft, he said. He and others have formed the OOXML movement to counter Microsoft's efforts.
“In the case of OpenXML, there is not even one single complete implementation - because even Microsoft Office12 does not exactly implement OpenXML. There is also no other company with any tool to edit or manage OpenXML documents. Microsoft is trying to make it look like there is broad participation, but dig beneath the surface and it is all funded by one company." The ODF standard is a much healthier place to safeguard all of our data. “