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ODF Vs. OOXML File Counts On the Web

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the numbers-not-lying dept.

Microsoft 154

mrcgran writes "In eight months since Office 2007 was released to the general public (10 months since release to enterprise customers), there are fewer than 2,000 of these office documents posted on the Web. In the last three months, 13,400 more ODF documents have been added to the Web, with only 1,329 OOXML documents added. It would be hard for the Microsoft camp to spin ten times as many ODF documents added as OOXML documents, especially since 34% of those new documents were added on Microsoft.com. That isn't what I would call good traction for Microsoft's overwhelmingly dominant office suite."

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154 comments

Microsoft is competing with itself (4, Insightful)

Shados (741919) | more than 6 years ago | (#20265833)

Thats the main issue. I have Office 2007, and had it for a while. I almost always save in normal DOC for people still using Office 2003...

Re:Microsoft is competing with itself (5, Informative)

hairpinred (1142257) | more than 6 years ago | (#20266071)

I personally have found that when trying to open old DOC format files that OpenOffice.org does a much better job than the latest version of Word does.

Especially if you have any legacy Word 1.0 or 2.0 documents that can't be upgraded to the latest format for contractual reasons - Office 2007 will not open those files correctly, and those files are officially unsupported by Microsoft.

I'm surprised that more people don't just use .ODF, it's a published, open standard that is as trivial to write a parser for as it is to just unzip the file and look at the XML directly...

Re:Microsoft is competing with itself (3, Interesting)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 6 years ago | (#20266369)

Especially if you have any legacy Word 1.0 or 2.0 documents that can't be upgraded to the latest format for contractual reasons

Offtopic, but I'm just too curious... Would it be possible to explain why these can't be migrated to a newer format? I'd think that'd be dangerously unwise.

I'm surprised that more people don't just use .ODF, it's a published, open standard that is as trivial to write a parser for as it is to just unzip the file and look at the XML directly...

Cause we all know how much a success that is; just look at HTML!

Re:Microsoft is competing with itself (3, Informative)

phoenixwade (997892) | more than 6 years ago | (#20267819)

Especially if you have any legacy Word 1.0 or 2.0 documents that can't be upgraded to the latest format for contractual reasons
Offtopic, but I'm just too curious... Would it be possible to explain why these can't be migrated to a newer format? I'd think that'd be dangerously unwise.
I'm not sure of the parent poster, but we have some electronic documents that are archived from 10 years ago that can't be updated and then re-archived, they must match the printed documents that they produced. We can, and do, convert to a new(er) format when updating a document to be submitted and published now, and to allow those documents to be searched, but the ability to open documents from years ago is critical for one of our customers. We got the job because we were willing to dedicate a system to retrieve those documents in the original format.

My recommendation was to handle those archives very differently. This client has a decision maker who knows what he wants, and dictates that it is either done that way, or he'll find someone else to do it. So we do it that way, and every year, I make a case for becoming more current, and every year, the answer is no. I don't mind, though, he's paying for the service, and other than this little bit of fear, he's really easy to work with, I've certainly had far more progressive clients that were far more of a PITA.

Re:Microsoft is competing with itself (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 6 years ago | (#20268253)

I'm not sure of the parent poster, but we have some electronic documents that are archived from 10 years ago that can't be updated and then re-archived, they must match the printed documents that they produced.

Understandable... but how do you explain to the people that want this that the software that created these files doesn't exist anymore and worse that the programs that are supposed to read them do not render them correctly either.

I'm not claiming that OpenOffice renders them correctly, but Microsoft Office 2007 doesn't either. So you have a document that cannot be rendered, unless you dig out that XT that ran DOS with the DOS version of Word to reproduce them. (Just an example, subsitute with Mac OS/Word or DOS/Wordperfect wherever you want)

Re:Microsoft is competing with itself (4, Insightful)

Bluesman (104513) | more than 6 years ago | (#20266173)

I think this is exactly right, and one of the most interesting aspects of Microsoft's business.

Their whole business is dependent on being the popular standard. But by definition, a standard can't be a moving target, so it has to change very slowly or people will stick with "the old version that everyone has."

This puts Microsoft between a rock and a hard place, since they'll lose the market if they make too drastic a change, and they'll also lose the market if they don't change at all, and allow other implementations to catch up.

It's a high-wire balancing act, and while they're very good at it, they're going to slip eventually.

All of you people worried about Microsoft as a monopoly are freaking out over nothing. In the long term, what they're doing with Windows and Office is not sustainable.

Re:Microsoft is competing with itself (2, Interesting)

dmpyron (1069290) | more than 6 years ago | (#20266487)

Of course it's about "standards". Even Microsoft "standards". I've had two professional associations I belong to say that they won't accept anything in WTF the 2007 format is. This is for the benefit of both the office staff and also the referees. I'm still running 2000. That's what the ACM (you know, the computer people) require. The IEEE recommends 2000 but will also accept 2003. The ISSA hasn't taken an official stand, yet. But everything coming out of them is 2000.

Re:Microsoft is competing with itself (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 6 years ago | (#20266827)

All of you people worried about Microsoft as a monopoly are freaking out over nothing. In the long term, what they're doing with Windows and Office is not sustainable.
People have been saying things like that for years. It hasn't come to pass yet. What may not be sustainable for other companies, Microsoft can pull off due to their political and financial clout. They damn near succeeded in getting OOXML fasttracked due to their financial clout with their partners. They will come up with many many ways to fight off what you seem to think is inevitable.

Re:Microsoft is competing with itself (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 6 years ago | (#20267143)

Well it's been 12 years since Windows 95 and Office 95 and I don't see either of those cash cows slipping in the slightest. In the meantime Microsoft remains in the way of the proper innovation that competition in that space would provide.

Re:Microsoft is competing with itself (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 6 years ago | (#20267397)

It's a high-wire balancing act, and while they're very good at it, they're going to slip eventually.

They don't necessarily have to slip. They just have to make a better, more intuitive, easy to use word processor. I can name quite a few things that are wrong with Word 2003 and OpenOffice. But I guess you can too :)

Re:Microsoft is competing with itself (1)

Bluesman (104513) | more than 6 years ago | (#20267591)

"They just have to make a better, more intuitive, easy to use word processor."

While certainly possible, I think that there are limits to how great you can make a word processor. There comes a point where it's good enough for just about everybody, and I think we've already reached that point. Yeah, there are some problems, but I think those problems are probably inherent to using a general purpose WSIWYG editor than they are problems that can be fixed by a better interface or more features.

The goal here is not to build a better mousetrap, but to invent something that solves some other problem I have. Microsoft isn't particularly good at that.

Re:Microsoft is competing with itself (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 6 years ago | (#20267757)

I don't agree with this. There are too many things I come across during writing that could be made easier and more logical. The handling of pictures in Word is abysmal, for instance. Integrating tables into text could be improved. Copy and paste is an issue in 2003... Integrating special characters in the text is difficult in Open Office... I don't think the development of word processors is at its end yet.

The problem might be that word processors, Open Office and Word alike, are made using a specific concept. We are used to thinking in popup menus and toolbars. Maybe we need a genious to come up with a whole new, more logical user interface.

Re:Microsoft is competing with itself (2, Funny)

geekboybt (866398) | more than 6 years ago | (#20267861)

Like, oh, I don't know... ribbons?! That's it! Ribbons! ...crap.

Re:Microsoft is competing with itself (1)

Bluesman (104513) | more than 6 years ago | (#20267875)

I just think that for the things you mentioned, there is probably just no good way for an easy to use, WSIWYG editor to handle things correctly without some sort of artificial intelligence.

Some people will want it to act one way, while other will want the complete opposite. That might be true for the same person working on two different documents.

I think that something like LyX, or even LaTeX, offers a much saner solution to the problems that exist in Word. The "specific concept" you mentioned might just be that WYSIWYG isn't such a great idea after all.

MS Google jamming (1)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | more than 6 years ago | (#20266245)

Wait a short while for MS to figure out how to game these numbers too.

All MS has to due is illegally leverage that desktop monopoly again. MS Outlook currently infests a large number of MS Windows desktops. All MS has to do is add a "security" patch that co-incidentally also sets MS Outlook to spew MOOOXML for all formatted messages. Overnight overpopulation of the new formats. Courts are so #$&* slow that by the time the anti-trust papers are served, it'll have been long since over. Of course, current bandwidth limitations would be a show-stopper for that plan - message sizes would go up by about three orders of magnitude.

Re:Microsoft is competing with itself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20266613)

Surely outputing the content as a .pdf would be the new, microsoft approved way of doing things? Unless it's intended as an editable document.

Office Compatiblity Addon for Old Versions (2, Informative)

antdude (79039) | more than 6 years ago | (#20267907)

See here [microsoft.com] and you can save as Office 2007 formats for old Office versions (as long as they have this pack). I also noticed MS keep them updated through Office Update and I still use Office 2000 SP3.

Re:Microsoft is competing with itself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20267955)

Same here,

even programs like Pages '08 (apple) do not support ODF. (I hate it that they don't, but ok). So I save everything in .doc (no x).

Re:Microsoft is competing with itself (1)

clyde_cadiddlehopper (1052112) | more than 6 years ago | (#20268321)

Corporate adoption of Office 07 will lag until add-ins have been released for the major financial packages from Hyperion / Peoplesoft / Oracle. Imagine Bill Gates being at the mercy of Larry Ellison!

Why is this surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20265837)

Almost anyone who uses Office saves files in doc format

Is a web count really the best metric? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20265847)

Most of what I and the various people and businesses I've known use this sort of document format for, is the sort of thing that should never in a million years be put out on the web in the first place. If you can count what formats are clogging up large intranets, meybe you've got a clearer picture.

Re:Is a web count really the best metric? (1)

jt2377 (933506) | more than 6 years ago | (#20266599)

Yup. Why do company or even individual want stranger to look at their doc.?

Re:Is a web count really the best metric? (1)

tigre (178245) | more than 6 years ago | (#20266705)

It is very relevant if you're looking at what people use for interchange of public records, which is a significant aspect of the standards battle.

Re:Is a web count really the best metric? (1)

jhol13 (1087781) | more than 6 years ago | (#20267079)

Of course it is! It would take just a few minutes for me to generate practically infinite number of either ... so I can decide with 100% accuracy which one is more relevant! Pay me to decide the matter for good! :-)

Re:Is a web count really the best metric? (0)

denmarkw00t (892627) | more than 6 years ago | (#20267201)

Consider however that this web count is likely (no, haven't RTFA) inclusive of things like e-mail - I e-mail lots of ODF documents for things like work-related material. Also, with college around the corner we're going to see more documents sent over the net between students and professors (though likely DOC and RTF)

Re:Is a web count really the best metric? (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 6 years ago | (#20267491)

You're right. This [googlefight.com] is more reliable.

You should be kicked for posting EITHER format (1)

wsanders (114993) | more than 6 years ago | (#20267791)

Mod parent up blah blah. EITHER format is evil. Unless you can show me an aggregator that can interpret either OOXML or ODF. That would be kewl.

We just paid a lot of money for a bloated shiteware CMS that can sort of do this with DOC files. Even it will convert the DOC file to PDF on the fly for those of us too l33t to read DOC files.

Yeah, but (4, Insightful)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#20265869)

what about the number of .doc files generated in the same timeframe? :)

No Demand? (1)

EraserMouseMan (847479) | more than 6 years ago | (#20266363)

Is this proof that nobody really cares about an open document format?

How does it benefit most people? Not at all. Everybody can already read the MS docs they create since everybody already has MS Office.

Re:No Demand? (1)

koxkoxkox (879667) | more than 6 years ago | (#20266735)

Except those that don't, of course.

Seems logical (1)

EraserMouseMan (847479) | more than 6 years ago | (#20266441)

It seems logical that ODF would be used more since it's the non-widely-used (read non-MS Office) software that implements that format. These people must convert to something for others to be able to read it (usually either MS Office format or ODF). MS Office users don't need to convert their docs to anything. Almost everybody can already read Word or Excel documents.

Legacy formats, so what? (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#20266489)

Old word formats are still a poor way to share documents and are probably outnumbered by pdf.

The new formats are supposed to address these problems and deliver a fundamental promise of electronic editing: seemless collaboration. The M$ format is really more of the same old M$ only, version dependent stuff M$ has always served. Because it offers no real improvement, it's adoption will have to be forced. ODF, on the other hand, offers a choice of editors and OS, and is being used by people. Free and open standards work. M$XML is not really free and won't work. The M$ monopoly is failing.

I would point out (1)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 6 years ago | (#20266633)

...that MS Office supports ODF just fine [betanews.com] . You'll probably find some of the docs on-line even came from Office.

Yes, you would. So? Re:I would point out (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#20266937)

This would be wonderful if it were true.

MS Office supports ODF just fine.

What I've read does not support the assertion. In the last year, M$ has made a few converters that imperfectly use the text document branch of ODF. These converters are poorly integrated into Office and not at all into the OS, so using ODF on a M$ platform without Open Office is painful.

If a user wants ODF, you would think that they would just get Open Office. It's interface is more familiar than Office 2007 and the user gets a next generation file format, free from vendor lock-in.

I'm not sure what this has to do with the article which is about no one outside of Redmond using M$XML.

Que? (1)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 6 years ago | (#20267151)

"text document branch"? Sounds like rubbish to me.

Have another article on it if you want - http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,126331-page,1/ar ticle.html?tk=nl_dnxnws [pcworld.com] - no mention of partial implementations there, or otherwise there's always the good old community to help out - http://sourceforge.net/projects/odf-converter [sourceforge.net]

Also, as it turns out the UI for Office 2007 isn't so bad after all - http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.j html?articleID=201800612&cid=RSSfeed_IWK_News [informationweek.com]
Think logically for one second....Microsoft have in fairness spent a fair few billion on this new interface. That's more effort and investment than OO will ever get, ever, so the chances are it is going to be easier for users.

Re:Legacy formats, so what? (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#20266849)

Right, ODF will allow that choice, just like html authors only need to write one page and it renders the same in all browsers.

Re:Legacy formats, so what? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#20268003)

The new formats are supposed to address these problems and deliver a fundamental promise of electronic editing: seemless collaboration.


The focus of Microsoft's collaboration effort with Office 2007 isn't just formats, it focusses on moving people from the plain-old-web to Sharepoint servers for collaboration, which wouldn't show up in Google indexes.

So, if Microsoft were successful, there would be zero OOXML documents found via Google on the web that were there for the purpose of "seamless collaboration".

I would, therefore, suggest that only finding small numbers of documents on the Google-indexed portion of the web is not a good measure of Microsoft failing in this regard.

Re:Yeah, but (1)

EvilRyry (1025309) | more than 6 years ago | (#20266501)

doc files are the last generation. Nobody cares how many DVDs are being sold when looking towards the future, they're looking at the next generation Blue-ray and HDDVD sales. Likewise, nobody cares about doc files. The important question for our future is OOXML vs ODF.

Difference (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#20266961)

There is a stark difference. There is a great capacity increase between Blue-Ray, HDDVD and DVD. What is the driving force behing yet another office format? The existing one works just fine. Upgrading media is a no brainer because we have hit the limits. We haven't hit the limits of an office format, yet.

Re:Difference (1)

tixxit (1107127) | more than 6 years ago | (#20267841)

Doc is proprietary. With the huge growth in new, non-windows, systems that includes, not only linux workstations, but also PDAs, smart phones, web applications, etc, proprietary formats just aren't cutting it anymore. The need for a common format that can be shared amongst all these new devices, whose specificaiton is open, not only to implement, but to extend as well is essential. ODF is hugely superior to Word Documents in many ways. First, ODF is NOT just text formatting. It is everything in one (spreadsheet, presentation, text, etc). It supports a lot more, in terms of ability, than .doc by itself. It is better technically. It fixes many issues with current formats. It separates content from data. It follows common standards. The only reason .doc would not be inferior or equal to OOXML or ODF is if you're still thinking in terms of a small group of people in a homogenous enviornment editing a basic word file. When you start to get any more complex, then you start to see the short comings.

public consumption (2, Insightful)

snilloc (470200) | more than 6 years ago | (#20265897)

Anything shared for public consumption would use the more compatible .doc

Re:public consumption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20266711)

or rtf. When I send people documents, I make a point of sending them as rtf. Unless they're for consumption only, in which case I export them as pdfs.

Re:public consumption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20267103)

You're right. Isn't that pretty damning? The binary format they designed for lock-in is more compatible than the public XML format they designed for interoperability.

There are ways to move from a closed binary format to an open one. But that's not what Microsoft has done. They've created an "open" format so they can say "look, we're open", not for any of the benefits of actually being open.

Re:public consumption (1)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 6 years ago | (#20267539)

You have to watch this in the context of ISO standardisation of ODF. With OOXML they sell their second standard.

When standards were determined not by..... (2, Funny)

3seas (184403) | more than 6 years ago | (#20265925)

....committee but rather by popular use.....

ODF is apparently 10 times more a standard than OOXML.

And I bet its all because its easier to spell.

Re:When standards were determined not by..... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20266011)

And I bet its all because its easier to spell.

I tried open office once and it was buggy and crashed a lot. So why should I use the Open Office XML format, when I can use the trusted Office Document Format?

Re:When standards were determined not by..... (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 6 years ago | (#20266067)

Hahaha beautiful.

Re:When standards were determined not by..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20266255)

Well, I tried Word once when WordPerfect was the king of word processing, and Word didn't run right, and didn't let me see my special page format codes, so I stayed away from it. :)

Re:When standards were determined not by..... (1)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 6 years ago | (#20267407)

Good reasons why Open XML is suboptimal can be found on
http://www.noooxml.org/ [noooxml.org]
the website you won't find on wikipedia thank to their astroturf editors.

Open XML is broken XML. And the patent licensing conditions look like a minefield.

Microsoft should adopt OpenDocument.

This is because... (0, Redundant)

teknopurge (199509) | more than 6 years ago | (#20265929)

..95% of the other documents on the web are Word 2003 format.

And...so? (5, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#20265933)

In eight months since Office 2007 was released to the general public (10 months since release to enterprise customers), there are fewer than 2,000 of these office documents posted on the Web.


Probably because most people creating documents with Office 2007 for the web are either:
1) Converting them to PDF or XPS if they aren't meant to be edited, or
2) Converting them to Office 97-2003 format if they are meant to be edited, since the majority of the Microsoft Office-using audience will be using older versions of the office suite.

I don't think counting documents on the web is particularly a useful way to try to measure the dominance of office suites or their associated file formats. Its, perhaps, an easy measure, but not a meaningful one.

Re:And...so? (0)

ednopantz (467288) | more than 6 years ago | (#20266253)

Yeah, but it is ok for fueling the Slashbot "2 Minutes Microsoft Hate"

Re:And...so? (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 6 years ago | (#20266351)

I don't think counting documents on the web is particularly a useful way to try to measure the dominance of office suites or their associated file formats. Its, perhaps, an easy measure, but not a meaningful one.

Agreed, but only if you're a rational sort.

I'm reminded of my head exploding some years ago when I read about Bill Gates' disappointment at learning that of all the rich and varied content available on the web, so little of it was offered in .doc file format.

My head has exploded many times since then.

Re:And...so? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20266435)

Indeed, slashdot is in dire need of an "intellectual genital tugging" category. Of course, the usefulness of the other categories would then be drastically reduced...

- T

That isn't what it's measuring (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#20267041)

I don't think counting documents on the web is particularly a useful way to try to measure the dominance of office suites or their associated file formats.
It's measuring the usage of a particular standard. It's pretty clear that nobody uses OOXML, anyone using MS Office simply continues to use DOC.

 

Re:That isn't what it's measuring (1)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 6 years ago | (#20267467)

Yes. But open xml has special features. It prevents a switch to a real XML format. http://www.noooxml.org/petition [noooxml.org]

Re:That isn't what it's measuring (2, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#20267655)

It's measuring the usage of a particular standard.


No, its not. It's measure the usage of a particular standard for interchange on the portion of the web indexed by Google. It doesn't measure what's used for interchange by different paths than the web, by log-in based sites on the web, or what is used for non-interchange (i.e., archive) use.

Since one of the main motives for choosing a standardized format for office documents is future-proof archiving of internal documents, and since it doesn't measure that use at all, its next to worthless as a measure of the use of the standard.

OTOH, unfortunately for Microsoft (not that they don't often benefit from this effect, so its not entirely unfair to Microsoft), its exactly the kind of meaningless-but-precise measure that all too often motivates business decisions.

It's pretty clear that nobody uses OOXML, anyone using MS Office simply continues to use DOC.


That's not clear at all.

What may be clear is that people aren't using OOXML for public interchange on the web, which isn't the same thing.

(Actually, even that's not all that clear, though it may well be true: it appears that the comparison in TFA only measures DOCX, XLSX, and PPTX. It doesn't count the macro-enabled versions of the Office 2007 formats [XLSM, DOCM, and PPTM] which are still, I believe, OOXML.)

Re:That isn't what it's measuring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20268193)

Yes, and so far everyone has wanted me to submit resumes and other documents in .doc. OOXML is DOA I think.

Re:And...so? (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 6 years ago | (#20267081)

So what you are saying is that OOXML has such poor support that people who use it feel compelled to save it in a more universal forma, while ODF is sufficiently universal that people feel comfortable posting it as is.

In any case, your first point, that people save in PDF, is of no real issue. First, the study, as flawed as it may be, is meant to indicate formats that are universal enough to be predictably exchanged. Second, the same argument applies to ODF, only more so. I, for instance, seldom post in ODF as OO.org saves to PDF without any complex spyware ridden third party hacks.

Re:And...so? (2, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#20267945)

So what you are saying is that OOXML has such poor support that people who use it feel compelled to save it in a more universal forma, while ODF is sufficiently universal that people feel comfortable posting it as is.


No, what I'm saying is that people using Office 2007 to post documents on the Web (hardly its primary use) are usually targetting an audience where Office 97-2003 is a more useful interchange format (since lots of people have older versions of Office), while people posting ODF documents on the web are mostly targetting people who are likely to have an ODF software.

That doesn't mean that "ODF is sufficiently universal" for anything; I suspect that if you looked at where those specific ODF documents are offered they would be:
1) Sites targetting specific narrow communities where Microsoft Office is not likely to be used (i.e., Linux users), or
2) Sites where ODF is one of several formats offered, and one of the others is Microsoft Office 97-2003 format

Anyone who can use OOXML documents (i.e., that has MS Office 2007) can use Office 97-2003 documents equally well, the reverse is not true. Therefore, for public interchange on the Web, Office 97-2003 makes more sense, whether as a sole format, or alongside other formats for people who don't can't use any MS Office format. The same is not true of ODF (while some ODF software handles MS Office 97-2003 formats tolerably well, not all of it does.) So it makes sense that there would be more ODF than Office 2007 on the web, not because ODF is more universal, but because there is no more widespread "fallback" format that is available everywhere ODF is that delivers a substantial subset of ODF functionality.

For other uses that are important in the selection of office suites and associated storage formats, the concerns that influence what is used for public interchange on the web are less relevant. These numbers don't really tell a lot about adoption of ODF vs. OOXML overall, just one specific application where it is unsurprising and says nothing really interesting or useful. And that's even before considering that they include all ODF, but exclude the macro-enable versions of Office 2007 formats.

In any case, your first point, that people save in PDF, is of no real issue.


The real issue it embodies is that "public interchange on the web" isn't a primary focus of editable office document formats.

First, the study, as flawed as it may be, is meant to indicate formats that are universal enough to be predictably exchanged.


So? How important is the portion of the web indexed by Google to that interchange for editable office documents? I would suspect that either portions of the web behind login walls or email are more important avenues for editable office document interchange. Sure, they are harder to measure, and this is easy. But "easy to measure" and "meaningful" aren't the same thing.

Second, the same argument applies to ODF, only more so. I, for instance, seldom post in ODF as OO.org saves to PDF without any complex spyware ridden third party hacks.


The fact that the same argument applies to office suites generally reinforces, rather than undermines, it. Also, the implicit comparison you make is invalid, as MS Office 2007's PDF/XPS plugin is simple, from the user perspective, and comes from Microsoft, not a third party, leaving aside questions of whether it is "spyware-ridden" or a "hack".

Re:And...so? (1)

Gnavpot (708731) | more than 6 years ago | (#20267965)

So what you are saying is that OOXML has such poor support that people who use it feel compelled to save it in a more universal forma, while ODF is sufficiently universal that people feel comfortable posting it as is.

I dare to ask: So what?

OOXML does not have to actually be used to serve its purpose for MS. It just has to be accepted as an (pseudo)open, possible alternative to the existing old formats. This will probably be enough to stop critical questions from buyers who want support for open standards.

Bad metric (3, Insightful)

BuR4N (512430) | more than 6 years ago | (#20265959)

"That isn't what I would call good traction for Microsoft's overwhelmingly dominant office suite"

Its a worthless metric, how many OOXML have been stored in various internal Sharepoint servers around the world ?

Re:Bad metric (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 6 years ago | (#20267529)

Well, having implemented ShitPoint 2007, nobody uses OOXML, everybody still uses the DOC or PDF formats. Even XPS is hardly used (only by documentation originating from Microsoft)

Nobody wants to switch to Office 2007 because 1) it's expensive, 2) it's more difficult to use, 3) it needs major retraining.

I am going on as a Mac Sysadmin now (quit the other job) and I don't think a lot of people are going to upgrade to Office 2008 for Mac either, I think they stay with the current implementation and switch to Open/NeoOffice later, maybe if iWork gets an ODF implemented, I would consider it.

You might not see it, but there is a big push for more open standards and usable file formats. Not only for ideological reasons, the current Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA-compliance as well as a lot of other internal legal policies require a lot of (financial and personal) documents to be stored about 10 years or longer (some 20 years, or even forever). Looking at Microsoft's track record, they keep their document formats for maximum 10 years (they just killed the format that was last updated in 2000 and is backwards compatible with a version of 1997) and then throw it out with minimal if not no backwards compatibility. Another requirement is that those documents stored are directly available in case of legal action in their original format and layout. There is not going to be any time to write plugins and converters that do their job halfwards at that moment and if you need to write something like that, it's nice to have a DOCUMENTED format that everybody can use without paying Microsoft an extortion fee.

How many Copies of 2007 are truly out there? (3, Interesting)

imcclell (138690) | more than 6 years ago | (#20265977)

Another question is, what the market share of office 2007 vs an ODF compliant suite? If there's 10 million people with ODF capabilities, and only 1 million with OOXML, doesn't this make sense?

The question is not how many now, but it's how many will there be 5 years from now.

This is dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20265995)

The number of data-points for both are much to low have have any bearing on the outcome of a standards war. There are plenty of complementary assets on both sides that will influence the how the system dynamics of this standards battle will play out. I've been a *nix fan since '97 and am a big proponent of open standards, so when I say that this fanboy crap is over the top, it's not because I love Microsoft.

Give it up /. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20266001)

What a piss poor excuse for an article.

Oooooooh look how many documents are in the open format.

See, see, that means people HATES the Microsoft!!!!

News for nerds? More like posts from jackasses.

Buffoons... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20266025)

In 12 minutes since this post was released 100% have called this a stupid piece of trash. That is hard to put a spin on.

***captcha is buffoons***

Bollocks (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20266035)

Why exactly is this tagged "linux"? As though magically all thing FOSS revolve around Linux? Because there being more ODF docs out there, is suddenly a win for Linux, instead of a win for Open Office and FOSS in general?

"That isn't what I would call good traction for Microsoft's overwhelmingly dominant office suite."

The fact that it is an "overwhelmingly dominant office suite" is traction enough. Compare how many users are using any other suite, to the amount running Office. And filecount means something now? By this logic, should be now abandon Ogg Vorbis, FLAC and other audio formats because the number of .mp3s out there completely overshadows them? Should be dismiss Linux and OS X as insignificant sheerly on the basis that there are astronomically more Windows boxen out there? But wait, this is different somehow (because the OSS variant has the numerical advantage) less asinine than, oh, I don't know, basing security on the number of known vulnerabilities that we here on Slashdot love to complain about, isn't it?

And this whole "t would be hard for the Microsoft camp to spin ten times as many ODF documents added as OOXML documents" continually searching for, and boasting any little flaw or inconsistency or what-have-you, no matter how insignificant is really both absurd and childish.
 

Re:Bollocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20266919)

You're new here aren't you?

I'm surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20266207)

I would have expected Microsoft to have an unfair advantage here. All the clueful people using ODF are far more likely to publish their documents in a web-friendly format like HTML on the web rather than word processor documents. Putting Word processor documents on your website is the mark of the clueless, who are more prone to using OOXML.

news flash! (1)

kevin.fowler (915964) | more than 6 years ago | (#20266217)

Office 2007 users don't like posting documents on the interweb.

Re:news flash! (1)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 6 years ago | (#20266317)

Duhhhh. It clogs the series of tubes.

Ha ha. Apology collision detected. (0, Troll)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#20266609)

Office 2007 users don't like posting documents on the interweb.

But Office 2003 do? I know that M$ hates the internet and all, but another M$ apologist in the room has pointed to the existence of many ordinary .doc [slashdot.org] as proof of I don't know what.

You will have to try harder to mask OOXML's poor adoption rates.

Meanwhile... (5, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 6 years ago | (#20266239)

The REAL document format, PDF has millions of documents on the web.

Do I really care what format people pass around documents they intend to edit, as long as they publish them in what's become the standard format for end-users, i.e. pdf?

The problem, as I see it is people are using ODF/.doc/Microsoft-whatever to often for documents that are really supposed to be just electronically published documents. I.e, not intended to be editied (though obviously you can with the right software).

The root problem is that there's a difference. (0, Troll)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#20266821)

The problem, as I see it is people are using ODF/.doc/Microsoft-whatever to often for documents that are really supposed to be just electronically published documents.

The real problem is that there is still a difference. You should be able to edit documents with ease. "Publication formats" like pdf are kludges that get around the fact that .DOC produced different results on different machines. Word Perfect did not have this problem and was the defacto standard before MicroSquish got them. M$'s abandonment of thier binary format is an admission of this failure, but their new format does not fix it. ODF comes closer and is being used more.

It is remarkably good news that M$ has not been able to force .docx, ie7 or Vista.

Re:The root problem is that there's a difference. (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 6 years ago | (#20267135)


The real problem is that there is still a difference. You should be able to edit documents with ease.

Honestly, why? I don't care about editing documents, and honestly it's not really something with a great need. If you _want_ to edit a PDF, you obviously can. The difference is really only in the availability of the software (not many people create PDF editors).

Word Perfect did not have this problem and was the defacto standard before MicroSquish got them

That was a different world where there was less cries for open standards, and the formats were really more about creating paper printouts (and selling word processing software) than it was an electronic document format. Was the wordperfect "standard" open and published? I'm not really convinced it was any better in those respects.

Re:The root problem is that there's a difference. (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 6 years ago | (#20268025)

I don't care about your mom. Nor do most people. But you probably do. Just because you don't need it doesn't mean that no one does, or even that the majority of people don't do it.

Re:The root problem is that there's a difference. (4, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 6 years ago | (#20267693)


The real problem is that there is still a difference.

The more I think about this idea, the more I disagree with it. I think it's a great thing that there's a separation between "presentation" formats, and formats intended to be edited. Why? Because presentation formats should always be the same, always be readable by an older version of software, etc. Editing formats have different needs, like adding new features like layers, links to other documents, etc.

Look at the photoshop format (psd I think) vs jpg for instance. jpg is a format intended to be published, where psd is a flexible format for a designer to do whatever they please with the photo (seperate layers, all that jazz).

In short, editing formats need to evolve and be extremely flexible (and thus incompatible), presentation formats need to stay the same (to a large degree). That doesn't mean you can't edit a publishing format of course.. people edit jpgs all the time. It's just not the design goal of the format.

Re:The root problem is that there's a difference. (1)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 6 years ago | (#20268325)

presentation formats should always be the same, always be readable by an older version of software, etc. Editing formats have different needs, like adding new features

Presentation formats also have the "need" for new features: PDF (for example) has not remained static. While using my brother's computer the other day, I downloaded some music scores (PDFs). His (older) version of Acrobat actually couldn't read the file. I found this odd, as usually a "may not be rendered properly" message will appear.

Well (1)

trifish (826353) | more than 6 years ago | (#20266423)

I've never seen a single ODF document on any website. But I've seen a lot of .docs and zillions of .pdfs.

What they need to do (1)

VEGETA_GT (255721) | more than 6 years ago | (#20266461)

Make a patch for there older office systems like 2003 which allows them to save to there OOXML. Now this concept will go right over M$'s head as they will say "well why would we do that, then there is no reason to update to 2007". Well thats what people say now, why go to this new system when 2003 works just fine, dose all we need and hey everyone can read and modify ours docs. We upgrade we will have to save in the doc format because hey then everyone can deal with the document basically. But if they make it so that the older offices can deal with the newer format, people will be more inclined to move tot he newer format and will then not have any reasons besides cost to moving to 2007 as then all can read the documents. Microsoft has to realize people are not just going to jump when they say jump, and are not going to switch formats because they say so. If it works then why change right. Fastest way to change is let everyone deal with that format on any of there systems then that one less reason for not upgrading.

My 2 cents plus 2 more and a happy face :)

Re:What they need to do (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20266687)

It would appear that this concept does *not* go over their head. What you're talking about is the "Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats" and it's been out since June:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?fa milyid=941b3470-3ae9-4aee-8f43-c6bb74cd1466&displa ylang=en [microsoft.com]

BTW, it works with Office 2003, Office XP and Office 2000

Re:What they need to do (1)

VEGETA_GT (255721) | more than 6 years ago | (#20267315)

Well I missed this. I stand corrected.

Is it significant? (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 6 years ago | (#20266527)

How long will it be before MSFT posts a massive number of ooxml docs on line to spin the numbers? How long will it take to write a script to convert a bunch of doc files and translate them into ooxml and post it in some site or the other?

What would be significant is, if public in some county or school district sues the Govt agency claiming, they have a fundamental right to get Govt documents in a format that is not saddled with proprietary burdens, they should have the right to process these docs and forms without paying royalties, license fees or even signing EULA with private third parties. That would be significant.

Count the number of docs, MSFT has enough money to churn out and post a million ooxml docs in two days.

Re:Is it significant? (1)

nontrivial (222436) | more than 6 years ago | (#20267829)

I totally agree, in no time MicroSoft will be generating millions of bogus OOXML documents to skew this new metric, just like they have generated millions of bogus websites to skew netcraft metrics. Everytime you sign up for a passport account (and don't use it, then sign up for another because you can't remember the BS info you used last time you signed up), that's another website. All they have to do is place an OOXML document or two there as well and now the evidence is overwhelming that OOXML is supierior since "everybody" is using it.

What this really means (1)

realdodgeman (1113225) | more than 6 years ago | (#20266559)

This just proves that OOXML is not needed (yet). Everybody continues to use .doc or odf.

who puts documents on the web? (1)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 6 years ago | (#20266575)

Most business and professional users aren't writting their documents to put them on the web.

Re:who puts documents on the web? (1)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 6 years ago | (#20266763)

I see plenty of cases where documents are put on the web. I just recently filled out an application for a grant for a non-profit organization I'm involved with. They had an application form that we had to fill out and made it available as both a MS Word and PDF file.

Doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20266605)

It doesn't matter. You don't need as many OOXML files on the web because more people can open them than can open ODF. If someone stumbles across an ODF document they can't open it. If they stumble across a DOCX, they CAN because anyone who applies their patches and updates and has Word 2000, Word XP, or Word 2003 (read a hell of a lot of people) can open that DOCX. Hardly anyone can open that ODF doc.

Re:Doesn't matter (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20266659)

Typical Microsoft troll. We all can't afford to buy MSOffice and therefore open that OOXML file, but EVERYONE CAN DOWNLOAD OPENOFFICE.ORG FOR FREE AND OPEN THE ODF FORMAT. EVERYONE.

Microsoft must really be getting desperate to get people to lie for them like this.

Re:Doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20268221)

The mods are Microsoft shills as well. People, wake up: Microsoft HIRES people to go out on the web and do shit like this. I've seen it happen for years now.

Personally... (1)

Gyga (873992) | more than 6 years ago | (#20266695)

Personally I release all documents in .odt, .doc, and .pdf. If there was a OOXML-compatible program that can run on Linux I would also release in that.

Apple and Oranges (3, Insightful)

in10se (472253) | more than 6 years ago | (#20267099)

  1. Most people using Office 2007 are still saving their documents in XP/2003 format, so don't confuse the use of the format with the use of the software. In addition, Office 2007 has built-in support for PDF which is a better choice of format for the web.
  2. You can't expect major corporations OR small businesses to jump formats overnight (and yes, 7 months is "overnight" when you are talking about major software changes).
  3. ODF is output by various free software. More people are willing to download, upload, and play with free software. Geeks are more likely to play with free software. Geeks are more likely to upload documents to the web than normal internet users.
  4. Word processing documents (in either format) aren't really meant for the web anyway.

All of these things will lower the number of OOXML documents on the web even if the use of Office 2007 is growing. Any opinions of Microsoft, Linux, Office aside, the comparison in TFA means absolutely nothing.

Question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20267271)

How long has ODF been around with doc son the net compared to OOXML? If there's a relative comparison of numbers vs tim, and they are roughly right....how can this mean jack, or shit?

As far as the first replier stating that he always saved in 2003 format...Why? MS has free converters for Office 2003 so it can natively open 2007 formats, with no problem.

You're silly.

So desperate... (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#20267495)

It would be hard for the Microsoft camp to spin ten times as many ODF documents added as OOXML documents, especially since 34% of those new documents were added on Microsoft.com.

Man, relative comparison really makes this sound tough for Microsoft. 10x more ODF! 34% on Microsoft!
If only we could skip the part with the absolute numbers, where it turns out this is about mere several thousands of documents found on the web (of either format).

Congratulations on the self-referring sarcasm about the spin though.

Apparently no spin is hard enough for either Microsoft or the FOSS fanatics.

Its the public, who will be deciding (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#20267705)

even if ms bought entire international standards boards and pushed their format, whatever public prefers to use will be the format to stay, and in time even goverment agencies will have to switch to the format public has chosen by their invisible hand. it has happened many times before and this is no exception.

Different Audiences (1)

ClubStew (113954) | more than 6 years ago | (#20267839)

Um, maybe because the corporate world with corporate secrets (whether they should be or not) use Office and don't put their works up on the web; and those who do tend to publish are typically in the open source camp?

Let me Make this Simple (1)

Bellum Aeternus (891584) | more than 6 years ago | (#20267867)

I work for a small company, about 50 employees, we have one person using Office 2007 because he got to select his own Dell machine. The rest are all on 2003, guess what format everybody is using? You got it .doc - so these numbers are misleading.

Re:Let me Make this Simple (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 6 years ago | (#20268107)

What do you mean they're misleading? They're saying that most people haven't moved to Office 2007 in the almost year since it's been released (which your numbers support), and people aren't using the new formats. In comparison, people are increasingly using applications that create ODF files, especially as compared to those who're using OOXML. .doc format isn't anywhere in the equation.

Love the justwait tag. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20267967)

I wonder why we don't get it on the many linux or mac stories we get on this banale site, considering they have like 5% or less market share. Oh ya, because this is a site of hypocritical assmunchers that are delusional anyway.
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