While reading an interview with OOo developer Florian Reuter I kept thinking of two very different possible future IT worlds:
- Microsoft continues to dominate the market and business processes continue to be hobbled by closed (or at least opaque) file formats.
- The Open Document standard becomes a (close to) universal standard with many interoperating software systems that work nicely with each other to facilitate “knowledge flow”. People and organizations get the maximum benefit from their data and information assets for the lowest cost.
I really wish that Microsoft would get on board with the Open Document specification. As I have written recently, I believe that Microsoft’s best strategy is to switch to a subscription based licensing for Windows and Office so that they get a yearly fee from users – this frees them from having to add features that few people need and concentrate on quality. If they play fair in supporting the Open Document standard, they will be in a good position to compete.
In any case, to update Sun Microsystems’ saying: “The internet is the computer”. Call it Web 2.0 if you wish, but I see the trend to SOA and interactive web portals as a natural evolution of the internet.