Well, the big news for the day is the discussion about the ISO/IEC standardization of Open XML. A few things to remember as the IBM spin machine kicks into full gear tomorrow:
Now, the real question is why doesn't IBM like their customers? At the end of the day, this is an issue of choice. Customers have been very clear with us over the past few years (as have many other vendors including our friends in Armonk) that they wanted to see our Office document formats become more open and standardized. So we did that. (OSP-licensed, Ecma standardized)
Governments have been clear that they need the ability to have interoperability between ODF and Open XML. The Open XML Translator is now in production, and delivers interoperability. In fact, we built that to enable ANY ISV to use the technology - not just Microsoft. Novell has already announced (back in December) that they are going to build it into Novell's OpenOffice. Sounds to me like customers are going to have greater choice.
I have attended open source conferences for the past 6 years, and sat on innumerable panels with various executives from IBM. I am really unclear as to the relationship between the rhetoric of openness and increased choice that they have been saying in that arena and how it lines up with the reduction of choice and closing of a participatory process in this arena. The message from IBM standards participants around the world has been consistant: don't even consider Open XML for ISO/IEC standardization. That is less choice for customers.
Could it be that they are putting their business goals ahead of their customers' needs?