Forget file formats. The battle is Sharepoint

People are agog that Microsoft has announced support for Open Document Format (ODF), but I'm not sure why. This was a foregone conclusion once Microsoft figured out how to move lock-in above the file level to the content network. In other words, to Shar

People are agog that Microsoft has announced support for Open Document Format (ODF) , but I'm not sure why. This was a foregone conclusion once Microsoft figured out how to move lock-in above the file level to the content network.

In other words, to Sharepoint.

Microsoft has been hell-bent on getting enterprises to dump content into its proprietary Sharepoint repository, calling it the next Windows operating system. I call it the future of Microsoft lock-in.

Microsoft doesn't need to zealously guard file formats anymore. It already owns the next few decades of lock-in, and many enterprises are willy-nilly dumping their content into Microsoft's proprietary repository at a pace and in a manner that is as potentially destructive for those enterprises as it is beneficial to Microsoft's income.

Microsoft has done well in creating a comparatively easy to use and deploy front-end for Sharepoint, which is far better than the antiquated systems from Documentum, FileNet, Interwoven, etc. But if Microsoft really wants to do its customers a favor, it will open up its repository to make it as easy to get content out of the repository as it is to get it into the repository.

That's what would help customers. Is Microsoft interested?


Disclosure: I work for Alfresco, an open-source alternative to Microsoft Sharepoint.

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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