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The key to Microsoft Office's success

A News.com reader writes that to call proprietary document formats an advantage of Office assumes a willingness to be sheared.

 

  
The key to Microsoft Office's success

In response to the Sept. 5 column by Chris LeTocq, "Is StarOffice ready to take on MS Office?:"

Good article, and it makes some valid points. I completely agree about modularization of software. That has been one of Microsoft's largest drawbacks for years. They want to bundle it all. It is the only way they could sell so much of their stuff. I can't even buy a computer without also buying an OS I have to erase.

However, to call proprietary document formats an advantage of Office assumes a willingness to be sheared. It is an advantage to Microsoft, true; it is exactly why they have you over a barrel when it comes time to upgrade. Pay up or lose business and productivity as your partners start sending you documents you can't read.

It is also the reason that translation filters are so hard to write; Microsoft wants it that way. It has no benefit to customers--just the opposite. Opening the Office document formats might be a good antitrust penalty.

Jim Flynn
Sunnyvale, Calif.

 

 

    
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