Double Standards? Trial Mandation of Dual Standards

Jason Matusow of Microsoft: Denmark Says ODF and Open XML Ok. Jason calls it “a very positive step forward”. Leif Lodahl of OpenOffice DK also reports: One year evaluation, and comments: “There is no doubt that ODF is here to stay, but Microsoft must prove openness and willingness to other platforms and applications”.
Lars Roark, CIO in Rødovre Municipality, in an article in Version2 (Danish) says that “it’s a pity they didn’t have the courage to make a decision to only use ODF”,  and argues that “selecting ODF would have been the logical choice”.

I’ve not yet seen a public version of the finalised agreement between the minister and the parties.
Meanwhile, the process in Danish Standards around OOXML is such that a public hearing is closing for comments on 2 July.

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  • It will take a great deal of explanation why a government would see a benefit in mandating a monopoly or in acknowledging that a standard for a public utility can be more than a single thing.

    There seems to be a mis-apprehension of what OOXML offers in in terms of XML (it’s not what you expect from XML). There is, on the one hand, a sense of reality that governments are powerless to stop Microsoft’s next format and, on the other hand, a belief that anything XML is either good or an improvement on the past (since at least Microsoft is opening something — “…we’re not quite sure what” — to public scrutiny.

    This policy will result in the same old constipation of common ICT systems, a clogging of peoples’ documents and, worse of all, it regiments — by government sanction — the purchase of more software designed by an American corporation to stop you from using competing software products.

    Denmark will reverse on this path from recognition of the simple reality that a sanction of dual standards stops innovation, choice of applications and service oriented modular flexibility throughout the system stacks all over the country. Perhaps the lesser pain comes from the welding of a higher cost structure into the Danish document producing economy.

  • Hi,
    I don’t think you can find the decision from the parliament published anywhere. The best will probably be this press announcement from the Minister of Science:

  • […] – ODF – with a “comply or explain” provision why did the Danish government have to chose a double standards – ODF and OOXML – solution thus effectively securing that a large part of government will have to go for the OOXML Windows […]

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