Follow the Code: Microsoft and Open

The Register, certainly not the most pro-Microsoft web publication (note: sarcasm), today states: “Apple more closed than Microsoft”

Transitioning to Apple-bashing is a simple journalistic mechanism to attract eyeballs. I am going to ignore the anti-Apple sentiment.

The interesting statements are: “however, the Microsoft of today, while not totally reformed, is a lot more open and well behaved than it was, say, 10 years ago.”

One highlighted recent ‘negative’ on Microsoft is the OpenXML as an ISO specification.

Personally, I am a proponent of open file formats. Completely open specifications, no patent encumbrances, for all to implement read/write and change. It is very important that our descendants are able to read and write the digital files we are creating today. By publishing the file formats for our binary and XML out of Microsoft Office is an excellent start. ISO puts the format in the hands of the world.

Yesterday Microsoft released more toolkits for OpenXML support (including Java)and an OpenXML/ODF interop kits:

My advice is to not listen to the idle rhetoric of any vendor: watch the code and see what ships. That is the ultimate test.