Two Standards is Better, Says Microsoft December 15, 2005
Standard means ONE, I say. This is based on the Government wanting an open standard document format so that if the software maker of the software that they are using for documents (word processor documents, spreadsheet docs, etc) goes out of business, they aren't screwed. They can just move to another software provider that will be able to read and save the same types of documents. There's an article on MacWorld detailing how Microsoft believes two standards is better.
I just read through most of how every website defines the word "Standard", and pretty much every definition uses it as a singular term. "A basis for comparison", "established or widely recognized as a model of authority or excellence", "a recommended practice", etc. This goes against logic.
It's ignorant. Microsoft wants to just say "Hey, we can't go implementing OpenDocument now. We're supposed to release the new office in like 2 years", while other office software providers already have solutions out there. OpenOffice being the one I use.
It's STUPID!! A standard is supposed to make things EASIER on people. In software, it makes it so you only need ONE program to be able to read any document your pal or coworker may send you. It's bad enough already. Someone can send you a PDF, or a Word document, or an image. You have to have the program to be able to read it. With one standard (I shouldn't even have to say "one" standard), you just have a program that provides an acceptable implementation of that standard, the one you like, and then you can create and send documents that you authored with the program to other people with their favorite program that reads that document type. It's idiotic.
Of course, Microsoft will be the only one providing an implementation of their OpenXML document format. And you'll have to pay a huge amount just to be able to use it. And, of course, they'll have proprietary plugins, like their VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) that provide scripting of that document, and to read that document in another program even implementing the OpenXML document type will be impossible, because it will still have proprietary technology in it. Sure, Microsoft will implement a standard, but it will be by their terms, and they will own it. Good. I'm not sure who owns the Metric System, but I'm sure that's where Microsoft got their idea from.