Open document formats and the path to world domination..
Posted Nov 24, 2005 4:57 UTC (Thu) by N0NB
Parent article: Open document formats and the path to world domination
versus classic vaporware.
The question that will be answered in the coming weeks is whether the larger IT industry has learned the lesson regarding vaporware. Monday's press release was intended to do one thing--stop consideration and eventual adoption of ODF dead in its tracks.
This is a tactic major suppliers in IT are famous for. An upstart begins to draw notice due to price and/or features and the market leader reacts by announcing an equivalent product or service with the intent to quell interest by IT decision makers in the upstart. Of course the market leader has no product available at the moment but promises initial release some time in the near future. So the typical IT decision maker must now make a decision, stay with the devil he knows--the market leader--or go with the devil he doesn't know--the upstart. The majority will stay with the market leader which effectively stops the upstart dead in its tracks.
With the threat of the upstart now greatly diminished, the market leader is free to delay release of its product or ship it with a drastically reduced feature set. At no point will the market leader match the feature set of the now discredited upstart. It doesn't matter as the money has already been spent by the IT decision maker so the organization remains a "loyal" customer of the market leader. At some point another technology threatens the market leader's position and the entire cycle is repeated.
Now that the vapors are swirling through IT departments everywhere, will they have their usual debilitating effects? I think we will know in about six weeks if Massachusetts falls back into line and abandons this "crazy" ODF scheme. If MA falls back into line, the others will follow and ODF will be dead outside of the F/OS world.
Only if MA stands firm and retains its requirement of ODF compatibility will the vapors prove ineffective.
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