Recentemente li um paper muito interessante do Andrew Updegrove, “ODF vs OOXML and the future of the Great Powers of IT”, que pode ser acessado em http://www.consortiuminfo.org/bulletins/jan08.php#feature.
O paper aborda de forma bastante clara o debate OpenXML vs ODF, mostrando que não é uma guerra santa nem uma simples disputa comercial, como alguns pretendem. Mas tem uma implicação muito maior. Em suas conclusões ele diz textualmente: “The unexpected success of ODF in the marketplace is a symptom of fundamental shifts in a maturing IT ecosystem, characterized by increasingly sophisticated and demanding end users, resurgent competition, new enabling technologies, and other forces that are largely beyond Microsoft's control.History teaches that monopolies in the marketplace, like empires in the broader world, are rarely sustainable over long periods of time, and ultimately fall victim to both external attack and internal weaknesses. The degree to which Microsoft's competitors have embraced, and many Microsoft customers and national governments alike have resonated, with ODF are strong indications that the foundations upon which Microsoft's historical dominance has been based may at last be weakening.”.
O documento tem cinco capítulos. O primeiro, “A changing IT Landscape” mostra como foi criado o monopólio do Office e aborda as mudanças no contexto do mercado atual, com novas forças como Open Source e “Sofware as a Service” moldando novos modelos de negócio.
O segundo capitulo “Catalyst for action” conta como o processo de “rebeldia” do mercado frente a este monopólio, saindo em busca de novas soluções foi disparado pela decisão do governo do estado americano de Massachussetts ao propor a adoção do ODF em sua política de TI. Esta ação galvanizou governos do mundo inteiro e criou um movimento que está se acelerando.
O terceiro capitulo, “OOXML´s prospects in ISO/IEC JTC1” aborda a reação da Microsoft e a criação do OpenXML.
O quarto capitulo, “The future of ODF and OOXML” analisa os diversos cenários futuros. Segundo Updegrove, os cenários possíveis podem ser quatro, que eu transcrevo na íntegra abaixo:
“1. ODF fades away. Given the rather startling success of ODF in a short period of time, this seems unlikely, but remains a possibility, especially if OOXML is adopted by ISO/IEC JTC1, allowing Microsoft to provide a more convincing business case to its government customers to continue to use Office.Result: If the government market is lost, ODF will lose some of its economic viability. In that event, it may remain primarily the darling of open source projects, with Microsoft's major competitors seeking other means to erode Microsoft's market share.
2. OOXML plays the dominant role in a multi-revisable format marketplace, due to the ongoing effect of Microsoft's historically dominant role. ODF continues to be used in a variety of products, especially those used on-line, those that are free, and those targeted at government customers.Result: In this scenario, the developers of ODF-based products would go to great lengths to ensure their ability to open and save Office documents without loss of fidelity, as well as to satisfactorily re-export them in OOXML formats. Early reports of the Ecma disposition document indicate that more interoperability information will be supplied in any final version of OOXML, and the news of the new EU investigation may provide added pressure to improve the ability of ODF-compliant products to "round trip" documents with Office 2007.
3. Use of ODF continues to gain ground as ODF-compliant products follow a trajectory similar to Mozilla Firefox, which continues to gain market share at the expense of Internet Explorer. This outcome would be likely to occur in Europe and emerging countries if the strong community support behind ODF continues to grow, and if the outlook expressed by the Becta report becomes widely adopted.Result: Microsoft would find itself under increasing pressure from its own customers to improve their ability to trade documents between Office and ODF-compliant products. While this could occur through Microsoft natively supporting ODF as Office 2007 does with every other format in common use today, Microsoft may find it wiser to propose that ODF and OOXML (and, ideally, UOF as well) be "merged" into a single format, which would allow it to assert greater influence over the future development of that standard.
4. ODF becomes dominant in the marketplace without merging with OOXML. It is hard to imagine this being the near term outcome. However, the future of SaaS introduces a significant wildcard into the equation. If Microsoftmiscalculates spectacularly in devising its business strategy, or suffers a monumental loss in an antitrust action, it might have no choice but to convert to ODF at some point in the future.Result: Microsoft would need to compete in the office suite marketplace in a way that it has not faced in many years.”.
Qual a opinião de vocês? É bem provável que o cenário 3 prevaleça...E no longo prazo, quem sabe o cenário 4?Recomendo sua leitura, principalmente quando o movimento FUD esta se acelerando e na minha opinião pessoal todo profissional de TI deve ter uma idéia bem formada a respeito do assunto “padrão de formato de documentos”. E esta idéia deve ser gerada por seus próprios conhecimentos e não ditada por prospectos de marketing.
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