Watch out for lock-in!

This story talks about vendors using the office tools from Microsoft as the front end. I am wondering what these vendors were fed by Microsoft to make them agree – when the world is moving to thin client computing!

Which brings up an interesting chat I had with a high enough person in Microsoft. Among the things discussed, two items stood out: the person was saying that the company has now fully published the XML details of the office products. For XML to work, you need both the XML and the DTDs. When they first launched their 2003 product, they only made the XML available without the DTDs. What that means is that people creating documents will still be locked into the MS product as you will not be able to interpret the tags. Apparently, this person says, the DTDs are now published – funny, I cannot find a single reference to it.

The other comment that person made was never to have came across anyone having problems reading documents from previous versions of MS products. Obviously, the fiasco of Word 97 and Word 95 is conveniently forgotten. Just because that person did not come across such problems, does not mean that it does not exist.

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