This is very telling. MS is now “trying” to have ODF in their next office suite, but “tentativeness on ODF support in Office [is due] to resource allocation issues”. As a result of poor resource management, they are “working with a French company on translators to determine the scope of the problem in exporting Office documents to ODF. It sounds to me that support for “Save As” ODF in Office is a “when,” not and “if.”” Indeed. We will have to believe that. What MS will do is have this outsourced work later to be labelled as a “sloppy” piece of code explaining away why ODF does not work properly with their stuff. They will also say that “ODF is immature” and hence the poor translation.
This reminds me of the scam they pulled with they put out MSOffice97 which, while saving a document as Word95 format, was actually saving it as a RTF and making it a nightmare to share the file with others. Also, their 97 .doc format was different enough that 95 could not read it – but never told anyone. Atleast OO.o’s sxi and odf are clearly different and labelled as such.
They have pulled the scam before. They are fully capable to doing it again – and being master spin doctors – they are setting the stage for deniability and finger pointing elsewhere. Clever, NOT!
Re: “resource allocation issues”?
It is a game that they will play. It is also a mentality that because the ODF was not built by them – they choose to withdraw from the committee (maybe because they could not get their way) – that they are then playing the standard down. Mind you, they’ll harp on “our standard is available at no charge” bit but the catch there is that should “their standard” evolve, there is no guarantee that they will not put roadblocks/NDAs/No-Open-Source-Implementations on it.