Well has been trying to do standards. Microsoft has no interest in open standards as that would remove most of the reason many people have to use MS software at all - ie it's in MSs interest that documents created in Word and Excel don't open 'properly' in anything else, hence people are more or less forced to keep buying MS software. Of course, the fact that they keep changing the formats in a non-backwards compatible way is merely development - it can't possibly be intended to make life awkward for people who run older versions (that's sarcasm for those who can't spot it).
Just how much MS fear open standards is evident from the effort they went to in buying votes on various national standards body to push through their own "open" standard. The BSI (British Standards Institute) comments on their proposal could be summarised as "croc of s**t", yes MS still bought enough votes for it to be passed.
All this to head off a proper open standard getting a good foothold and them being forced (by large customers) to support it.
Much the same thing. MS do not want open networks - they go to great lengths to lock everything down and make it as hard as possible to create interoperable devices. That was why they were found guilty by the EU Commission and forced to provide protocol documentation to third parties (notably the Samba team). Reading between the lines, that bit really hurt as it forced them to actually document stuff where it sounds like they didn't actually know themselves !
Apple are no better !
This extends to file systems as well. The only reason FAT is still alive is that there are only 2 filesystems (FAT and NTFS) supported by Windows. Apple only do NTFS read-only, and don't support anything else that's non Apple other than FAT. Hence all memory card, cameras etc come supporting FAT. Memory cards and disks can be reformatted, cameras etc are limited to what they support in firmware.
Well there has in fact been a very successful system around for decades - it supports all sorts of printers with one unified driver, is supported by virtually all OSs (but not by many bits of software I've had the misfortune to deal with), and will work (with some limitations on using printer features) even if you don't have the right config file to hand. It's called Postscript and is at the heart of CUPS - but in my experience, MS are s**t at supporting it as again, it wasn't invented by them (well they actually had quite a spat with Adobe IIRC).
With just one generic driver, you can print to any Postscript printer - from an ink jet through to high end typesetters and multifunction copiers. All you need is one text file that describes the printer features, how to configure them, and what options to show the user.
Unfortunately, too many people want cheap rubbish, and they get what they deserve.
Keep Up with TechRepublic