I recently read about Ray Ozzie giving his take on Open Document Format, and I can't help but think, "Is ODF the most over-hyped thing in technology right now (next to Google and the iPod, of course)?" There are tons of open document formats out there ... XML, HTML, heck even PDF is getting pretty open. People whine about the .DOC format, but lots of other word processing apps can import it, export it, and read it too. Why should I be excited about ODF? If someone out there has any ideas, please enlighten me.
The only people that seem really excited about ODF are WordPerfect and OpenOffice lovers because it gives them false hope that someday those desktop apps will become major players with businesses and end users. Apparently, they haven't seen the news bulletin that that war is over. If they want to make a difference, they should start developing a cutting edge Web-based word processing app using something like AJAX (another over-hyped technology, but a good one nonetheless) or the .NET Framework, or another Web services development platform.
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Jason Hiner is Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He's co-author of the book, Follow the Geeks.