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Microsoft reinvents Open XML

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Red giant to save History


How many times did you burn something on a CD in order to give it to your friend, only to recieve a call saying: "Dude, I can't open this". Well this has become a discussed subject as the British Library conducted a research that suggests Europe is losing 3 bilion euros each year because of issues of digital preservation. No, no, no. It's not because of your friend, I'm thinking history preservation.

We are talking about 900 years of historical material which adds up to 580 terabytes of data that are stored in formats which are no longer commercially available. You know, for someone who'd like to save some of our history, it's not quite a lucrative deal to revert back to paper.

In order to solve this problem Microsoft developed a new document format called Open XML, but one might ask if developing new formats is really an answer to the problem. I mean, developing new formats to solve a problem of constant format changes is hardly an answer, especially if you already have such a format.

Microsoft chose to reinvent the wheel although such a format already exists; it's called "Open Document Format" and once again it seems that only "Open" that Microsoft might tolerate is our wallets.

But still, 3 billion is three billion, and if history is not a good enough cause then let me put it this way - if you save that money you might actually be able to send your friend to Hawaii instead of burning him some crummy CD.

 

 

Last modified on 04 July 2007
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