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At 10:00 AM 4/30/00 EDT, SteveFJong -at- aol -dot- com wrote:
>I commented that being first to market is good, but no excuse for remaining
>sloppy; customers won't stick with poor products. Dan Emory
><danemory -at- primenet -dot- com> correctly pointed out the obvious contradiction of
>Microsoft Word, which maintains a 95% market share across two computer
>platforms despite being--well, Word. Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
>responded that this is another facet of the "New Economy."
>Next is the way MS jerks competitors around with periodic,
>undocumented changes to the oxymoronic proprietary "standard" RTF file
>format, breaking conversion filters (even Word's--apparently a price worth
And there you have it. Microsoft's way of maintaining Word's monopolistic
position is to make it darn near impossible to successfully exchange
information with other DTP products by continuously moving the goal posts.
Most other DTP products bend over backwards to make it possible to exchange
information with other DTPs, and many companies specializing in filters
(e.g. Filtrix, Omni Systems) try to fill in the gaps. Companies where
MS-word is the standard are locked in because of the difficulties costs
involved in retraining and in converting their legacy documents.
>There is light at the end of the tunnel. First, I'm almost done ranting 8^)
>Second, in a broken-up Microsoft, the Office company won't be able to cozy up
>to Windows. And they will find it more profitable to coexist and be
>compatible. I think the competition would be good for Word, and it would be
>good for us.
I don't think so. Certainly Micrsoft (or, if the breakup occurs, BalmerSoft)
realizes that Word is an inferior product that holds onto its huge market
share mainly because replacement of Word entails large costs of retraining
and legacy document conversion
Breaking up Microsoft might help, but the real way to wreck Word's hegemony
is for the technical publications industry to adopt XML as the standard. XML
was conceived to be the ultimate information interchange solution. This
would force Microsoft/BalmerSoft to build a robust 2-way XML import/export
capability into Word. Every other DTP product would also have to add this
capability in order to survive. When that occurs, it won't matter any longer
which authoring system you use to create, modify, view, and print information.
| Nullius in Verba |
Dan Emory, Dan Emory & Associates
FrameMaker/FrameMaker+SGML Document Design & Database Publishing
Voice/Fax: 949-722-8971 E-Mail: danemory -at- primenet -dot- com
10044 Adams Ave. #208, Huntington Beach, CA 92646
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