Monday, 9 July 2007

When does open mean shut?

Interesting story on the BBC on Tuesday about Microsoft working with the UK National Archives to ensure documents can be read in the future. I’ve posted on this problem before, but Microsoft’s move to promote its Open XML file format is really getting some attention.

From the BBC story, it seems that Microsoft is admirably helping out the National Archives with virtualisation technology to help it read old documents. Microsoft is then hoping to use the halo of this good deed to persuade everyone that it’s got our best interests at heart by pushing its own Open XML “standard” as a rival to the Open Document Format (ODF). I’m less than convinced, as are many others. What do you think?

1 comment:

Peter Jacobs said...

Microsoft are to be commended for offering to partly solve the first part of the problem; i.e. reading legacy documents back into memory. What isn't clear is what happens next.

Can the document be copied onto modern media? Can it be saved into a modern format? To a format that's designed for archival use?

At the very least, one hopes they can be printed...