Microsoft sells Intra-operability as Interoperability


This is real Interoperability

  • Technical specifications for global interoperability and freedom
  • Interoperate through standards
  • Software product is less important
  • Switch products and keep access

Microsoft started their so called “interoperability” initiative. With a deeper look we find that the main objective of the released specifications is to let developers interact with their products only, something I like to call Intra-operability.


This is Intraoperability

  • Technical specifications for interaction with and favor the product
  • Interoperate through the product
  • Software product is the main player
  • Switch product and loose access

See the difference?

Microsoft technical specifications have serious technical and legal issues, and are being released not to increase interoperability across people, organizations and applications, but to leverage the use of their products. For the standard document format scenario: OOXML is about allowing other people to interact with files that are primarily generated and manipulated with Microsoft Office. It is not about full interoperability, which would enable competition with Microsoft Office, for obvious reason.

For each purpose or scope, better open standards exist and should be adopted and used instead: Java versus .NET, XHTML versus IE-campatible-only DHTML, ODF versus OOXML, etc

My friend Cezar Taurion has also written some words about Intra-operability (in portuguese). Bob Sutor also put together some words about it.

These graphics are available in a friendly Creative Commons license, in this animated ODF file, in case you want to integrate them in your presentations. PDF export also available.

9 thoughts on “Microsoft sells Intra-operability as Interoperability”

  1. You hit the nail. However Intra-operability imho is not in this particular case that bad. MSO2007+’s usability and features are quite superior to the open source alternatives so many people gladly use what they offer.

  2. Troll, no problem. It is good, desired and welcome to have market leader open the specs on how to interact with its product.

    And there is also no problem to transform these specs into ISO standards, unless other similar standards already exist, or the spec doesn’t have a standards-grade quality.

    OOXML perfectly fits in this description, so for now, whenever Microsoft says OOXML promotes interoperability, read as intra-operability.

  3. Muito boa a explicação, você foi direto ao âmago da questão e mostrou de uma forma simples o tipo de comprometimento da MS com os padrões abertos. Parabéns!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *