Do you still need to understand why software should be open source? Part 3

In an interesting piece of newspeak we are told that new versions of Microsoft Outlook won’t allow access to older format documents:

As much as we love adding new features to Outlook, for the maintainability of our product we sometimes need to remove those that are out of date and aren’t utilized by a large number of users. This allows us to focus on improving the Outlook features that most of you, our customers, rely on.

Proprietary software companies should do whatever they need to do to maximise revenue but as we said in our first post in this series regarding the protests of those being abandoned by another proprietary software company:

Good luck to those hoping to change the decision but as the proverb has it “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me”

Then again, from in a blog post on document longevity in 2011:

I’ve just listened to a radio programme about the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1065, discussing among other things, the economic conditions at the time. How did they know? The programme participants were using material from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles (written between 876 and 1174) and the Domesday Book, (commissioned in 1085). Give or take, they were referencing material written 1000 years ago.

While I’m sure Yggdrasil Linux didn’t exist in the 11th century, it seems that if you wants to access documents of any format from the 20th century you’d be better off with Libre Office which while focusing on Open Document Format (“ODF”) still supports Word Perfect and Lotus Pro as well as all versions of Microsoft file formats, even OOXML.

— Gerry Gavigan, Chair, 20 December 2012

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