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If I may inject what I hope is a little sense into this argument:-

A major strength of Open Office is and always was that it could read
and often write documents in many proprietary formats. That strength
should remain solidly a feature of Libre Office and for exactly the
same reasons.

When it comes to the Microsoft formats there is a significant issue
with writing the formats - specifically, that even Microsoft cannot
fully adhere to the standards they set. This is a major fault and it
is one which Microsoft has placed into the marketplace.

It leaves Libre Office with three choices when it comes to these
formats. It can either:-

1. Write in the format as used by Microsoft.
2. Write in the format as specified in the ISO standard.
3. Refuse to write in the new formats at all.

The problem with option 1 is that it is a strictly proprietary form
which even Microsoft admits does not actually meet the open standard.
It is therefore open to attacks using patent and other legislation if
adopted by Libre Office.

The problem with option 2 is that while it is an open standard it does
not actually fully work with Microsoft Office and is therefore a
pointless choice until (according to Microsoft) at least 2014.

The problem with option 3 is that Libre Office would be left in the
situation where its own files would need to be read by the ODF open
feature in Microsoft Office, thus making Microsoft appear to be the
ones making efforts to read "incompatible" formats. I would suggest
that this is the very reason why Microsoft has taken this action with
these formats.

We are left, in short, with just two realistic choices. Either we
reverse-engineer the OOXML as actually used and let Microsoft scream
about it (as they certainly would) or we simply ignore the format for
written documents and write them in the old "doc" format... while
telling people clearly on the download website that this is because we
are prevented from using the Microsoft "open" standard. Given the work
involved in these choices, I would suggest the only realistic option
is the latter one.

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