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On the users mailing list, a significant proportion of a random view
of questions seems to be with relation to using LO is some way with m$
document formats.

What should be the priority of LO development: bug-free and excellent
behaviour in native odt format, or minimising "interoperability
issues" with m$?

No doubt it is convenient in a gnu/linux environment to be able to
receive a document attached in an e-mail message and at least be able
to view that document. However, is it really worthwhile, or fair to
LO, to be able edit such documents so perfectly that the recipient
doesn't realise LO was used instead of m$?

In a business scenario, a customer who sends a document is m$ format
(for simpliciticy assume for subsequent editing) would most likely
expect the recipient to have the money to buy m$ software and edit the
document accordingly. It is difficult to understand why a business
would waste time trying to use LO; if a customer uses m$, the supplier
might as well do so also and consider the m$ price as a cost of
conducting business. Is the cost of m$ such a massive proportion of a
business cost structure that transferring to LO is the difference
between the business remaining profitable or not?

In a non-business scenario, for example academia, one could imagine a
scenario where the teacher sends a document in m$ format, the student
uses LO because it is free. The student could explain his/her
circumstances to the teacher who may be flexible in either accepting
slight formatting differences, or even deciding to use LO also (the
ideal result).

To conclude, it does not seem a good long-term idea to be constantly
seeking high (if not perfect) compatibility with the constantly moving
targets that are m$ formats. The priority for LO should be to ignore
self-inflicted problems such as "I saved a document is m$ format x and
something has disappeared" and focus upon "when using writer to create
a new odt file, a table alignment error occurs".

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