Gates + Windows = Interoperability?

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Thread Title:
Building Software That Is Interoperable By Design
Thread Description:

Bill Gates has issued a letter to Microsoft customers that outlines an intention to design it's software with interoperability in mind, primarily in the form of XML

Simply put, interoperability is a proven approach for dealing with the diversity and heterogeneity of the marketplace. Today I want to focus on two major thrusts of Microsoft’s product interoperability strategy: First, we continue to support customers’ needs for software that works well with what they have today. Second, we are working with the industry to define a new generation of software and Web services based on eXtensible Markup Language (XML), which enables software to efficiently share information and opens the door to a greater degree of "interoperability by design" across many different kinds of software. Our goal is to harness all the power inherent in modern (and not so modern) business software, and enable them to work together so that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. We want to further eliminate friction among heterogeneous architectures and applications without compromising their distinctive underlying capabilities.

and from beta news

"I think Microsoft is premature trumpeting the open-format messaging. And to be clear, by any definition typically applied to file formats, Office isn't open," Jupiter Research senior analyst Joe Wilcox told BetaNews.

But Gates made clear in his letter that interoperability does not equate to open source. He said that interoperability is about how different software systems work together, regardless of licensing and development. Gates claimed that open source could actually have a detrimental effect on making software interoperable.

The comments in the Beta news piece are not kind - much talk of FUD heh...