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Doug's Mailbag: In Defense of .DOCX, More

You may have heard that Microsoft got into some legal trouble recently because of the XML-based file format in Word. Tony writes in defense of .DOCX and of Office 2007 in general:

It is not like MS (or everybody else) hasn't tweaked file formats in the past! It's called advancing the technology, and if it didn't happen, we might as well be running Word version 2 in a runtime version of Windows 2 (yes, I do have lots of gray hair). The file size improvements are good, but the truly cool improvements will show themselves over the next few years -- Office docs getting easier to integrate into other packages, far more intelligent drag-and-drops, that sort of thing.

It's about time Microsoft tried something new -- hence the ribbon. I think Office 2007 is innovative, and MS usually gets bagged for not being that.

More readers share their thoughts on Microsoft's idea to make the Internet less anonymous to make identifying cyber criminals easier:

It has always been my feeling that if you aren't doing anything wrong, then you don't need to worry about being anonymous. Yes, I am concerned about losing certain rights of privacy, but if it is truly for the greater good, then so be it.

I go with the "Locks are to keep honest people honest" school of thought. We all know that unless someone goes out of their way to hide MAC or IPs, being totally anonymous on the Internet is already impossible. You can use aliases all you want and still be found.

Nevertheless, I put the issue of children having access to the Internet and its content on the parents, not the government. The more we let government intrude into our lives, the less we can control them. Every time the government gets involed "fixing" something, it gets broken worse.

Meanwhile, one reader takes issue with Doug's description of the more ardent free speech advocates:

I never thought I'd see the words "free speech" followed by the word "nuts," but then it takes all kinds, I guess. Luckily, you're free to say something that stupid.

Tell us what you think! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to

Posted by Doug Barney on 08/26/2009 at 1:17 PM


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