In May 2007, IBM’s Rob Weir made a point of how few of Microsoft’s Office Open XML documents were available on the Internet. Here are his figures from back then:
Total ODF 149,300
Total OOXML 603
The ODF formats are those used by Open Office, Star Office, and Lotus Symphony. Now that Office 2007 has been out for a while, I thought it would be interesting to repeat his test, using the same methodology (as I understand it), a Google filetype search. I added the macro variants to the list as this seems fair, though they don’t affect the total much:
Total ODF 124,700
Total OOXML 137,178
Let me say at once, I’m not sure this is significant. For one thing, I’m suspicious of Google’s arithmetic (in all search totals, not just these). For another, I reckon it is a mistake to put either format on the public Web: PDF, RTF, or even Microsoft’s thoroughly well-supported binary formats are more fit for purpose.
Even so, it is quite a turnaround. What is particularly odd is that the ODF figures appear to have declined. Again, it could just be that Google changed its way of estimating the totals.
Incidentally, I doubt that this has anything to do with ISO standardization, especially considering that the current OOXML implementation in Office 2007 does not conform. It has everything to do with the popularity of Microsoft Office and its default settings for saving documents.