OK, may be a bit too melodramatic. The correct phrase is ‘OOXML Strict standard is _irrelevant_’. However, frankly, I do not see the difference.
Why is it irrelevent? Full support, i.e., read/write is not going to be with us anytime soon. This is confirmed by Dough Mahugh, in response to Alex Brown’s criticism. TheRegister’s report put Microsoft’s Office release as every three years, and since we have yet to see Office 2010, this means the earliest we see full is 2014. That is after giving Microsoft the benefit of delivering Office 15 ahead of schedule. [The code name 15 suggests to me the intented release year might be 2015].
At that time, OOXML strict standard, as enshrined in the 2008 standard, is for all intent and purposes, irrelevant. Movement in document formats will make it obsolete by then and thus, nobody will want to work with that standard any more. It is very possible, in a couple of years, we start seeing videos routinely being embedded in digital documents. Me, for example, had been joking with PhD students that since they now create the thesis using a computer, they should think about embedding videos describing what they had done, instead of spending countless paragraphs describing what happened.
I know a standard is in trouble when McHugh tried to pull in irrelevant stuff in the response. For example, he claims to give us a peek into Microsoft’s roadmap for Office. This is an attempt to sweeten us up before giving us the bad news. News flash! Nobody cares what Office’s road map is… and quite a number of people can see through the artificial sweetener that is the bogus ‘privileged’ peek.
As for supporting Strict Format in read-only, that does not cut the mustard. Part of the purpose of having a documented format is to permit bi-directional data exchange. A lot of open source software can read but not write OOXML. I dislike and disagree with this step. Therefore you should not be surprised that I do not think read-only support is good enough for MSOffice either.
I am very unhappy about this outcome. This, however, has nothing to do with my dislike of OOXML. Rather, I see so much wasted effort to create the strict standard which nobody will be using. Not only did ISO wasted time and effort, so do people in Microsoft who worked on separating the conjoined twins what was the rejected draft standard. Worse, it raised false hope for third parties developers of OOXML who are hoping to be able to use the ‘strict’ format to simplify their work.
In summary, it is a disgusting (but not unexpected) outcome.