I’ve talked about open document formats before. I don’t think I articulated my argument quite as well as Steven Garrity does in this article. It’s an interesting article, as are its predecessors on open formats for music and instant messaging.
I particularly liked this sentence, which I think sums up much of the argument in a couple of sentences:
If your mom buys a computer, writes you a letter, and emails it to you in the Microsoft Word format, you have to pay Microsoft to read the letter.
That describes my problem in a nutshell — why should I be forced to spend (a large amount of) money just to read a document sent to me?