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Novell Employee Backs Microsoft in OOXML Clash with Europe

Posted in Europe, Formats, Mono, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Standard at 11:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Miguel de Icaza, with a history or taking Microsoft’s side, states: “The EU Prosecutors are Wrong“. This comes amid serious criticism which is taregetted at Microsoft’s attempt to thwart OpenDocument and spread a “monopoly enabler” instead. For context, here are some recent articles:

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  1. shane said,

    January 31, 2007 at 12:05 pm


    Funny, but I expect this to be a common theme with Novell, defending their parent company, a big part of this deal is Novell legitimizing Microsoft’s claims that their interoperability protocols are worthy of royalty-based licensing fees, and the fact that Novell (usually a plaintiff in MS anti-trust suits) is defending Microsoft’s position is hillarious.

  2. Alex said,

    January 31, 2007 at 3:33 pm


    Not only Miguel de Icaza backs OOXML … it also backs XAML … a new technology that’s basically ActiveX Reloaded, and that will bring us back to the dark days when websites where designed for Internet Explorer only.

    His whole post is basically a big and ignorant apology for Microsoft’s actions.
    If I ever had any doubt about Miguel being a Microsoft shill, now I am convinced.

    I am deeply disappointed … Miguel proved he is a wonderful developer, hence he is very respected in the open-source community.

  3. Miguel de Icaza said,

    January 31, 2007 at 4:36 pm



    First of all, I wrote my blog entry on my personal web site, and not on Novell’s site. My blog entry represents my personal opinion as stated in each one of my blog entries.

    Back when I started Gnumeric in 1998, one of our goals was to be compatible with mainstream users of Excel so I have gone down a path of actually implementing something that people were to use, I did not merely wave my hands around.

    My opinion on Microsoft can not be represented by a boolean value (hate/love). There are things that I like about Microsoft and things I do not like, like everyone else. I avoid taking fundamentalist positions on any issues because am a humanist, a man of the illustration, a liberal, a follower of Voltaire.

    As for XAML, you can read my criticism of Avalon and XAML on my blog, I have written quite a bit about it and warned about the potential danger that it posed as early as 2003.

    Back in 2003 we had a chance to create an alternative, way before it shipped. Today it is too late. Nobody created a viable alternative to Avalon/XAML and any serious effort will take a couple of years to be launched at this point.

    In 2003 we could have created something new, today XAML has real chances of becoming wildly adopted, and we will have no other choice but to implement it (if we want to interop in a Microsoft dominated world).


  4. alex said,

    January 31, 2007 at 5:20 pm


    Miguel … all I see is that people started to care about standards, and interoperability is suddenly a requirement for all businesses.

    Microsoft released OOXML in a defensive move to crush ODF.
    And that’s all I need to know about it.

    Considering Microsoft’s history … this is not the first or the last time Microsoft is looking to crush a standard.

    That is why personally … I do not care about technical details.
    All I care about is that Microsoft does not want interoperability.
    And that is why the Prosecutors are Right.

  5. shane said,

    February 1, 2007 at 12:47 am


    Hi Miguel,

    Thank you for dropping by, but your personal views and outlook are indeed relevant to the direction that Novell has undertaken, in fact – according to Stafford Masie, Novell specifically acquired Ximian in order to have yourself and Nat Friedman help guide them into the Open Source realm:

    Y’know why we bought Ximian? Does anyone know why we bought Ximian? Because they had cool software? No. We didn’t buy Ximian because of their Red Carpet software, we didn’t buy Ximian because of… the collaboration technologies that they had, we didn’t buy them for the desktop technologies that they had, we bought Ximian for one reason: we wanted people that were community heads, people that understood this community organically, that was extremely well respected, people like Nat Friedman and Miguel De Icaza, we wanted them within Novell.

    Why? We needed people that understood, participated in this community, to help and assist our strategy moving forward, because we realized that if we had just bought a Linux distribution, we’d do some silly things and we’d mess up, so we needed people to really give us guidance.

    And, when they came into the company, that is their major role, yes they are brilliant technologists, yes they definitely know how this thing stitches together, but the key reason they are there is to ensure that a proprietary, traditional proprietary vendor like Novell, participates properly in this community that we interact properly with this community, and thats the objective.

    So thats why we bought Ximian, with Ximian came alot of these open source community stalwarts, people that were well respected, people on the Linus Torvalds level, and y’know what attracted us to Ximian, whenever they spoke at LinuxWorld in the United States, I remember seeing them, when Nat and Miguel got on stage- everybody went to their presentations. Everyone. Y’know even the Linux… the vendors that had stands at the event would leave their stands and watch Miguel and Nat, and they are amazing individuals and we wanted those type of individuals.

  6. shane said,

    February 1, 2007 at 1:52 am


    Rob Weir responds to Miguel

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