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07.02.07

Microsoft’s War Against Real (Impartial) Standards (Updated)

Posted in ECMA, Formats, Linspire, Microsoft, Novell, Standard, Xandros, XPS at 10:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We continue to see Microsoft fighting against any standard which is not controlled solely by Microsoft. The latest target, as we’ve recently said, is Adobe’s PDF. The company seems to have adopted a clear strategy for combating rival standards. The latest news comes through Bob Sutor, who will soon be taking his summer break. He talks about Microsoft’s path of destruction in the static document/media arena and he warns that non-Windows users can be ‘punished’ as a consequence.

This is a pessimistic view, of course, but I would love to be proven wrong. That [a proper standard] means a fully transparent process where all minutes and group emails are public. This means a full and open plan for the active maintenance of the standard. This means a full description of how the intellectual property will be be handled for everything necessary to implement the specification. This means a complete implementation for every platform, including Linux and the Mac.

That is, the opposite of OOXML.

Discussion of this topic goes further and further, but you should not be surprised if Novell, Xandros, and Lispire decided to support and implement XPS, then embedding and supporting it in their variants of Linux (which are supposedly ‘protected’). They are not obliged to doing this based on their contract (deal), but be aware that Novell, for example, is too financially dependent on Microsoft. As such, it will do anything to please it and everything to avoid upsetting the convicted monopoly abuser.

Be aware of the issues we are facing. For the time being, all we can do is help carry the message that OOXML is simply not wanted. Raise awareness and speak out, but at the same time be aware that money often supersedes the voice of thousands. We have seen this many times before.

Update: Here is a collection of press reactions to the latest ECMA-XPS developments and here is a depressing one from Groklaw:

They [ECMA] are asking for comments, because they have to, I guess, but I doubt they care what you tell them.

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A Single Comment

  1. Zaine Ridling said,

    July 3, 2007 at 9:47 am

    Gravatar

    Man, you’re right about the money part. And I’m stunned by the sheer amount of politics and lobbying Microsoft is doing in order to get MS-OOXML adopted. It’s really too bad because anyone or any business that gets stuck with MS-OOXML documents will be stuck with them. I don’t think Microsoft is committed to MS-OOXML long-term, and you won’t see other software suites and word processors adopt it as a native file format — it’s just too monstrous. I dealt with some of these issues when I reviewed Word 2007 over at DonationCoder.com:

    http://www.donationcoder.com/Reviews/Archive/WordProcs/

    Meanwhile, I’ll stick with ODF and enjoy its growing implementation, and I’ll continue to evangelize it to everyone I meet.

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