EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

07.13.07

Japan Chooses Openness, FSF Challenges OOXML, and South Africa to Decide on Document Formats (Corrected+Updated)

Posted in Africa, Asia, DRM, Europe, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Petitions, Turbolinux at 12:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We have recently lost focus of the Linux deals and found ourselves discussing some of their more worrisome impacts of these deals. Document format debates occupied a large number of the recent posts because they are very important. Microsoft strives to keep its cash cow alive by controlling the standard. it wants the Golden Wand. Recently it recruited a 4th Linux company to help it achieve this. Whether money exchanged hands or not (again?), we probably will never know.

The good news is that Japan has just expressed its support for a truly open document format. From the announcement:

The OpenDocument Format Alliance (ODF Alliance), the leading organization advocating for openness and accessibility to government documents and information, today congratulated Japan for adopting a policy under which government ministries and agencies will solicit bids from software vendors whose products support internationally recognized open standards.

Previously, government agencies could ask bidders to submit bids based on whether their products offered functions comparable to particular software suites. With the new interoperability framework, which takes effect immediately, the government will give preference to procuring products that adhere to open standards, and which interoperate easily with other software.

The situation in the United States is not quite the same. However, You can still make a difference in Massachusetts. As you may recall, because we mentioned this the other day, South Africa is currently looking at the appropriateness of Microsoft’s OpenXML. You can help them decide. Just remember to be polite. You can use or re-use some strong and valid arguments.

As Bailey emphasised, the issue at stake is not one of fighting against Microsoft, but rather fighting for the rights of the user to be able to access documents without them becoming obsolete.

Among those attendees were some other members of the committee and something of a strategy meeting developed, with ideas being shared as to how best to obtain community input.

What emerged was that bombarding the SABS with petitions would not benefit the cause and would merely further irritate those involved.

As we recently pointed out, Microsoft has strong relationships in the United Kingdom and it is using them for lobbying. Fortunately, the bias of the BBC did not escape the attention (or wrath) of the FSF, which has just published a good rebuttal.

After Microsoft announced it would work with the UK National Archives to help open old digital document formats, Georg Greve and Joachim Jakobs, of the Free Software Foundation Europe, question the US giant’s motives.

[...]

What happened: Microsoft asked the UK National Archives to invest in a solution that would grant access to their legacy data.

This whole scenario emerged when the BBC and National Archives published what appeared like Microsoft promotion. I called it a “publicity stunt” at the time. It seems to promoted Microsoft’s OOXML lockin under disguise. I later addressed and delivered some criticisms and evidence to back my stance.

Not all hope is lost. There are some encouraging developments at the BBC. Yesterday the Register published an item which indicates that the BBC no longer ignores us. It is willing to explains its decision to enforce the regime of Microsoft DRM and negotiate ways to proceed.

The BBC Trust has asked to meet open source advocates to discuss their complaints over the corporation’s Windows-only on demand broadband TV service, iPlayer.

[...]

Before the trust got in touch on Wednesday, OSC CEO Rick Timmis said: “Everything we’ve done in the trust’s direction has fallen on deaf ears. They’ve completely ignored us.”

Correction: previously, the title stated “Japan Chooses OpenDocument Format, FSF Challenges OOXML, and South Africa to Decide on Document Format”, but the situation in Japan isn’t so, yet. The title was thus corrected.

Update: I have just spotted something which looks rather ugly. It’s not truly a surprise because intent was announced some months ago.

On the face of it, Microsoft will have some ‘OOXML traps’ (or hooks) preinstalled on some consumer PCs. Think of it as a teaser, or what Microsoft called “craplets”. It puts Microsoft in a position of advantage that capitalises on an OEM chokehold (defended through retaliation tactics). Here is the gist:

Microsoft is shipping limited-use copies of Office 2007 with PCs in a try-before-you-buy scheme to seed the market with its latest suite and drive Windows server and client software sales.

Now, two observations are worth making here. Firstly, the trial version of Microsoft Office does not enable the user to save files in formats other than OOXML. Other options (save as/export) are greyed out. This essentially holds the user’s data hostage. The user data is captured in the universe of OOXML format. The second observation to make is that one of the most popular requests in Dell’s IdeaStorm is preinstallation of OpenOffice.org. Dell has so far refused to respond to this demand.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

2 Comments

  1. gpl1 said,

    July 13, 2007 at 1:36 pm

    Gravatar

    “The second observation to make is that one of the most popular requests in Dell’s IdeaStorm is preinstallation of OpenOffice.org. Dell has so far refused to respond to this demand.”

    I think that Microsoft forces them to consider this a bundle (they can’t sell Windows without offering Office)…there is a good email on this in the Comes exhibits. It was about one of the OEMs (Gateway, HP or IBM) talking about the actual prices for Windows and Office that they pay, and the Microsoft perspective on that it was a license or contract violation to discuss that.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 13, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    Gravatar

    It used the be the same case (more or less) with Internet Explorer.

    http://edge-op.org/iowa/www.iowaconsumercase.org/011607/2000/PX02346.pdf

    “3. INTERNET EXPLORER: Unless specifically requested to the contrary by the end user of the Customer System and provided proper translation is available, COMPANY will ship MS Internet Explorer 2.0, and the most current subsequent higher version Product Releases and Version Releases thereof, preinstalled on all new Customer Systems…”

What Else is New


  1. White House Intervention Harms Android and Every Software Developer on the Planet

    US Solicitor General Donald Verrilli urges the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) to let APIs be covered by copyrights, rendering almost every program a potential copyright violation



  2. Microsoft Lobbying in India Shoots Down or At Least Weakens Free/Libre Software Policy

    Microsoft's covert efforts (lobbying with the help of public partners like NASSCOM) to eliminate an India-leaning software policy in India is finally paying off



  3. Propaganda Mode for UPC Agreement Whilst EPO Increasingly Grants Patents on Software

    In order to make the Unitary Patent a reality (towards a 'no place to hide' patent approach) misleading claims are being made



  4. Patents Are Not Source Code

    Ford is once again misleading regarding Open Source, mischievously associating a patent pledge with Open Source



  5. Links 29/5/2015: ALT Linux 7.0.5, Google I/O 2015

    Links for the day



  6. Links 28/5/2015: SourceForge Hijack, RIP Marco Pesenti Gritti

    Links for the day



  7. Censorship on Reddit Has Gotten (Condé) Nasty and Silent, Even Actively Silenced

    Condé Nast has turned Reddit into a platform of censorship after the acquisition



  8. The Supreme Court of the United States Helps Patent Trolls

    In an unforeseen kind of ruling, the same court which slapped down a lot of software patents last year is now legitimising the actions of a patent troll



  9. Patent Lawyers Fight Hard for the Future of Software Patents

    Media that is dominated by patent lawyers and targets an audience of patent lawyers refuses to accept the post-Alice reality



  10. Fortune Glorifies Patent Troll Jay Walker (Patent Utility)

    Jay Walker, a patent troll, creates a Web-based trolling/'licensing' service and the corporate media helps him



  11. Stealing Android's Thunder, Making It All About Apple and Microsoft During Google I/O

    Misleading articles and conjoined media/analyst attacks on Android coincide with Google's event where major Android announcements are being made



  12. British Government May be a Step Closer to GNU/Linux (on the Desktops, Not Just Servers)

    The British government stops paying the criminal company that blackmails its members, thereby increasing the possibility of complete escape from proprietary software



  13. Microsoft's Patent Allies LG and Sony Agree to Put Microsoft Inside Android

    LG and Sony (of Rockstar Consortium) follow Samsung and Dell in Microsoft's campaign to turn Android into 'Microsoft Android' using patents-induced pressure/leverage



  14. Yet Another Major Security Deficiency in UEFI

    UEFI is inherently insecure, more so than the alternatives which it strives to replace, including Free/libre ones



  15. Links 27/5/2015: Fedora 22 is Out, Mandriva Liquidated

    Links for the day



  16. Patent Scope at the EPO is Totally Out of Control, UPC Will Make Things Worse

    A look at the practical issues with the EPO, where patent scope and litigation scope have been vastly extended so as to benefit multinational corporations and possibly patent trolls



  17. Links 26/5/2015: Reviews of Kubuntu 15.04, Linux 4.1 RC5

    Links for the day



  18. Süddeutsche Zeitung Says Talking Helps While EPO Management Back-stabs Other Side of the Table

    German media gives the impression that there is peace and harmony now that Benoît Battistelli and his circle of power speaks to staff, but nothing is said about simultaneous (albeit covert) attacks against that staff



  19. Large Corporations Call the Shots in US Patent Reform

    A reminder of where we stand on the issue of patent 'reform' in the US and who is controlling or shaping it



  20. Microsoft Puts Proprietary Windows and Hyper-V Inside the Free Software-Centric OpenStack

    OpenStack, which celebrates rapid growth in this month's event in Canada, is facing a proprietarisation threat from Microsoft



  21. Microsoft's Secret Lobbying, Bullying, and the Long History of Blackmailing Politicians Around the World

    British media covers Microsoft's abuse in the UK, but there are many similar incidents, and not just in the UK



  22. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Benoît Battistelli and Four EPO Suicides

    German press article from April 2015 (with translations)



  23. Links 24/5/2015: CrossOver 14.1.3, NTFS-3G Vulnerability

    Links for the day



  24. Links 23/5/2015: Fedora 22 to May 26th, Netflix in SteamOS

    Links for the day



  25. The Patents Production 'Industry' (Patent Lawyers) Still Fights Hard to Salvage Software Patents

    A review of recent writings about software patents and patents on business methods in the United States, demonstrating that patent lawyers have gotten very vocal and sneaky (trying to evade the rules)



  26. Patents as a Marketing Strategy: USPTO Now Part of the Advertising Industry

    The existence of publicity patents, or patents whose sole purpose is to advertise some products, serves to discredit the US patent office, which was originally set up to promote science and technology



  27. Microsoft Blackmails and Extorts British Politicians Over Open Standards and Free Software-Leaning Policies

    Microsoft's digital imperialism in the UK getting defended using blackmail, reminding a lot of Brits that Microsoft is just as evil as ever before



  28. Microsoft Gives Another Bug a Name, This Time Logjam™

    The Microsoft crowd is good only at marketing, even when it comes to small bugs in software



  29. Links 22/5/2015: Fedora 22 Final Release is Near, Canonical IPO Considered

    Links for the day



  30. More Utter Shame Unveiled at Battistelli's EPO: Intimidation Tactics With Help From 'Control Risks'

    The unaccountable thugs who run the EPO have hired London-based spooks to help silence their opposition and their critics


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts