07.18.07

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European Commission Might Finally Intervene and Investigate Abuse

Posted in ECMA, Europe, Formats, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Standard at 8:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We have witnessed a lot of wrongdoing in recent days. Committees do not appear to have done their job properly, but the good news is that outside intervention might be on its way.

Microsoft Corp., the world’s largest software maker, is facing deeper scrutiny from European regulators on whether it is abusing its dominance in word processing and spreadsheets, three people with direct knowledge of the case said.

Only yesterday, calls were made to support open standards in Europe. For those who have not followed the recent events, ComputerWorld has a digest. Bob Sutor wrote about the recent developments as well, with emphasis on Europe.

Remember the stories from Portugal? Well, a lot more information is finally available. Groklaw has just posted large lumps of text and questioned the voting process.

Is this how standards are normally approved? If so, can we fix it? If Ecma-376 gets “approved” by shoving it through and not allowing interested parties to speak or vote, that just isn’t an open standard to me. Is it to you? Yoo hoo, Massachusetts. Are you watching?

Andy Updegrove weighed in with a provocative title on an “OOXML End Game”.

The progress of a technical specification from development to adoption has a certain, often-lamented glacial quality to it, due to the consensus process involved. But while that process may be slow, it is not inexorable, and that which starts does not always finish.

In other related news, here is a story about a city government which is being migrated to OpenOffice.org.

Dave Richards is an IT administrator for a city government. The city has been using OpenOffice.org for about six years. Dave’s a Linux guru, and helps run an elegant, efficient Linux network with a nice big server and lots of fairly old dumb terminals running OpenOffice.org at a very acceptable speed.

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