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Buying Support and Buying ISO Standards in Order to Hijack the Industry

Posted in ECMA, ISO, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Standard at 11:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Alarming headlines for alarming developments: an attempt to hijack the age of connected computing while shrewdly using rivals to exclude rivals.

In case you thought that OOXML is the principal and last concern to emerge from Microsoft’s Linux deals, be aware that there is more to come. This is not exactly news, but it is worth reiterating and bringing to people’s attention.

Having standards accepted and approved is no easy task. By ‘buying’ the opposition, Microsoft is essentially able to have its technology implemented by ‘the ‘other side’. It is a case of acquiring credibility, based not on technical merits. Novell has already built Silverlight compatibility — however loose it might be — using the controversial Mono. How long will it be before Novell also supports Microsoft’s attempt to replace PDF with a format that Microsoft controls? Never mind Flash, never mind ODF.

Be aware of that fact that Novell’s work on an ‘ODF killer’ and a ‘Flash killer’ is only the beginning. It won’t be long before Novell will further assist Microsoft’s secret plan to hijack the World Wide Web, as well.

An industry coalition that has represented competitors of Microsoft in European markets before the European Commission stepped up its public relations offensive this morning, this time accusing Microsoft of scheming to upset HTML’s place in the fabric of the Internet with XAML, an XML-based layout lexicon for network applications.

Microsoft remains quiet about its long-term plans. It does this for a reason. No company should ever enter a deal that puts the EU’s case against Microsoft in jeopardy, promotes a desktop monopoly (XPS, XAML, OOXML, etc), leads to unsubstantiated claims, and fuels unfounded fear. Microsoft has a pipeline of patented technology on the ‘production line’ for ISO approval. Whether it is more dangerous than fear which Microsoft has spread might be a separate debate altogether.

India to Weigh in on Real Standards and ‘Monopoly Enablers’

Posted in America, Asia, Europe, Formats, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Standard at 8:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft’s Linux deals bought it some pseudo support. It gives the impression that the industry accepts OOXML. It is, however, nothing but a case of buying support.

India, the free market needs your help. As the following blog indicates, you can make a real difference. There is momentum, too.

There are Updates from Massachusetts, South Africa, Japan, Portugal, Spain etc. It Failed to get approval even in USA. South Africa TC Rejects OOXML 13 to 4

So Say No To Microsoft Office Broken Format OOXML .

This new article talks about Microsoft’s attempts to buy itself a standard. Standard should be earned, not bought. It is not a matter of pressure, either.

There are two upcoming votes on the fate of Microsoft’s Office Open XML, a document format that has brought about bare-knuckle business tactics and fierce philosophical disputes.


Meanwhile, Microsoft rivals are accusing the company of bullying its way through a standards process.

“The fundamental question is whether a large company with a lot of money and business partners will essentially be able to stack committees so that they are out of balance and therefore buy an ISO standard. I, for one, do not think this is appropriate. I doubt ISO does either,” Bob Sutor, IBM’s vice president of open source and standards, wrote earlier this month in his personal blog.

Let us ensure that the industry does not get locked down to formats which only Microsoft is permitted to implement. If you are aware of wrongdoing, please share. Do not let manipulation get out of sight. The Europe Commisions is already prepared to investigate this. We just need to gather evidence.

Fuelled by Linspire’s Support, Microsoft Wants Your Money

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 7:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Have a look at this new article about Linspire.

Microsoft has said it expects to increase its revenues by selling patent protection agreements to an ever larger number of open source users.

For statements like this, we have Linspire (and the likes of it) to thank. Here is a nice picture of boxed “Microsoft Linspire”. Remember what Microsoft strives to achieve and how it can be trivially prevented. Apathy might not be sufficient.

Microsoft OOXML Manipulation Reaches Spain, Leads to Vocal Complaints (Updated)

Posted in Deception, Europe, Formats, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Standard at 5:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

If you wish to follow Microsoft’s path of destruction (or “cheating”) then head over to Groklaw which has the latest:

It seems there may have been more games played by Microsoft in the OOXML saga, or at the very least some confusion spread, and this time our story comes from Spain, where the government of Andalusia has now sent an official letter of protest [PDF, Spanish] to the president of the technical committee deciding whether or not to accept OOXML as an ISO standard, denouncing what it called an attempt by Microsoft to manipulate the process by selectively quoting from a letter from the Andalusian government back in January as if it were an endorsement of OOXML as an ISO standard today. That January letter, Andalusia says, was not intended to indicate that it felt there should be an acceptance of OOXML by the technical committee.

It has become hard to keep track of all these cases where Microsoft stuffs the ballots, buys votes, deceives people, hires men in suits who threaten politicians, gets people fired for supporting open standards…

Luckily, we have it all documented. Somewhere.

Update: Marbux and Gary have just published a key article. You might not like the sound of it.

Microsoft Corporation Accused of ‘Patent Terrorism’

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents, SUN at 5:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

from the accusations dept.

No, this is not exactly a joke. In fact, the statement comes from a prominent individual who has no Linux association or affiliation.

The efforts of Microsoft to pressure the Linux community over alleged and unspecified patents is akin to “patent terrorism”, according to a local executive for Sun Microsystems.

This is truly a powerful statement (read the entire paragraph, which is transcribed in the article). There are two things that are worth adding here:

  1. We previously suspected that Microsoft wanted Sun to ‘pull and SCO’ against GNU/Linux.
  2. Jonathan Schwartz, the CEO of Sun Microsystems, offered his arsenal of patents, which could be a portfolio that defends Linux (if needed). Let’s not forget about OIN.

More trouble in the out-of-hand USPTO add to the patent storm.

Nick writes “Looks like a group of patent lawyers and inventors are suing the US Secretary of Commerce to block the appointment of an “unqualified” person to the spot of Deputy Director of the USPTO, claiming its an abuse of the Secretary’s discretion. There are two ways to look at this: either it’s a noble attempt to ensure the right people are in place to oversee the patent and trademark office…

A complete overhaul and beginning from scratch come to mind.

Marten Mickos: Nothing Can Stop the Open Source Movement Anymore

Posted in Database, Free/Libre Software, FSF, FUD, GNU/Linux, GPL, Interview, Microsoft at 12:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

MySQL represents a group of Free Open Source projects which thrive in a truly support-based business model. Their IPO is apparently approaching.

Investor says maker of crucial Web 2.0 component has reached the stage when the world expects it to list.

The more interesting article, however, involves the CEO of MySQL. He was more vocal than most when Microsoft made its unsubstantiated IP claims. Not only has his company endorsed GPLv3 (not an embrace yet), but he also warned Microsoft. He continues to defend this courageous stance and with an apathetic tone he adds:

“Microsoft can use [its] money in other ways to threaten free and open-source software, and I’m sure that they have,” Mickos said. “But I think we will see less of that in the future because they’ve done it and it hasn’t helped them.” Many Microsoft customers use open-source products and find it challenging when the company makes it harder to integrate Microsoft products and open-source software, he said.

“I’m not too worried,” Mickos said. “This open source movement is so strong that nothing can stop it anymore.”

Microsoft’s FUD has almost been muted recently, but maybe it’s the effect of summertime when people go on vacation. Microsoft did not skip the opportunity to betray two Linux companies. The GNU GPL is an important factor here. It changes the rules. Not only does it get endorsed, but it gets embraced as well. Latest addition: the GNU Compiler Collection.

Version 4.2.1 of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) has been released. “GCC 4.2.1 will be the last release of GCC covered by version 2 of the GNU General Public License. All future releases will be released under GPL version 3,” it says in the announcement. The recently published GPLv3 is not compatible with GPLv2.

Here is another company that has just chosen the GPL. It seems as though companies flock in this direction every day.

ITema, Inc. today released Blackbird, its PHP enterprise service bus (ESB), to the Open Source community under the GNU General Public License (GPL).

Even publications that are rarely favourable to Open Source seem to be receptive when it comes to the new licence.

The latest version of the General Public License, released last month by the Free Software Foundation (FSF), has something to please or displease just about everyone. But agencies and their contractors should be happy with an exception carved out for them that will make it easier to keep sensitive federal software code under wraps.

Here is what the FSF had to say in a new short interview.

“Overall reaction has been very positive — except from Microsoft. Everyone has had pretty good things to say about it,” FSF’s Smith noted. “For example, lawyers who work with free software issues, executives at some of the larger companies that work with free software in various capacities, like IBM and Red Hat, have all said very positive things about GPLv3, so that’s very encouraging.”

It appears as though there’s a phase of acceptance now. Companies learn to live with the new licence, Microsoft runs away from it, and the future seems software patent-proof.

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