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07.31.07

Here Comes the OOXML of Your Photos and Personal Images

Posted in Formats, Interoperability, Linspire, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard, Xandros at 11:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Remember last week’s discussion about a stack of so-called ‘standards’ from Microsoft, which are geared towards total hijack of personal data, media, and the Web? A new article reminds us of another piece of the puzzle — Microsoft’s HD.

In trying to drive the technology further into the market, Microsoft has developed a plug-in that adds HD Photo support to Adobe’s popular Photoshop editing program.

Wait until this so-called format gets ‘extended’, preferably (in Microsoft’s favour) with Windows-only augmentations. That’s just what one finds in OOXML. Remember encryption/Tivoization of Office 2007 files in Vista? It probably won’t take long before HD gets Windows-only ‘extensions’ such as DRM. Isn’t that a feature? Just like WMV, it’s unlikely to be cross platform.

Quoted above is the part showing that Microsoft’s support for its ‘standards’ does not comes from industry. Microsoft just ‘lends’ its support. There is a pattern here. It has already bought some support before, remember? Remind yourselves of OOXML’s artificial (paid-for) acceptance. Novell, Turbolinux, Corel, Linspire, Xandros, and maybe even Sun receive OOXML encouragements. Standards are being bought, not earned. JPEG 2000 was fine, but Microsoft just needed to ‘innovate’ its own format — one that it can control, extend, and even use to discriminate against rival software (including operating systems). We are not entirely sure if HD is also associated with patents (i.e. costs).

The Halloween Memos explain this strategy. Microsoft knows very well what it is trying to achieve here (and why).

Q: The first [Microsoft] document talked about extending standard protocols as a way to “deny OSS projects entry into the market.” What does this mean?

A: To better serve customers, Microsoft needs to innovate above standard protocols. By innovating above the base protocol, we are able to deliver advanced functionality to users.

DRM is Not a GNU GPLv3 Achilles Heel, But Might Interoperability Be?

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux, GPL, Hardware, Microsoft, Novell, Tivoization at 10:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Discussions about Tivoization have left plenty of room for disinformation. Some still believe that GPLv3 forbids DRM. While DRM is a very nasty, dangerous, and anti-consumer use of encryption, it is not forbidden by the new licence. Ed Burnette wrote a lengthy item to dispel this myth.

In our continuing series on the latest version of the world’s most popular (and least understood) free/open source license, today we look at a controversial subject: Digital Rights Management (DRM). My colleague David Berlind has another name for DRM: Content, Restriction, Annulment, and Protection (CRAP).

Elsewhere on the Web, someone decided to share malicious ideas that could ‘poison’ the licence.

Since MS seems to really dislike GPL v3, they could solve a lot of their problems with a simple move: Release all the code necessary to get interoperability under Linux working. Under GPL v2 only.

This is similar to an idea which we already said would never work. The partnerships with Linux companies (other than Novell) were — among many things — used to pressure the FSF and discourage use of GPLv3.

Microsoft Brings IP FUD into OSI, Deters Adopters

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, Microsoft, Novell at 10:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft recently revealed its intention to invade the ‘other side’ of the Open Source (Free software) world. We have already explained why the plan is a malicious one. Windows-only and Windows-optimised open source products are just the tip of the iceberg. CRN has more to say about this.

“It has assumed that any direct investment or interaction with OSS (open source software) would send a false signal to the industry regard its long-term business strategies, (which is) a heavy focus on intellectual property investment and control,” Driver said.

According to another new article, Microsoft is simply trying to hit a gentle spot which has some negative effects on Free software adoption. As argued before, these ‘friendships’ with Linux vendors and OSI are Trojan horses which at the end of the day terrorise the customer.

“The potential for copyright and patent infringement is the No. 1 inhibitor right now for organizations in adopting more open source software in their organization,” Lawton said in the afternoon conference call. “Close behind that is the availability of support.”

How does Novell fit into all of this? Well, according to this new item, Novell just keeps filing patents. Novell might actually be part of the problem (and not just passively).

Microsoft Continues to Cheat in the ISO

Posted in Europe, Formats, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML, Standard at 10:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

To bring you up to date, here are some of the latest stories which appear elsewhere.

Yesterday we mentioned flipping of votes which apparently relied on subtle manipulation.

I’ve heard several reports of supporters of OOXML trying to get national standards bodies to change their votes from “NO with comments” to “YES with comments” because “it’s the same thing.” The logic, which I’ll explain in a later post, is that any comments will trigger a ballot resolution meeting, so there is no need to be so negative and vote NO.

Some hour ago, a translation from a Groklaw reader showed up. It brought some news from Portugal.

Portugal: Votes Yes with Comments on OOXML

Commitee presided over by Microsoft decides in it’s favor 13-7:

It’s with much disgust that I see that after an initial membership controlled by Microsoft of 7 to 1, it was only possible to add the participation of 12 more entities, 6 in favor of open standards, and 6 in favor of Microsoft.

If from the the first meeting it was clear that there was a favorable support for Microsoft of 7 to 1, the voting just an hour ago of YES WITH COMMENTS is sadly revealing.

This is not the first time that we observe ‘funny’ OOXML maneuvers in Portugal. We covered this in the past on numerous occasions.

Bob Sutor says that regardless of the outcome, OOXML will not become an ISO/IEC standard this year and therefore no-one should consider it as part of a strategy in the enterprise.

Even though the JTC1 ballot closes on September 2 on Microsoft’s product description for Microsoft Office, namely OOXML or DIS 29500, this will not become an ISO/IEC standard in 2007.

Microsoft continues its “Open Source” charade, which probably fools quite a few people. There is also an invitation for questions.

Here’s an event you might like to know about. 4Linux in Brazil has a live podcast show and the next theme is “Microsoft, Open source e Interoperabilidade com OpenXML”. I bet you can figure it out even if, like me, you don’t know Portuguese. Yes, a show about Microsoft, Open Source and “interoperability” with OpenXML.

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