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

08.07.07

Using OSI Endorsement and Linux Deals to Promote Lock-ins

Posted in Asia, ECMA, Formats, GNOME, GNU/Linux, GPL, IBM, ISO, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 10:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“We’re Novell and OSI pals, so how can’t we be ‘open’?”

Outside the United States, which Microsoft virtually owns, OOXML has a hard time finding acceptance. In spite of all the deception, including dishonest and incomplete press releases, technical panelists are able to interpret the reality. OOXML receives mockery. Here is the latest from China:

We are calling on the government to veto the OOXML format at the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).” The OOXML format is a file specification released by Microsoft in December last year for its Microsoft Office 2007 suite. It is currently in a fast track standardization process with the ISO and will be subject to voting next month. Unlike the current ISO digital document standard ODF (Open Document Format) and China’s national standard UDF (Unified Office Document Format), Microsoft’s OOXML format can only be run on a Windows platform.

It is also criticized for containing many proprietary technologies that can only be fully supported by Microsoft’s Office products.

Knowing how much control Microsoft has in China, heavy lobbying there is only a matter of time. We should keep our eyes open (and Bob might receive some anonymous comments). With so much resistance across the world, Microsoft resorts to changing the theme of the story and painting it all with the brush of “Open Source”.

Sam has explained — essentially by citing yet another OSI/Microsoft analysis — how Microsoft’s involvement in Linux companies and the Open Source community can be used as an illusion that Microsoft has itself become a big fan of openness, transparency, collaboration, and standards. But an illusion is just an illusion. You can put lipstick on a pig, wrap it up with a red dress and then take it out for dinner, but the pig is still a pig, not a girlfriend. Microsoft’s attempt to embrace ‘the other side’ is a destructive and self-serving one. By embracing those who sidle with openness they hope to destroy truly open rivals and promote their lock-ins instead. Watch Silverlight. Behold GNOME/Mono (.NET) entanglements, not just in Novell’s Linux. It will get only worse. In Sam’s own words:

Getting Microsoft software licenses OSI-approved and similarly getting Microsoft’s proprietary document formats approved at ISO are like painting an old Chevrolet.

[...]

This may be enough to satisfy the enterprise customer that he is achieving something different. Clearly, the substance is no different: it’s a lock-in in sheep’s clothing.

There is more on this serious issue over at Libervis. Microsoft bends the definition and value of “open source” and knowingly forgets all about cross-platform, freedom, and real standards, as opposed loose and expensive “interoperability” or even broken “translators”.

Of course, they are not [Shared Source licenses not open]. Other Shared Source licenses may very well be too restrictive to be considered Open Source. But, Microsoft may conveniently divert the attention from this little detail to the fact that *some* of Shared Source licenses are Open Source.

Remember that the whole thing is a shrewd publicity stunt. It is a shame that OSI board members such as Matt Asay are too blind to see this, let alone react responsibly.

Matt Asay has just blogged and responded to Groklaw’s criticisms. It is understandable that OSI must operate without discrimination (not even when Microsoft is involved). However, as we already know, Microsoft is good at exploiting loopholes and weaknesses in systems which assume that everyone is a gentleman, not an aggressive sociopath.

Microsoft abuses weak systems and it has it has no shame or guilt when doing so. It did this to the GPLv2 when it signed a deal with Novell. It also did this in ECMA, whose system appears to be broken by design (money and egocentric ambitions are its motor).

As Bob reminded us a couple of days ago (and Rob said last week, the context being Massachusetts), a reform is needed to prevent further and future abuse in the ISO.

What I predict we will see will be widespread re-evaluation of national standards body membership and voting rules. I think we’ll witness a normalization of procedures and all have a better idea of the point of those procedures. That is, we want the creation of high quality standards and not just more standards. Quality is more important than quantity.

In other news from the same blog, there is a great new opportunity for ODF. So let’s finish this item on a brighter note.

Wow, consider that, ODF possibly continuing to evolve to handle new project management requirements. Any estimates from readers as to when we’ll have an XML spec for project management from Microsoft show up on ECMA’s doorstep for standardization? Or, how about everyone just works together starting RIGHT NOW to extend ODF to handle this functionality?

Those who do it first cannot necessarily capitalise on de facto ‘standards’, but it is worth a shot.

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. emaname said,

    August 9, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    Gravatar

    I completely agree with your analysis. I also agree with the ‘sociopath’ descriptive. Microsoft, Walmart, oil companies, automotive companies and others like them are completely immoral, unethical organizations. The primary function of these organizations is to make obscenely wealthy people even more obscenely wealthy at the expense of the quality of life for everyone else. These organizations have single-handedly destroyed the concept and application of free enterprise and democracy. My impression is that now we live in a theocracy. Our god is wealth and you can guess who the high priests are.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 9, 2007 at 12:29 pm

    Gravatar

    I agree entirely with your assessment as well. Of course, many of these examples can be generalised and extended to to include similar activity outside the software industry.

What Else is New


  1. Links 4/8/2015: KDE.org Redesign, Point Linux 3.0

    Links for the day



  2. Microsoft Admits Vista 10 Not a 'Free' 'Upgrade', Especially If You Upgrade

    Microsoft debunks its own false promises, showing that Vista 10 as 'free' is virtually a mirage



  3. Free Software is Commercial

    orporate media helps stigmatise Free/Open Source software as unsuitable for commercial use and once again it uses the 'security' card



  4. 'Sanader’s Protégé' Željko Topić Slammed by Press in His Home Country

    The mischiefs of Benoît Battistelli and Željko Topić still not forgotten while temporary calm prevails at the EPO



  5. Links 3/8/2015: Linux 4.2 RC5, Korora 22

    Links for the day



  6. The World is Changing and Patent Law Can Change Either for Better or for Worse

    Recent secret dealings (which are being exposed to the public owing to whistle-blowers) show the degree of coordination and collusion against public interests; it's up to us, the majority, to fight back and tackle this injustice



  7. The Latest on Patent 'Reform' in the US: GOP Media Deception, Healthwashing Patents, and SIIA Lobbying

    Techrights looks at the more prominent actors driving patent policy in the US, with budget to absorb and agenda to lobby for



  8. Newegg Uses Its Fight Against Patent Trolls for Marketing

    Comments on Newegg's fight against patent trolls in court, setting an example for other companies



  9. Microsoft Lies, Propaganda, Embedded 'Journalism' and Other Dirty Tricks to Promote Vista 10

    The Vista 10 entrapment is being sold to the public using bogus/unverified figures, Microsoft propagandists pretending to be journalists, and some gullible people who actually believe them



  10. Microsoft -- Like Bill Gates -- Bribes PBS for Propaganda to be Presented as 'TV Programme'

    Microsoft pays the supposedly 'public' network to act as courier of Microsoft marketing, shrewdly disguised as 'information'



  11. Links 2/8/2015: KDE Applications 15.08 Beta, Zorin OS 10

    Links for the day



  12. Links 1/8/2015: Steam Sale, blackPanther OS 14.1

    Links for the day



  13. Vista 10 Inherently Criminal: Vandalising the Competition (Dual Boot, Rival Web Browsers, Online Services)

    Vista 10, the latest incarnation of Windows, takes its anticompetitive aspects to a whole new level, betraying even so-called 'partners' in the process



  14. As Microsoft AstroTurfing/PR Budget Runs Dry, Vista 10 Truths Come Out

    The media manipulation by Microsoft (to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars spent on 'marketing') grows thin as a growing number of growingly angry early adopters of Vista 10 publicly rant



  15. Links 31/7/2015: Lennart Poettering as 'Linux Hero' and systemd Conference Coming

    Links for the day



  16. Links 30/7/2015: Apache Spark on Z System, Elive 2.6.8 Beta

    Links for the day



  17. Microsoft's Mouthpiece Mary Branscombe Tries to Shoot Down Free Software, But Fails Miserably

    At the CBS-owned ZDNet, which is Free/Open Source software-hostile, new FUD surfaces, but the FUD is so flawed that a full rebuttal is easy and almost imperative



  18. People of New Zealand Must Rise Up to Defend Sovereignty and Stop Software Patents

    The TPPA serves to override (launder) the law of New Zealand, allegedly legalising patents on software in the process



  19. Microsoft Illegally Evades Billions of Dollars in Tax, Says IRS

    The criminal enterprise known as Microsoft finds itself embarrassingly exposed in the courtroom, for the IRS belatedly (decades too late) targets the company in an effort to tackle massive tax evasions



  20. Vista 10 Very Buggy Upon Release, Just as We Have Repeatedly Warned for Weeks

    Vista 10 is prematurely pushed out the door (to meet a deadline) way ahead of it being stable, even remotely polished, and supported by hardware companies (there is a serious drivers issue)



  21. Surveillance Machine With a Keylogger: Vista 10 Will Spy on the User (Over the Internet) Even While Playing Games

    Microsoft is making it clear that even playing a simple game like Solitaire on Vista 10 will make one subjected to spying (for targeted ads); other serious violations of privacy revealed upon release



  22. Links 29/7/2015: Akademy 2015 Ends, NetBSD 7.0 RC

    Links for the day



  23. MPEG-LA is Preparing New Patent Obstruction (Called DASH) Against Free Software, OIN Grows

    A new conspiracy against free multimedia software, set up by the MPEG cartel, is called DASH



  24. New Zealand's Media Gets History Wrong on Software Patents

    Setting the record straight on the fight against software patents in New Zealand



  25. Not Only Vista 10 Crashes a Lot, Any .NET Application Does Too (Updated)

    Microsoft software is quickly becoming synonymous with crashes as any piece of software developed with Microsoft's tools, not just the underlying platform, crashes chronically



  26. The Government of Bulgaria Sells Out to Microsoft, Again

    Despite some promises and reassurances that Bulgaria will consider Free/libre software, the Bulgarian government hands out a lot more of taxpayers' money to the Mafia



  27. Corporate Media Finally Finds Out That Vista 10 Crashes a Lot

    Stability issues of Vista 10 are belatedly reported to be a major catastrophe, leaving it unusable for many early adopters



  28. Links 28/7/2015: Linux 4.2 RC4, New Logos and Bug 'Branding' for FUD

    Links for the day



  29. Patents Roundup: Technicolor, Alice, Voip-Pal, Fitbit, Marijuana Patents, and JDate

    A look at some of last week's patent news, with imperative responses that criticise corporate exploitation of patents for protectionism (excluding and/or driving away the competition using legal threats)



  30. Corporate Lobbyists Including Koch-Connected Front Groups Attack Real and Perceived Patent Reform in the United States

    Looking at some of the latest propaganda for and against a bill which is already too watered-down to actually fix the US patent system


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