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Steve Ballmer Makes Phonecalls to Flip Those Votes in Favour of Monopoly (Updated: China Says “NO”)

Posted in America, Bill Gates, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML, Steve Ballmer at 10:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Remember recent reports about Bill Gates making secret phonecalls? Well, this sort of corruption has not ended.

The government decided to vote together, and to follow NIST (Homeland Security had voted in favor of approval in the previous ballot), so DoD fell in line as well. NIST, you may recall, is an agency of the Department of Commerce (as I reported Steve Ballmer personally called the Secretary of the DOC to urge this result). GS1is a technical association.

I was not going to bring it up here, but anger can be mitigated through humour. A couple of days ago, someone whom I know created this picture [PNG] to show how Microsoft controls Linux vendors by proxy. Here we have a case where Microsoft controls not only entire nations, but also government departments therein. Disgusting.

Update: On the other side of the ocean, despite controversial lobbying, OOXML has just been rejected by the world’s largest population. China says “No” (with comments).

It’s also interesting in that a large degree of public participation figured into the decision. For example, there is this on-line poll site, which allows anyone to log on to indicate how they thought China should vote on OOXML. As of this moment, the voting was running 92.31% (8294 out of 8985 votes cast) against approval.

China and India, being the huge players that they are, will certainly be a barrier to acceptance of a proprietary ‘monopoly enabler’.

Do-No-Evil Saturday: OpenSuse 10.3 Beta2 Released, SUSE Gains on the Desktop

Posted in Identity Management, Microsoft, Novell, OpenSUSE, SLES/SLED, Ubuntu, Xen at 9:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


There appears to be plenty of activity going on these days, especially when it comes to freelance coding. Perhaps those people who take some time off their daytime job just use that time to make it a summer of code. Here are some bits of news from the OpenSUSE project (or “openSUSE”, or “Opensuse” as Novell used to insist about a year ago when naming and branding were discussed. I’m sticking with “OpenSUSE” for consistency’s sake from now on).

One faithful Gentoo user received a bunch of emotional reactions when he decided to move to OpenSUSE.

Now I’ve copied my mail and stuff back, set up a kde4 development environment and actually compiled (*sigh* does it ever end? =;) I should be able again to get some work done.

So farewell Gentoo and hello openSuse 10.2!

Microsoft’s latest world domination aspiration gets tested on the latest OpenSUSE.

Microsoft Opens Up Windows Live ID


Interestingly sample implementations are available in the Ruby, Python, Perl, and PHP open source languages amongst others — tested on openSUSE 10.2 but expected to work on any platform that supports these languages.

The dangers of Live ID and some serious implications are worth a separate discussion, but it does not fit the theme of this Web site. On the other hand, the OpenSUSE Web site has published an Interview with Francis Giannaros, who used to participate more vocally in this site. It also gives a 1-Click Install preview. 1-Click Install is one among the big features in OpenSUSE 10.3.

Today we are taking a look at the new One-Click Install technology which aims to simplify package management for users

Here is a short review that takes a look at OpenSUSE 10.3 (beta) and the latest alpha of Ubuntu.

Overall, I was quite impressed with the progress openSUSE has made. I found the amount of “breakage” in the development version (Beta1) to be roughly similar to Gutsy. I think I’ll try to track openSUSE until 10.3 is released (early in October I think) and see how it all shapes up. I find openSUSE development to be a bit hazy still. I haven’t figured out how often Factory (the development repo) gets updated.

To summarize, for me openSUSE wins on artwork/consistency and configuration tools and Ubuntu wins on hardware setup and package management. Overall Linux is progressing awesomely and I’m proud of how Linux is innovating on the desktop.

Bill Beebe writes about his OpenSuse 10.2 upgrade experience, experiments with algol, and some NetBeans stuff too. The following day he wrote about Google Earth’s latest feature under the same distro. Nice blog and a recommended read for SUSE users.

A couple of days ago, the second beta of OpenSUSE 10.3 was released.

The openSUSE Team is proud to announce the release of openSUSE 10.3 Beta 2. Though this release should not be used on any production machines, everyone can help shape this release by testing out installations and much more.


The Microsoft interoperability lab appears to be busy and for voice communication, the ‘licensing department’ seems to have been keeping busy as well. It seems to be a new trend. Whether it’s worrisome or not shall remain beyond the scope of this non-critical post.

The latest poll from DesktopLinux.com suggests that SUSE has gained ground on the desktop in the past year. Meanwhile, a pro SUSE/Novell blog compares SLE[D|S] to RHEL.

In another of my many “people are always asking me ______” moments, I thought I’d jot down the top reasons why we find customers wanting to switch from Red Hat Enterprise Linux to a SUSE Linux Enterprise environment. These points are gathered from countless discussions, presentations, questions and even osmosis. I hope that these points are useful for our customers who are SLES-curious, our partners who are representing SLE to customers and I welcome any feedback or suggestions you might have.

An article on identity management discusses Novell’s offering, among other things.

Oracle announced the strangely named Oracle Authentication Services for Operating Systems.


Novell, which believed it had already hooked the Linux authentication market with eDirectory running on Linux, announced a major advance in authentication with partner, Fujitsu Microelectronics America. The two companies released a suite of new biometric login kits for Novell eDirectory.

A study on Novell’s product has been published and it appears to be independent.

This brief analyses the strengths and weaknesses of Novell’s enterprise security offering. Novell is rated according to its market impact (based on revenues), user sentiment (based on customer perceptions) and technology.

There is also this other noteworthy item.

VB has issued a call for submissions for the latest VB100 comparative review, which will measure the performance of products for the Novell NetWare platform under VB’s strict testing protocols.

The impact of the Citrix/Xen acquisition on Novell can be inferred from some of the bits in this new interview. There is also this short article which is filled with mixed feelings about BoycottNovell and contains a link to an interesting old analysis of the Novell/Microsoft deal.

OOXML: Deception, Lies, FUD, Apple & Germany Become Microsoft Tools

Posted in Apple, ECMA, Europe, Formats, FUD, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, SUN at 8:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Germany Has Been ‘Corrupted’ by Microsoft

A couple of days ago, the press heralded that Germany would approve fast-tracking of OOXML. Right now, once the complete story comes to light, the press seems uninterested. We have seen this before. None of us truly expected the vote in Germany to be made calmly. Our suspicions were indeed justified. Groklaw has compiled and published some of the stories which the “big press” won’t bring to the attention of a wider audience.

It looks like Germany is the new Portugal, actually. You do remember how in Portugal IBM and Sun were not allowed in the room because it was allegedly “too small” despite having empty chairs? Well, in Germany, Google and Deutsche Telekom were allowed in the room but were not allowed to vote, heise says.

It is truly amazing, yet by no means surprising.

Apple Goes Batting for OOXML

Recall what we said previously about Apple. It is among those that combat ODF. Microsoft is conveniently using Apple as a negotiation card in their ‘political’ debating technique (it turns technical discussions into political ones). Not only is the trial version of iWorks OOXML-deficient, but on the face of it, the whole software is lacking and thus Microsoft’s argument is void.

When Apple released iWork ’08, the Microsoft bloggers immediately jumped in to comment on how this is proof that MSOOXML is easily implementable by third parties. First of all, we need to realise that Apple sits in the Technical Committee at Ecma which “developed” this so called standard. So we should not be surprised at all if they have support of this file format in their upcoming products including the iPhone.

What is not said however, and I have been waiting for days for a response from Microsoft’s Stephen McGibbon, is why Apple does NOT really support MSOOXML….

And it gets more interesting. The Cybertech Rambler has taken some time out to review the file formats in iWork ’08. …He also confirms what the Microsofties refuse to confirm: “on closer reading of iWorks website and documentation, it appears that iWorks can only read OOXML file but cannot write it. That’s a pity.”

Correcting Microsoft Disinformation

The lies and deception, which we mention time and time again, is apparently here to stay. All one can do it rebut. Here is some of the latest:

I think it is important to correct the false – or maybe misquoted – statements by Vijay Kapoor, national technology officer of Microsoft India that I found in this interview under the question “Why does Microsoft want another standard, what’s the rationale?”. Microsoft starts the reply with “There are at least 4 good reasons why:” and then states the first reason.


Thus, all in all, the arguments provided by Microsoft in the interview don’t seem to be valid.

Bob Sutor needed to make another important clarification after some false claims had been made.

…Unless, of course, Microsoft = OOXML as far as ECMA is concerned. If this is the case, I would like to hear this from ECMA because it would simplify matters.

Google a Possible Victim of FUD, Speaks Out About OOXML

A few days, the Burton Group published what seems like an anti-Google Apps ‘study’ (danger to one’s career). I was unable to find evidence that Microsoft was a sponsor, but in any event, Google is no friend to OOXML [PDF].

Google is concerned about the potential adoption of Microsoft’s Office Open XML (OOXML) format as an ISO standard.

This 3-page document says a lot about Google’s concern. At the same time, Microsoft is concerned about the rising popularity of Web-based Office suite applications, such as Google’s. There was an admission of this in a recent conference.

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