08.30.07

Dissecting Microsoft’s OOXML/ODF Strategy

Posted in America, Apple, Asia, Bill Gates, Corel, Deals, Deception, Europe, Formats, Linspire, Novell, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard, Steve Ballmer, Xandros at 11:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Spread ODFA while ago, I was attempting to formulate and visualise the sorts of strategies that Microsoft might be chalking on its boards. I produced a mindmap a couple of weeks ago and MattD dissected the Microsoft/Novell deal. The mindmap goes beyond ODF/OOXML aspects and shows how Microsoft uses deals (proxies) to eventually get its way.

A discussion that I had in Linux Journal brought up some new facts and a train of thought. I then decided to focus on OOXML/ODF in isolation. Here are some of methods which Microsoft has so far used in order to battle ODF and promote its own enablement of vendor lock-in.

  • Recruitment of members/voters/bloggers (some of which are anonymous)
  • Linux companies: Turbolinux, Novell, Xandors, Linspire (binding contract involves OOXML)
  • Corel deal
  • Apple cross-licensing deal; using iWorks as ‘proof’ that OOXML is possible (never mind if support is read-only and very poor)
  • Politicians:
    • Ballmer and Gates phone US politicians to flip votes and stack/group opposers
    • Gates visits China, invites ministers to his home, and offers discounts/favours
    • Hungarian minister calls for a new vote on OOXML(this time with Microsoft partners)
  • New countries emerge out of oblivion and decide to vote on OOXML (easy “Yes” voters to persuade or even ‘buy’)
  • Possibly (solid proof still required): charity in India and investments in Vietnam
  • Lies and deception, e.g. telling people ‘election date’ is a month or so later. This way, they don’t turn up or never truly decide based on technical understanding.
  • Ecma-related disinformation, CompTIA FUD (among other lobbying arms such as the ISC)
  • Studies and paid-for ‘research’ (IDC)
  • Making deliberate accusations and lies while those who can defend or rebut are on vacation
  • Press releases that are incomplete and/or deceptive (e.g. bending the meaning of “choice” and “open”)
  • Lies (or exaggeration) about third-party products (e.g. AbiWord) supporting OOXML, assuming that Microsoft Office is OOXML and vice versa
  • Shutting out rival companies (Portugal, Sweden, Germany, Sweden, and more)
  • Letters calling for support disseminated among (and by) Microsoft partners
  • Phonecalls and E-mails sent to Microsoft partners for more lobbying muscle
  • Microsoft creating Web sites and grossroots petitions (e.g. in the UK), then asking partners to show pseudo support by signing and participating
  • Lobbying/bullying (e.g. “Men in Black” incident in Florida)
  • Use of FUD in Congress, e.g. talks about budget failures that are not even related to ODF (diversion of discussed topic and a political debate replacing a technical one)
  • CIO shuffles, e.g. in Massachusetts
  • Use of connections in media, e.g. publicity stunts in the BBC (now influenced heavily by Microsoft, whose departing executives now work for the BBC)
  • Use of connections in governments, e.g. UK National Archives, whose head chose OOXML for storage and preservation. This head happens to have two hats and one of them is a senior Microsoft position. He puts national archives (i.e. crucial public data) in the hands of Microsoft and their lock-ins.
  • Spamming ANSI

All of these issues have already been covered in the site. Binding the appropriate hyperlinks to them would take quite some time, but if you require a pointer, fire away and we’ll provise it.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

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

4 Comments

  1. Luc Bollen said,

    August 31, 2007 at 10:09 am

    Gravatar

    Roy, where is the ODF logo on this post coming from ? I find it very nice !

  2. Zaine Ridling said,

    August 31, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    Gravatar

    Roy, I appreciate you taking a lead with this serious flaws and issues surrounding MS-OOXML’s ISO progress. One thing I think people should know is the exponential cost of maintaining MS-OOXML documents over time. Imagine a government 25 or 40 years from now having to pay (Microsoft, who else?) to read their own data? That payment, or “tax,” will be in the form of programmers to continuously write and update MS-OOXML filters for new software as the spec naturally expands over time. At well over 6,000 pages to start, that’s a daunting time sink that goverments can ill-afford.

    Meanwhile, ODF is already approved, already in use by over 17 software apps and various office suites (soon to be 22), and hey, it’s free from proprietary interdependencies and binary hooks. Frankly, you’d have to be a goddamned idiot to be in favor of MS-OOXML.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 31, 2007 at 3:48 pm

    Gravatar

    Luc, here is the source of this artwork, which people are encouraged to spread (just like ODF itself.

    Zaine,

    Frankly, you’d have to be a goddamned idiot to be in favor of MS-OOXML.

    I don’t think it’s about being an idiot, but about being bribed or receiving incentives in many cases. Ignorance is sometimes the explanation, until one looks at the problem more closely.

  4. John Drinkwater said,

    September 1, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    Gravatar

    Luc,
    It’s not just for websites, you can wear it too!
    I managed to “win” a free ODF t-shirt from Red Hat, pics here:

    http://flickr.com/photos/johndrinkwater/1114650954/
    http://flickr.com/photos/johndrinkwater/1114650682/
    http://flickr.com/photos/johndrinkwater/1114650862/

    Roy,
    Some people blindly accept Microsoft’s advice on the subject, they don’t even need to pay! You’ve seen the recent BBC article about the looming data black-hole coming up. Talk about spoon-fed :)

What Else is New


  1. Nine Documents About the Financial Siege Against EPO Staff (Past, Present, and Future)

    Today we release dozens of pages of letters and documents (internal to Europe's second-largest institution); they all focus on the betrayal and skulduggery, crushing staff in spite of what was originally promised (and what workers actually signed up for)



  2. EPO Senior Management (Cabal) “Essentially Deaf to the Proposals From Staff Representatives.”

    Representatives of EPO staff feel like the management of the EPO is "deaf" and uncaring; there's hardly any meaningful progress (or none whatsoever) when it comes to truly honest dialogue with real participation



  3. EPO Management, Led by António Campinos, Attempted to Stifle or Prevent Staff From Being Surveyed

    Battistelli's cabal, which covers up a lot of fraud and corruption, is attempting to prevent the staff from expressing an opinion (for insiders and perhaps outsiders to assess) because things are really bad and autocratic measures are seen as necessary to keep the lid on issues/abuses



  4. The European Patent Office's Central Staff Committee: Office Cannot Recruit Fit-for-Purpose Patent Examiners Anymore

    One third of EPO recruits are 'locals' (Germans), 0.2% are Swiss, 1% Scandinavian; the EPO as an employer became unattractive and it's unable to attract the staff it needs (as was projected and planned when the EPC was agreed upon)



  5. IRC Proceedings: Friday, November 27, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, November 27, 2020



  6. Links 27/11/2020: Jolla is 7, Diffoscope 162, MNT Reform Production

    Links for the day



  7. The Time Coronavirus Helped EPO Management Prevent Staff From Protesting and Going on Strike (March 26th)

    "In view of the spreading of the New Corona Virus, the planned General Assemblies have to be cancelled," the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) wrote in the wake of the crisis across Europe back in March (weeks ahead of a planned strike)



  8. Guarding Your Privacy With E2EE: Primer

    "As with all security, there is assumed risk no matter how careful you are. There are no security guarantees but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try."



  9. Links 27/11/2020: Systemd 247 and Cockpit 233

    Links for the day



  10. A Free Speech Deficit Harms Software Freedom

    Free software and Software Freedom cannot possibly succeed if we keep accepting or even just tolerating systematic censorship of opinionated people in our community; failing to speak out on this matter (for fear of supposedly offending someone, risking expulsion) is part of the problem — complicity by passivity



  11. Perception of Difficulty

    New poem by figosdev



  12. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 26, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, November 26, 2020



  13. Cartoon: After Gambling With Workers' Savings the EPO Can Do Real Estate

    New EPO cartoon from EPO insiders (the one on the right certainly looks a lot like António Campinos and the one on the left can be his EUIPO ‘import’ or Benoît Battistelli‘s INPI ‘import’)



  14. Free as in Freedom Should Not be Associated With Cost

    It's important to remind people that so-called 'free' services (Clown Computing, centralised spaces that 'farm' their so-called 'users') aren't really free; we need to advocate freedom or free-as-in-freedom alternatives



  15. [Meme] UPC's Pyrrhic Victory

    Contrary to what Team UPC says, what happened earlier today is hardly a breakthrough



  16. Many Thanks to Free Software, the Demise of Software Patents (in Europe and the US), and So Much More

    On a positive note we're heading into the end of November, one month before Boxing Day; we take stock of patent affairs that impact software developers



  17. Links 26/11/2020: PHP 8.0, Proxmox VE 6.3, UNIGINE 2.13

    Links for the day



  18. 29,000 Blog Posts and Recent Site Improvements

    Over 29,000 blog posts have been posted here, but more importantly we've made the site a lot more robust and resilient, accessible in more formats and protocols (while improving transparency, too)



  19. [Meme] Trump is Out. Now It's Time to Pressure the Biden Administration/Transition Team on Software Freedom Issues.

    The Biden transition is in motion and tentative appointments are underway, based on news reports (see our Daily Links); now is the time to put pressure, e.g. in the form of public backlash, to ensure it's not just another corporate presidency



  20. Boycott ZDNet Unless You Fancy Being Lied to

    ZDNet's Catalin Cimpanu continues to lead the way with misinformation and lies, basically doing whatever he was doing to land that job at ZDNet (after he had done the same elsewhere)



  21. The UPC and Unitary Patent Song

    On goes the UPC symphony, as the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is almost here, always coming "real soon!"



  22. Open Letter to the German Greens on UPC and Software Patents: Don’t Betray Your Voters and Your Promises, or You Will Regret it

    Dear Members of the German Greens in the Bundestag. By Benjamin HENRION.



  23. [Meme] One Step Away From Replacing Patent Examiners With 'Hey Hi' (AI)

    If it's not legal for 'Hey Hi' (AI) to get a patent, why should it be legal for patents to be granted by those who are invisible (and sometimes in de facto house arrest)?



  24. European Patent Office (EPO) Reduced to 'Justice Over the Telephone' and Decree by E-mail

    The EPO is trashing the EPC and everything that the Office was supposed to stand for, as it wrongly assumes demand for monopolies (typically from foreign corporations) comes before the rule of law and Europe's public interest



  25. Making Free Software Work for Users

    The latest reply to a non-developer concerned about software freedom; guest post by figosdev



  26. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, November 25, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, November 25, 2020



  27. Links 26/11/2020: AV Linux 2020.11.23 and Blender 2.91 Release

    Links for the day



  28. Links 25/11/2020: GamerOS and Biden Transition in Motion

    Links for the day



  29. An Orwellian December

    With December around the corner and states tightening the screws on the population (or employers on employees) at least we can look forward to spring



  30. The Non-Technical (or Lesser Technical) Software User That Wants Software Freedom

    Assuming that Free software should care about what users — not only developers — really want (and need) it’s important to understand how they view the current situation (with growing waves of corporate takeover and compromises, even expulsions)


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

Recent Posts