One thing that we already know is that Microsoft paid Sun Microsystems and Novell to virtually concede their endeavors in the European Union. This was actually stated last month in an interview with Samba and FSF folks — an interview that was put into text and then published in Groklaw. Essentially, Samba was left alone to handle Microsoft in Europe. Look where we ended up [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11]. Shane pretty much foresaw all of this exactly a year ago.
Now, have a look at this new article from Paul Krill.
Sun recently donated server source code that implements CIFS to the OpenSolaris project.
Windows interoperability requires that a CIFS server convince a Windows client or server that it is Windows, according to Sun. Thusly, the operating system needs to support those services at a fundamental level.
How does Microsoft fit into this? It signed some more papers with Sun a couple of months ago. █
Update: The Register sheds some more light on this.
“¿Que?” you may be exclaiming (perhaps you’ve just arrived home from a Spanish language class). Surely there is Samba on Solaris.
Wright said Samba will continue to be a relevant multi-platform application service that provides file and print service for Windows and CIFS clients. Samba also has features and capabilities that the new integration doesn’t yet have — and possibly never include, such as the ability to be a master browser.
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ODF is gaining some excellent momentum. With South Africa last month, a large number of of software vendors, Malaysia, Japan, Russia, Holland, possibly even Belgium and Germany embracing ODF, it has become clear that ODF will never go away. Au contraire — it spreads rapidly, maybe owing to the network effect.
To those who have the most to lose from ODF adoption, namely Microsoft, this is not encouraging news, but for the rest of us it’s a reason to be pleased. It improves digital preservation, widens choice, lowers prices, and leads to products that are better (the effect of a truly competitive market).
The most recent news comes from the blog Open Malaysia. Interestingly enough, it mentions something which happened under the radar of the mainstream media. Korea is among those who have adopted ODF and made it a national standard.
The proposal for ODF to be accepted as a Malaysian Standard by SIRIM, Department of Standards Malaysia and ultimately the Minister of Science, Technology & Innovation is dormant for more than a year now. Four months after the Malaysian proposal went to sleep, Italy made ODF a National Standard. Eight months after that, Korea has followed suit. With this Korean news, perhaps the Malaysian proposal will be awakened.
As we pointed out a couple of days ago, there is hope for similar moves in the United States where document formats have become part of the presidential debate. eWeek concludes, a tad inaccurately one might suppose, that Andy Updegrove said ODF is clearly a winner in Obama’s mind.
OpenDocument Format supporters are welcoming presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama’s promise to put government data online in universally accessible formats should he be elected.
The title states “Obama Voices Support for ODF”, but it seems safe to say that ISO's mishandling of OOXML amid Microsoft's manipulation can have OOXML qualify as an “open document standard” (no, it’s still proprietary and patent-encumbered).
Regardless of what happens in the States (it usually lags behind as far as Free software is concerned), there is reason to extrapolate and see this as a milestone for Free software and standards on a broader scale.
When U.S. presidential candidates start promoting their open-source and open-document platforms, you know that the open-source movement has finally arrived.
Ironically, this was said by Matt Asay, who happens to have permitted Microsoft to become part of the "Open Source" movement. It’s very clear what Microsoft strives to achieve here and why [1, 2, 3]. █
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Once a cheater, always a cheater (irreparable mindset)
Oh, how many times we have mentioned Portugal, the context being OOXML. If you believe that OOXML-associated dirty tricks are over, be aware that they have only just begun. There are already signs of Microsoft returning to its wrongdoings (e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]. Here is the latest:
Portugal will send Microsoft to the BRM
Microsoft, as president of the Portuguese Technical Committee, is already controlling who will be at the BRM for Portugal. The Head of Delegation will be… Microsoft!
This isn’t the first time that Microsoft fixes the deck in Portugal. Plenty of details about past events can be found here.
To repeat something which was mentioned before, here is a shocking report about Microsoft controlling the OOXML meeting in Portugal. It claimed that there were no chair available (for outside intervention).
In spite of various communications, we [IBM] are still locked out and will not be allowed to participate. Microsoft will be there, as well as a special Microsoft guest, as will various Microsoft business partners, and others.
Unsurprisingly, after all that dodgy (even fraudulent) activity, Microsoft bought the “Yes” vote it craved for.
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.
If you wish to know more about OOXML in Portugal, here is a decent starting point. We will be seeing a lot more such stories in the coming months. As Microsoft correctly stated, it's all about its commercial interests.
You may find yourself asking, “what does this have to do with Novell?” Well, the following new article from Tectonic ought to shed some light, and particularly the following bit:
He [Microsoft spokesman] stated that the Ecma committee [favouring OOXML] included “competitors deploying competing platforms (such as Apple and Novell)….
Well done, Novell. Microsoft is very proud of you and maybe it will repay you for this favour with some SUSE support coupons (‘permission’ to sell GNU/Linux). █
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