Bruce Byfield’s One-sided Piece on GNOME and OOXML

Posted in ECMA, Formats, GNOME, GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft, Open XML, Patents at 10:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bruce Byfield has just published another article about the recent frictions that involve GNOME over its involvement in OOXML ‘hardening’. It is very obvious from this articles whose side he takes, just as Sam Varghese recently suggested. To quote him again:

Sadly, Schestowitz hardly got a word in edgeways. He found himself up against Waugh, Miller and Bruce Byfield (also from Linux.com – both Byfield and Miller were quite obviously biased towards Waugh’s point of view), and also Miguel de Icaza, the co-founder of the GNOME project, who phoned in and was allowed to stay on and speak whenever he felt so inclined.

Anyway, that’s old news, and almost nothing new is presented in this newer article (shades of Peter Galli from eWeek). Bruce still refuses to consider Microsoft is a factor despite seemingly infinite evidence. Moving ahead, let’s consider software patents again.

As repeated many time before, OOXML is a patent time bomb and it is incompatible with the GNU GPL.

The next time you ponder OOXML, think about Novell’s software patent deal with Microsoft. Ask yourself:

Using OOXML, am I ‘protected’ and therefore permitted to save my documents, on my computer, with my program (Free software is owned, as opposed to ‘rented’ using a licence). Is that even possible?

If the answer is no, which it probably is, then you know for a fact that OOXML is a proprietary format that embodies other types of risk.

Novell and Microsoft Kiss in Public With New Domain

Posted in Interoperability, Marketing, Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 10:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Rememeber the recent sighting of Turbolinux and Microsoft kissing in public, with insinuations that free open source software is somehow incompatible with the enterprise? The press release had Microsoft fingerprints all over it. Now, it’s Novell turn again.

This month’s Novell Linux Newsletter included a link to the Suse Team Blog which lists 40+ customers who “have decided to take advantage of the many benefits that the (MS/Novell) agreement brings to the table.” And who knew that there was a whole site dedicated to the lovefest? (Hint: Not me.)

Unfortunately, the site, moreinterop.com appears to be down at the moment…probably running IIS…

Dave is right with his guess. The site runs a purely on a Microsoft stack, which pretty much says who is most excited about this software patent deal, who is in charge in this relationship (the dominant spouse), and who gains the most.

Watch the logos at the top of the Web site. Our little games with trademarks no longer seem so wild and far fetched.

Movell and Nicrosoft

Quick Mention: Wikipedia Embraces OpenDocument format

Posted in Formats, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard, Wikipedia at 9:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Further evidence of the ever-growing support for OpenDocument format just keeps coming and coming. It’s hardly necessary at this stage, but just in case the list of embracers needs updating, consider Wikipedia. From the WikiMedia Foundation:

The third stage, planned for mid-2008, will be the addition of the OpenDocument format for word processors to the list of export formats. “Imagine that you want to use a set of wiki articles in the classroom. By supporting the OpenDocument format, we will make it easy for educators to customize and remix content before printing and distributing it from any desktop computer,” Sue Gardner explained. This work is funded through a US$40,000 grant by the Open Society Institute.

Those who support OOXML are often paid by Microsoft to do this. That includes Novell. It makes this not support, but pseudo-support, of which we see plenty. It’s a question of money, not quality. Let’s repeat a motto:

OpenDocument opens up your documents.

Microsoft’s Open XML opens up your wallet.

OOXML is about money

Quick Mention: If There is ‘War’, Microsoft Started It

Posted in IBM, Microsoft, Open XML, Standard at 9:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Good standards earn recognition, impotent specifications require armies

As a followup to last week's war of words between Brian Jones and Rob Wier, consider this:

If it is a standard war, as Brian proclaimes, Rob Weir (IBM) is an excellent asset without high fidelity. A trustworthy expert personality who always surprises you. And here comes the problem: People can be very sympathetic towards Microsoft and their products or just to the persons who evangelize their formats. But they cannot deny the obvious: that OOXML is a spec that should not have been submitted under fast-track. If someone like Brian takes part in the dirty campaign to rush it through anyway he needs to keep in mind that it is not a good way to make friends or gather sympathy. Probably it is a well-paid business as is corps washing and hangman business. Sorry, no one has the right to get an ISO stamp for a broken specification.

Microsoft has a lot of nerve claiming that there is war against it while it’s taking ISO as a poor hostage. This picture says a thousand words.

Quick Mention: Alan Cox on Software Patents, Standards and Beyond

Posted in Europe, GNU/Linux, GPL, Kernel, Novell, Patents, Red Hat, Videos at 9:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Red Hat Magazine has just published a new interview/monologue where Alan Cox shares his insights on issues that are relevant to us.

This video is the first in a three-part series addressing patents, open standards, and the challenges facing the free software community.

Here is a direct link to the video [Ogg].

We mentioned Alan Cox many times in the past, particularly in the context of GPLv3, Novell, and patents. Posts in which he is mentioned include:

The Dangers of Government-supported Monopoly (Think OOXML)

Posted in Formats, Open XML, Standard, Videos at 7:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Watch this short video which is titled “When Governments Become Agents of Monopolization.

OOXML patent issue prompt

Entering Paranoid Mode in the Face is Paranoia-imposing FUD

Posted in Deception, FUD, Google, Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat at 7:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Thinking ahead is a reasonable thing to do when as watch Microsoft hijacking ISO, invading the OSI, planning to buy free open source companies, subverting the goals of Linux companies, and scheming to reinvent the Web (the proprietary way). All these things, among a few others, are interconnected and they represent a broader strategy. A new article from Seeking Alpha serves as a timely reminder.

Intel’s Andy Grove had a popular saying: Only the Paranoid Survive. It was the name of his book. Another big thinker, Clay Christensen, penned a popular management book called The Innovator’s Dilemma. Keep those two titles in mind as you read the following.

As we probably stressed quite recently, Red Hat is being hammered by analysts at the moment, yet it’s not too clear who is funding these analysts. Var Guy responds to one them.

The VAR Guy opened today’s edition of Barron’s and shook his head in disagreement. The financial paper says Red Hat’s revenue will erode amid fierce competition from Oracle and the new Microsoft-Novell partnership.

Barron’s, by the way, is a bit of ‘Microsoft mouthpiece’, among others which we wrote about last week. As proof of this consider these recent examples:

1. Barron’s Battle Goes Another Round

The contretemps between The Business Press Maven and Barron’s turned a bit ugly in recent days, even degenerating into a Barron’s reporter putting a hex on Alex Rodriguez as I headed toward what I hoped to be his 500th home run. The hex, I’m sorry to report, worked.

2. Stop the Barron’s Microsoft Series”

That particular story about how Microsoft was still a growth stock was dated July 26, 2004. Between then and now, it bears mentioning, Microsoft’s stock price has been stuck in the mud, barely budging in a market that has flown to the heavens.

But a horrid call, even made twice, is forgivable. What got me was that somewhere else in my steel trap of a mind was the memory of yet a third big bullish profile in Barron’s by Savitz about how Microsoft was, uh — hey, you’re really catching on here — still a growth stock! That was titled “Pointing Up,” from a bit over a year ago, April 3, 2006.

The Business Press Maven has a couple of concerns here. These articles appear written from the same template, without enough new information to merit such repetition, especially this latest one.

Stop the presses! A company stated publicly that it was still relevant! It is overkill, boosterism. Microsoft has a public relations department that takes care of that; it does not need outside help.

A leaked set of documents from Microsoft [PDF] tells a lot about Microsoft’s deliberate and deceitful use of bought analysts to praise the company and attack its opposition. “Be afraid,” as they say. “Be very afraid”. That’s their strategy which revolves around FUD and intimidation.

Steve Ballmer license

Image from Wikimedia

The ISO is Replaced by Microsoft, Long Live ISO

Posted in America, Antitrust, Deception, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML at 7:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I, for one, do not welcome our invading overloads”

As we explained a couple of days ago, ISO is falling apart. Resistance to Microsoft steps down while more and more Microsoft lobbyists seem to occupy key positions in ISO. It’s truly like watching an old film about a totalitarian revolution.

In any event, here is some of the latest, in case you wish to explore further.

Microsoft to buy ISO next week before Christmas?

“There is also a push by Microsoft and others to move ISO toward a “direct participation” model where corporations can participate in ISO directly, bypassing the national body mechanisms altogether. This would essentially turn ISO into a vendor consortium. So it will be interesting to see how this all turns out. To coin a folk aphorism, “In the land of the ugly queen all the mirrors have disappeared.”

National Boards to vote NO for OOXML (Office Open Xml) at ISO

They [Microsoft] are setting themselves as heads of the National Boards in Portugal and Ireland. Many National Boards are still loaded and influenced by Microsoft Certified Partners and over a dozen counties have been lobbied by MS for the sole purpose of advancing Microsoft’s interests alone, as opposed to advancing the broader global community which ISO serves.

Don’t worry. Microsoft knows best what's good for all of us. What’s good for Microsoft is good for the whole world, right? The only reassuring news is that there’s progress in the American antitrust case against Microsoft (“Judge asks for more info in Microsoft antitrust case“, via Seattle P-I).

OOXML data vacuum

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