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

01.02.08

HOWTO: Pressure All Microsoft Office Users to Embrace OOMXL (Updated)

Posted in Formats, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, Security at 4:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Slashdot has a very eye-opening short article. To give a shortened version:

In Service Pack 3 for Office 2003, Microsoft disabled support for many older file formats. If you have old Word, Excel, 1-2-3, Quattro, or Corel Draw documents, watch out!

Mind the following fact, which was mentioned here quite recently:

It’s only been six months since Microsoft launched Office 2007 at retail. But as of July 1, 2007, Microsoft won’t be making the OEM version of Office 2003 to its PC partners, a k a “OEMs.”

As it would seem based on the fragments above, Microsoft is putting pressure on users of old versions of Microsoft Office. They could soon become victims of the network effect (forced upgrade). Microsoft decided to pull away Office 2003 so that it isn’t available. It then relies on innocent users who might use the default file formats in Office 2007 (a derivative of OOXML).

This ought to be yet another reminder of the role of digital preservation and Microsoft's lack of interest in it.

From the comments in Slashdot (one among plenty):

> Deliberately making it too cumbersome and complex for most people to ever
> work around this, i.e. leaving it technically (but not really practically
> for almost everyone) an option, for now at least gives MS an excuse, while
> still taking a big step towards getting rid of support for those old formats
> entirely, which is not all that unreasonable I suppose for formats greater
> than 10 years old.

Let’s not forget – what is being supported is *software*, ie M$ Office, not a file format.

The current iteration of Micro$oft Office should be capable of opening any and all files created by any prior release of M$ Office, and should be capable of doing so in a safe and secure manner.

If the current iteration of Micro$oft Office is incapable of safely and securely parsing any file created by any prior iteration of M$ Office then surely something is very wrong with Microsoft, and with M$ Office!!

Doesn’t ODF seem like a hugely attractive option all of a sudden?

Update: As we were going to mention yesterday, “security reasons” were merely an excuse that serves this hidden agenda. Rob Weir confirms this now and yesterday, in a different forum, I posted the following older story as an example which is similar:

Software like Parallels Desktop for the Mac or Microsoft’s own Virtual PC for Windows allow multiple operating systems to run simultaneously. When it announced licensing rules for Vista last year, Microsoft said that only Vista Business and Vista Ultimate could run as guest operating systems. The company said virtualization presents inherent security risks and that it hoped by limiting which versions of the OS could act as virtual machines, only sophisticated users and businesses would employ the tactic.

At the time, Microsoft pretended that if you get a version of Windows with more features ‘unlocked’, then suddenly it becomes more secure. This was discussed here several times before.

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

4 Comments

  1. Yuhong Bao said,

    January 5, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    Gravatar

    By default, only those formats older than word 6 is unsupported. I am sure there may be security vulerablities in the converters for the old formats.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 5, 2008 at 8:37 pm

    Gravatar

    No, even a Microsoft executive has pretty much confirmed that there was a ‘mistake’ . I reckon that they realise that their maneuver was bad for their image, so they pretended that someone somewhere in the company wrote an incorrect knowledgebase article. I’d have to look more carefully at the details, but it seems like Microsoft is trying to weasel out of this one with excuses (I know this because it’s a pattern I’ve observed for years).

    See Rob Weir’s article about no known security issues. Or maybe we should give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt it. I guess it’s up for you to decide.

  3. Yuhong Bao said,

    January 6, 2008 at 2:22 am

    Gravatar

    I figured out the problem now. the problem is not in the old file formats themselves, but in the converters for the old file formats.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 6, 2008 at 2:43 am

    Gravatar

    They really ought to ‘patch’ (they claimed security was the issue) all those converters rather than render them deprecated. That’s no way to preserve people’s valuable information. If expiry comes after 12 years, how might one expect to access data 20, 50, or hundreds of years from now? The formats were never formally documented either (except for in the source code, which we know contains bugs like that leap year insanity).

    The accuracy of these recent reports is probably less relevant than implications related to intent. I urge you to read this article from Forbes:

    Alexander Rose, the executive director of the futurist Long Now Foundation, worries about the impermanence of digital information. “If you save that computer for 100 years, will the electrical plugs look the same?” he asks. “The Mac or the PC–will they be around? If they are, what about the software? ” So far there’s no business case for digital preservation–in fact, for software makers like Microsoft, planned obsolescence is the plan.

    “The reality is that it’s in companies’ interest that software should become obsolete and that you should have to buy every upgrade,” Rose says. We could be on the cusp of a turning point, though, in the way businesses and their customers think about digital preservation. “Things will start to change when people start losing all of their personal photos,” Rose said.

What Else is New


  1. Links 16/2/2019: Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS, PyCharm 2019.1 EAP 4

    Links for the day



  2. Outline/Index of the Alexandre Benalla/Battistelli Scandal

    Our writings about the scandals implicating Benalla and the European Patent Office (EPO)



  3. Reading Techrights on a Mobile Device Running Android

    A new Android app for reading this site is being tested



  4. Links 14/2/2019: “I Love Free Software Day” and Mesa 19.0 RC4 Released

    Links for the day



  5. “EPO Lawlessness Again”

    Blackberry uses bogus European Patents (on software) for lawsuits; "all of them pure software patents. Patents on programs for computers as such," as Müller puts it



  6. Unitary Patent (UPC) is All About Imposing Patent Maximalists' Ideology of Greed and Self Interest on Courts in the Name of 'Unification' or 'Consistency' or 'Community'

    Pushers of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) are upset that they don’t always get their way when independent judges get to decide; as it turns out, many European Patents are just fake patents, more so under António Campinos



  7. Battistelli's Bodyguard, Part V: Mediapart Explains the 'Raid' Attempt, Reporters Without Borders Involved

    Mediapart, an investigative site that unearths a lot of incriminating things about Battistelli's former bodyguard Alexandre Benalla, was the target of a raid attempt some weeks ago



  8. Links 13/2/2019: Tails 3.12.1, MongoDB Being Dumped

    Links for the day



  9. Battistelli's Bodyguard, Part IV: Suspected Offenses of Forgery and Possible Falsification

    In a very underworld fashion, Benalla continues to break the law and create yet more scandals



  10. Battistelli's Bodyguard, Part III: Mars, France Close Protection (Benalla's Family), and Russian Oligarchy

    An article which examines the business background of Benalla, the outrageous salaries, the severance indemnity pay, and contract with a Russian oligarch close to Vladimir Putin



  11. Links 13/2/2019: Plasma 5.15.0 and a Look at Linux Mint Debian Edition Cindy

    Links for the day



  12. Battistelli's Bodyguard, Part II: Fishing Expedition for Sources in the Alexandre Benalla 'Underworld' Scandal

    An utter lack of respect for the privacy of the media and of its sources, in the name of protecting the privacy of those convicted of crimes, as seen in France just like the European Patent Office



  13. Innovating the Idea That Software Patents (Monopolies on Algorithms) Are Covering 'Artificial' 'Intelligence' (AI and ML as Loopholes)

    Patent law firms around the world love this new trick, which is framing software that makes decisions as "AI" (magically rendering it patent-eligible only in offices but not in courts, which the EPO hopes to replace/override anyway)



  14. Battistelli's Bodyguard, Part I: Destruction of Evidence by Alexandre Benalla

    The Alexandre Benalla scandal carries on, deepening even further than before and causing raids of the media; will the EPO be implicated and held accountable too?



  15. Links 12/2/2019: PyPy 7.0.0, HHVM 4.0.0 and CVE-2019-5736

    Links for the day



  16. USPTO Director Iancu Works for Anti-SCOTUS (Against Section 101) Lobbyists

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office Director Andrei Iancu is becoming to the patent system what Ajit Pai is to the FCC or to the broadband industry; there appears to be intentional vandalism and total disregard for the rule of law



  17. Gross Violations of the EPC at the European Patent Office as Principal Priority Turns Against Science and Technology

    What good is the law if violation of the European Patent Convention (EPC) is so routine at today’s European Patent Office (EPO), which exploits its immunity to operate outside the rule of law and pursue nothing but cash (selling patents/monopolies that are invalid in courts)?



  18. European Patent Office's Exploitation of the 'AI' Catchphrase/Buzzword to Grant Patents on Algorithms in Defiance of the Rules, the Law, and Common Sense

    In clear violation of the EPC (i.e. more of the same from the EPO) software patents are being actively promoted and law being bypassed or worked around



  19. Microsoft's Patent Trolls Are Still Suing Microsoft's Rivals to Help Sell Microsoft

    The ‘new’ Microsoft boils down to the patent equivalent of the copyright case of SCO (funded by Microsoft)



  20. The American Software Patents Lobby Has Died

    Voices of US law firms (i.e. patent maximalists) have become quieter and rarer; applications for US patents have decreased in number, patent litigation numbers have collapsed entirely, and patent maximalists have moved on



  21. Links 10/2/2019: Linux 5.0 RC6, Project Trident 18.12 Reviewed

    Links for the day



  22. Corrupt Battistelli Paid a Fortune (EPO Budget) for Outlaw/Rogue 'Bodyguards' From Firm Linked to Russian Oligarch Iskander Makhmudov

    Mediapart continues to shed more light on the shady firm behind Alexandre Benalla, whom Battistelli hired to break the law and secretly bring firearms to the EPO



  23. Which Microsoft?

    The inconsistencies between public statements of Microsoft and private discussions/actions



  24. António Campinos Will Never Hold Battistelli Accountable for His Crimes Because He Too Profits From These

    The EPO isn't just Europe's second-largest institution but also quite possibly Europe's largest criminal enterprise, whose ringleaders have enjoyed and exploited diplomatic immunity to escape prosecution



  25. 25,000 Blog Posts and Record Traffic

    At a pace of nearly 2,000 posts per year (since 2006) we continue to grow and can use readers' help



  26. Jim Zemlin's PAC Keeps Raising Money From Microsoft

    The Open Source Definition's author as well as various Free/Open Source software (FOSS) luminaries warn of an attack on FOSS ("efforts to undermine the integrity of open source”); it's not too hard to see who participates in it or enables such attacks



  27. Links 9/2/2019: Linux 4.4.174 and GTK+ No More (Now Just GTK)

    Links for the day



  28. Number of Patent Applications, Not Just Number of Patent Grants, Continues to Slide in the United States

    The attractiveness of US patents appears to have eroded, seeing that many US patents are simply not enforceable in courts



  29. EPO President Campinos Works With Patent Trolls and With Team UPC to Promote Software Patents

    The EPO has taken another tumble by collaborating with '4iP Council', a patent extremists' lobby; it is moreover becoming apparent that a lot of European Patents are bogus (not valid) and the management of the EPO is eager to grant yet more of these



  30. Links 8/2/2019: Things to Look For on Linux in 2019, Fedora Logo Redesign

    Links for the day


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