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01.06.08

OpenDocument Wins While Microsoft Spins

Posted in Deception, Formats, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 10:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

There are a couple of new items that are worth mentioning very briefly. The first is a bright outlook which takes into consideration the excellent ODF adoption.

Following the trend at the national level, three regional governments – Kerala (a state in southwestern India), Misiones (a province in northeast Argentina), and Paraná (a state in southern Brazil) – adopted policies requiring the use of ODF. The year ended on a high note, with the Netherlands and South Africa officially adopting policies requiring ODF’s use by government agencies, joining ten other countries that had already done so. Norway required the use of ODF for all published, revisable documents on government web sites.

Steve Ballmer on ODFWith such great adoption pace, there many are reasons to predict that ODF, the international document standard, will thrive (the man on the left isn’t happy about it, so he invented proprietary OOXML). Governments do, after all, need to communicate with one another and preserve information for many years. And speaking of digital preservation, there is biased piece from Associated Press, which has ignored a big recent fiasco before publishing an article that makes Microsoft seems like a kind company. Why? Because it makes it easier to ‘unblock’ older file formats. But why are they being blocked in the first place? Here is a fragment from this seemingly-one-sided piece:

On Slashdot, a technology news and discussion site, more than 500 people logged comments about the issue this week. Some railed against what they saw as a way for the software maker to force people to spend money on new software, while others complained that Microsoft’s security explanation wasn’t accurate.

Horrible coverage if you read the article as whole (just watch the headline). Microsoft has a well-proven and well-documented pattern of naming and blaming ‘mistakes’ whenever there is an outcry. AP not only falls for it, but it also makes Microsoft seem generous after igniting another fire that encourages pricey upgrades and prevents access to personal data. Why is the press so obedient and forgiving? Here is a rough idea.

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