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


Becta, Its Microsoft Affairs, and OpenDocument Format

Posted in Europe, Formats, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument at 11:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“The danger is that Microsoft is using strategic monopolistic pricing in the education market, with the government’s assistance, to turn our state university systems into private workforce training programs for Microsoft.”

Nathan Newman

Prior to discussing Microsoft's exclusionary deals with OEM we also discussed Microsoft exclusionary deal with British education. The gist of the story is that BECTA and Microsoft sign secret deals which more or less force all educational institutions to stick with Microsoft’s prepaid-for products (thereby excluding Free software).

“They have dual roles and conflicting interests, e.g. serving Microsoft investors and ‘serving’ British taxpayers at the same time.”At the time, such actions and deals resulted in some outrage. Those who understand the situation — as opposed to just assume that politicians serve their people with good cause in mind — have called for change. There is already too much ‘cheeky business’ like this in the United Kingdom. We recently discussed the BBC again. In fact, much more information is yet to arrive about other government establishments that become Microsoft hostages in the hands of former/current Microsoft employees. They have dual roles and conflicting interests, e.g. serving Microsoft investors and ‘serving’ British taxpayers at the same time.

More recently, BECTA has been a little more responsive. It actually listened. They say it’s the perception that you cannot live without Office which makes a mental barrier. With OOXML spreading around, this may actually become a technical barrier, so it's time to worry about BECTA and ODF (they made no clear statement on the issue for all we can tell).

Having made some inquires we learned that BECTA did write to BSI to tell them to vote “No” to OOXML as an ISO standard. They have also complained to the OFT about Microsoft’s lack of interoperability in office suites. “They really ought to use ODF for Web site downloads again,” I was told just days ago. After all, this is a government-associated establishment. A formal announcement of some sort ought to come from BECTA as it would be helpful. The ODF Alliance periodically compiles reports that serve as evidence of ODF growth and expansion.BECTA’s words can be used. Here is what ZDNet UK had to report on yesterday:

Becta, the organisation that implements government educational technology policy, has claimed Windows Vista and Office 2007 should not be deployed in schools because of potential compatibility issues with earlier versions of Microsoft’s software, as well as software produced by Microsoft’s rivals. This view was reiterated on Wednesday in an update to a Becta report released late last year.

Here is a more comprehensive analysis from Matt Aslett, which includes valuable quotes.

“We remain concerned about the approach taken to supporting ODF in Office 2007. While the product includes the functionality to read virtually every other relevant file format ‘out of the box’, the processes for dealing with ODF files are very cumbersome. We identified ten steps that users would need to take in order to locate and install the converter that gives Office 2007 the ability to access ODF files and note that the arrangements for opening and saving ODF files in Microsoft Office 2007 are not intuitive in that they deviate from the normal approach familiar to users. We believe that these arrangements present sufficient technical difficulties for the majority of users to make them disinclined to use competitor products and this may weaken competition.”

It is important that BECTA speaks out more loudly about ODF, especially as we now have a window of opportunity while schools are getting really hassled with kids bringing in OOXML-format material.

Stephen Walli once argued that Microsoft's support for ODF is inevitable. Microsoft should just support ODF as soon as possible if it wished to remain relevant in the market. According to one source which is close to the company, this will be done sooner or later. Why procrastinate the inevitable?

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

What Else is New

  1. Željko Topić Attacks EPO Staff for 'Daring' to Legally Challenge the EPO's Management Over Its Gross Abuses in Europe

    Benoît Battistelli's right-hand man, Željko Topić, is under the false impression that yet more threats against staff of the EPO will help contain the crisis rather than further inflame it

  2. Media Reports Based on New Patents Suggest That Microsoft Continues to Attack Google and Android/Linux, Trying to Tax and Delete Android

    Reports and patent applications serve to show that Microsoft not only tries to infiltrate ("embrace") Android to put its apps there ("extend") but ultimately to delete ("extinguish") Android

  3. Commenters Provide Possible Explanations for Mr Van der Eijk Being on Unlimited Sick Leave

    Rumours are swirling around Wim Van der Eijk's absence, suggesting that he too may be a victim of Benoît Battistelli's iron fist

  4. Links 6/10/2015: Linux 4.3 RC4, HP OpenSwitch, Wind River Linux 8

    Links for the day

  5. With Software Patents in Europe (and Pushes for the Same Thing in Australia and India) Patent Trolls Now Come to Europe, Attack Android/Linux

    Worst-case scenarios are becoming a reality as Android backers officially attacked by patent trolls using standard-essential patents in London, England

  6. New Information on Limbo in the Enlarged Board, Courtesy of Illegal Actions by the EPO's Benoît Battistelli

    Battistelli's bullying of people whom he is not even allowed to bully turns out to have gone on for a lot longer than promised, and there is no sign of light at the end of this tunnel

  7. Microsoft Customers Complain About 'Inevitable' Vista 10 Because Microsoft Nearly Forces Botched 'Upgrades'

    In a desperate effort to spread Vista 10, sometimes even against people's will, Microsoft really upsets loyal customers, who are eventually eager to explore alternatives

  8. Dr. Ingve Björn Stjerna Explains Why the UPC (“Unitary Patent“ System) is an Undemocratic Sham Whilst UPC Silently Advanced by Patent Lawyers and Politicians

    European patent laws are being covertly overridden so as to allow broader scope of litigation, higher financial damages, speedy injunctions, and even software patents; the European public is intentionally kept in the dark about it, hence kept unable to express scepticism or issue truly effective objections

  9. IRC Proceedings: September 13th, 2015 – October 3rd, 2015

    Many IRC logs

  10. Article Explains Why SUEPO Went Silent Well Over a Week Ago: Nobody is Allowed to Talk to Journalists Without Permission From Battistelli

    More threats from Benoît Battistelli (threats of termination and legal actions on top of it) help hide the abuses of Battistelli and his fellow thugs at the EPO

  11. A Linux World: After Billions of Dollars in Losses Microsoft Changes How It Reports Financial Results

    The abusive monopolist is trying very hard to hide its growing difficulties, especially in an effort to bamboozle non-technical shareholders who cannot understand how Linux has essentially taken over

  12. Microsoft Continues to Extort Linux and Android OEMs Using Software Patents, This Time ASUS (Forced to Pre-Install Microsoft Spyware With OOXML)

    A roundup of news illustrating that Microsoft is still very much in a total war against Android, (mis)using federal regulators and even software patents to get its way

  13. Links 4/10/2015: Linux 4.2.3 , 4.1.10; MPlayer 1.2 released

    Links for the day

  14. Links 2/10/2015: Qubes 3.0, Linux.Wifatch

    Links for the day

  15. Microsoft-Connected Firm Net Applications Used to Mislead About Vista 10 Share and Mock GNU/Linux

    People who are connected to Microsoft (some being former staff) link to a firm that is connected to Microsoft in order to create the illusion that Vista 10 market share grew to 6.63%

  16. Chairman of the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA) and EPO Vice-President of DG3 Suspiciously on Unlimited Sick Leave After Benoît Battistelli's Unprecedented Attacks on Other EBoA Staff

    Rumours suggest that Benoît Battistelli's affairs at the EPO may have something to do with Wim Van der Eijk's longterm absence

  17. Microsoft's Secret Special Relationship With EPO Illustrates Serious Corruption at Microsoft and the EPO

    A big story about the EPO and Microsoft working in a sort of collusion-type setup so as to serve Microsoft's patent agenda, which involves aggression, even against European software that is Free (as in freedom)

  18. Links 1/10/2015: LFS 7.8, Calculate Linux 15 Released

    Links for the day

  19. The 'Microsoft Loves Linux' Baloney is Still Being Floated in the Media While Microsoft Attacks Linux With Patents, New Lawsuits Reported

    Despite Microsoft's continued assault on Linux and on Android (using software patents, which it still discreetly lobbies for), some figures in the media are perpetually peddling the Microsoft-serving lie that 'Microsoft loves Linux'

  20. The Microsoft Botnet Goes Bonkers and ATMs Running Windows Spew Out Cash

    The terrible security (by design) of Microsoft Windows is causing all sorts of very serious and collectively expensive issues

  21. Black Duck Continues to Pile FUD on Free/Libre Software

    Having spent nearly a decade promoting the fear of Free software licensing, Black Duck now does the same regarding Free software security

  22. Links 30/9/2015: New Kernels, Nexus Devices

    Links for the day

  23. Links 28/9/2015: Last News Catchup Before Resumption

    Links for the day

  24. Links 25/9/2015: GNU/Linux in Indian Government, NeoKylin in China

    Links for the day

  25. Süddeutsche Zeitung Explains Imminent Federal Scrutiny Against Battistelli's EPO in Germany

    The German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reveals that actions by the German government may be imminent against the EPO's cliquish management, including its ringleader Benoît Battistelli

  26. EPO Managers, Patent Lawyers, Commissioners and Other Non-Technical Personnel Tackle Democracy, Alter Laws in Bulk and in Secret

    The reckless assault on European democracies and long-established laws across Europe are now lucidly demonstrated when it comes to patents

  27. Europe's Acceptance of and Resistance to Software Patents, Courtesy of Corporate Front Groups and Courtrooms Respectively

    A snapshot of recent developments and upcoming developments in Europe, regarding software patents in particular

  28. German Press Explains EPO Investigation Unit (I.U.), Struggles to Openly Speak to the Secretive EPO

    The secretive Investigation/Investigative Unit (I.U.) of the European Patent Office (EPO) is further studied/explored by a recent article from junge Welt, an old and well-established German newspaper (since 1947)

  29. Links 24/9/2015: GNOME 3.18, Fedora 23 Beta, New Firefox

    Links for the day

  30. Translation Needed of Article About EPO Threats Against SUEPO's Elizabeth Hardon

    A call for translation of an important article that may help shed light on the modus operandi of the Investigation/Investigative Unit of the EPO, which works with Control Risks Group (CRG), the 'British Blackwater'


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