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Microsoft’s Brian Jones Assembles OOXML Patent Portfolio

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Open XML, Patents at 11:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“It’s hard for Microsoft to commit to what comes out of Ecma [the European standards group that has already OK’d OOXML] in the coming years, because we don’t know what direction they will take the formats. We’ll of course stay active and propose changes based on where we want to go with Office 14. At the end of the day, though, the other Ecma members could decide to take the spec in a completely different direction. … Since it’s not guaranteed, it would be hard for us to make any sort of official statement.”

Brian Jones, Microsoft

“With all those contradictions and spin, would you truly believe him when he promises not to use patents to defend OOXML?”Brian Jones is not a particularly pleasant character (see recent examples [1 2]) and he was caught resorting to some nasty spins in the past (e.g. [1, 2]) although he in fact admitted that ECMA OOXML is flawed and unfinished ([1, 2, 3]). With all those contradictions and spin, would you truly believe him when he promises not to use patents to defend OOXML? And look at the new findings: what do we have here?

For fun we just did a quick search of published US patent applications with “Brian Jones” as an author, and “Microsoft” as the assignee.


Some of these, like the packing ones, seem to apply directly to OOXML. What isn’t clear to us is why Microsoft would pursue patent protection for patents rights that their are promising that they won’t assert over users of OOXML.

As we have shown before, Microsoft is quietly building a patent arsenal for OOXML [1, 2, 3, 4]. This has "patent ambush" written all over it and Microsoft can attack by proxy, using outside parties, just like SCO. This renders “promises not to sue” obsolete. Given the deception we’ve seen coming endlessly from Brian Jones (c/f examples at the top), who can you really trust?

Quick Mention: Asking Microsoft for Your Own Personal Data

Posted in Formats, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument at 11:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

One of the more absurd things is that people continue to store their own information in formats that make ownership and control of this data somewhat of a ‘joint venture’. Without Microsoft’s ‘permission’, people can be denied access to their own knowledge, which they once typed down.

The NLnet Foundation wants to change that and a request has been made for Microsoft to ease and facilitate the escape route from its deprecated binary formats to an open standard like ODF.

Dutch not-for-profit venture capitalist NLnet Foundation has called on Microsoft to release its older file formats into the public domain to enable businesses, open source-developers and the standards community to better access their own documents in the future, and to help them get Microsoft’s products to work with the new open standard ODF.

It remains quite hard to one’s comprehension. We ended up in a state where people store their data on their computers, but they have no real control over this data. To make matters worse, they can be virtually forced to purchase new software for whatever price a single vendor charges merely to be allowed to continue to interact with this data. How did we end up this way? Why was this permitted? And why is Microsoft trying to intercept attempts to change and to end this abuse?

“It’s a Simple Matter of [Microsoft’s] Commercial Interests!”

–Microsoft’s Doug Mahugh about OOXML

The Microsoft OOXML Spin Factory Reaches Full Production Mode (Updatedx2)

Posted in Deception, Formats, FUD, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML at 11:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

With proxies like these, who needs advocates?

Several people, including Rob Weir (just yesterday in fact), said this was coming. The Propaganda Machine is hard at work and it will have you believe that OOXML is the Second Coming. You might be wondering what are we talking about. Where does one even begin? There is is a DDOS of disinformation at the moment.

“Previously, the Burton Group also did some anti-Google Apps ‘studies’, so they lost credibility a long time ago.”One of Microsoft’s favourite sockpuppets, the Burton Group, is at it again (there is proven history here [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]). Once again it defends the Microsoft Cash Cow (Office). Previously, the Burton Group also did some anti-Google Apps ‘studies’, so they lost credibility a long time ago. We once described the tricky business of disclosure and also discussed examples like Frost & Sullivan, IDC and Gartner.

About the Burton Group, one source has another take: “My impression is a bit different. They seem to be like a lot of other market analysis firms, who function both as hired “experts” and as independent experts. The ethic there is that market analysis firms are expected to disclose in their reports if they’ve been paid for producing the report.” This analysis escapes the fact that there are also investors in these firms. For example, Bill Gates invests in Gartner and IDC. They will always be loyal to regular customers and investors. Without companies like Microsoft and Oracle, they would be out on the street.

The bottom line here is that what the Burton Group says has in some sense already been corrupted by the fact that that such firms cannot make a living just through subscription that enables access to studies. There must be more powers at play. By someone who is not pro-ODF we are told: “How any firm could advise enterprises to adopt either OOXML or ODF before the ISO battles are over on both OOXML and ODF v. 1.2 is beyond me. There’s very strong energy behind both harmonization and convergence. The chances are just too great that both standards will be so altered that those who take the plunge before will be left without application support.

According to Stephen Walli, Microsoft might just implement ODF at the end, simply to address need. It is inevitable. You will find some further coverage of Microsoft spin and disinformation here.

Meanwhile a spin factory sends out success stories that most bloggers find worthless to discuss. It is possible to get the Krauts on board that are supposed to review OOXML but would OOXML survive a review by the crowds?

Don’t believe anything anyone tells you. Also try to find out who is who and in which direction money flows. Some estimate that Microsoft has already invested (spent) billions of dollars in the ‘purchase’ of OOXML support. Novell happens to be one of these investments.

Update: The apple never falls far from the tree.

Midvale, Utah-based Burton Group said that the report was neither commissioned nor paid for by Microsoft. However, Burton analyst Peter O’Kelly, one of the report’s co-authors, is scheduled to make a presentation at an Open XML press briefing that Microsoft plans to hold in the Seattle area on Wednesday. Also speaking will be multiple Microsoft executives involved in the Open XML standards-ratification effort.

For OOXML, Microsoft has already done this type of tango with IDC, among others. It was another Microsoft-backed pro-OOXML study. CompTIA, another lobbying arm for Microsoft, does this too. What a world we live in!

Update #2: Here is another good article about this.

Sony Battled by Patent, Battles Against Standards

Posted in America, Asia, Microsoft, Patents, Videos at 10:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A victims becomes and aggressor

Sony and Nintendo have both come under fire by an American company which claims the the Japanese console makers had stolen its ideas.

A US company has filed a lawsuits against both Nintendo and Sony, alleging that the controllers that go with the companies’ games consoles trample over its intellectual property rights for console to controller connection.

Someone whom we spoke to yesterday took a look at the company’s profile, but was unable to find Microsoft connections. Remember that Microsoft has a lot to benefit here because of XBox360. You might wish to see the following video:

Sony’s approach to handling or treating standards bears some resemblance to what we find in OOXML, so the company is no innocent angel, either.

Never one to settle for an open standard when the opportunity to push a proprietary alternative presents itself, Sony has announced that it will wade into the next-generation short-range interconnect wars with a proprietary new wireless spec called “TransferJet.” Sony’s proposed TransferJet spec has a physical peak transmission rate of 560Mbps and would appear to compete directly with short- and medium-range ultrawideband-based offerings like wireless USB (W-USB) and the next generation of Bluetooth technology. But in spite of any similarities to either W-USB or Bluetooth 3.0, both of which are based on the same WiMedia radio technology and promise transfer speeds in the 480Mbps range, Sony’s TransferJet has some distinguishing characteristics that set it apart from the pack.

“Distinguishing characteristics that set it apart from the pack,” states the article. Sounds familiar? “More functionality,” anyone?

Attack/Shoot the Messenger Strategy: Thy Name is Intel, Microsoft, Novell, GNOME

Posted in Apple, GNOME, Google, Microsoft, Novell, OLPC at 12:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“The years of anti-software-patent campaigning taught us that programming doesn’t solve all problems. Companies like Microsoft have realised that politics and advertising are two of the free software community’s weak spots. They can’t tackle us in terms of producing good software, so they’re tackling us where we are weak. We have to beef up our work on public policy and awareness.”

Source (very recent)

Several days ago we pointed out Intel's attacks on a charitable project (OLPC), which Intel saw as too disruptive to its core business. Mary, who only recently left OLPC, tried to even defend Intel at one point (accusations of astroturfing) and there are reports which say that OLPC would welcome Intel back. That said, after Intel’s smear campaign against Nicholas Negroponte and OLPC, would that not be too odd?

Negroponte has already described this relationship as one that involves repetitive abuse (with forgiveness always in vain). Intel actively sabotaged and spread OLPC FUD (e.g. in Peru) and this was very systematic. Here is a new report from O’Reilly Radar:

Some of the anti-OLPC notes that have appeared since Intel was kicked out of the project have been well-reasoned (read the Economist’s near-obituary and Nikolaj Nyholm on Radar) — but much of the anti-OLPC opining has deteriorated to personal attack on OLPC head Nicholas Negroponte. At least one of those sources of attack has turned out to be run by an Intel employee. There are plenty of forces that want OLPC to fail commercially.

It has been interesting to see how the very biased media portrayed Nicholas Negroponte, thanks to the ‘kind’ help of Intel and its f[r]iends. Novell has actually done its share of work trying to have this Web site ignored by journalists and in some sense, the GNOME Foundation, headed by Miguel de Icaza at the time, tried that also. And lastly, that brings us to Novell’s partner, Microsoft, which runs its secret smears against Google all the time.

Microsoft is launching an anti-Google propaganda campaign.

Here is another good example where FUD replaced effective and ethical marketing.

This, of course, brought Google even closer to rivaling Microsoft’s Office suite, which has now spurred a reaction from the Redmond software giant.

No, its not new software or updates for the popular productivity suite, but rather Microsoft’s own reasoning on why businesses should NOT use Google Apps.

The above is an example based on just one incident that strives to assassinate the character of just one company. There are more recent examples and Motley Fool, a site which is associated with MSN, last spread some intimidating anti-Google messages over the weekend (“Banned by Google” it was called). It is all delivered under the guise of financial news and there is a clear pattern.

Coming from a more dubious source, George ‘Microsoft’ Ou, there are claims that Apple too has been attacking those who carries unwanted messages. The same person is among the ‘little army’ that has run a little smear campaign against Peter Gutmann, who exposed Vista’s dark DRM secrets and continues to do so. But that’s another story altogether and it’s worth saving it for another day.

Quick Mention: Novell Groks “Intellectual Property”

Posted in Intellectual Monopoly, Marketing, Novell at 12:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

…and Richard Stallman sighs again

Novell boasts a success story. but mind the language which is used.

That’s why Technicolor, the pre-eminent worldwide provider of services to the media, entertainment and communications industries, needed a solution to prevent unauthorized access and secure the hundreds of terabytes of intellectual property with which they work.

It ought to be emphasised that Novell is perpetuating and spreading this mythical piece of terminology. There is no such thing as intellectual property. There are patent, trademarks, copyrights and other things, but they are totally separate.

The Microsoft Lock-in Stack Comes Under Fire in Europe; Is Greece a Microsoft Victim Already?

Posted in Action, Antitrust, Europe, Law, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Open XML at 12:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“There won’t be anything we won’t say to people to try and convince them that our way is the way to go.”

Bill Gates (Microsoft’s CEO at the time)

The following development was by all means expected. It’s the progression of an ongoing investigation led by Mr. Vinje and others. We wrote about it on several occasions in the past.

Those who do not know why Microsoft uses (as in “exploits”) Novell for Mono, Moonlight, OOXML and so forth ought to pay closer attention. Novell does a great disservice to Free software by facilitating Microsoft’s framework and making it more prevalent rather than reject it for what it is and what it is intended to achieve in the long term.

Anyway, here is the news, in case you missed it.

European antitrust regulators are kicking off two new Microsoft antitrust investigations, one of which involves products and technologies for which Microsoft allegedly is withholding interoperability information, including its .Net framework, Office Open XML (OOXML) document format and various server products.

More disturbing to the mind, however, was the find that comes from noooxml.org at the moment. Have a look at their analysis of a proposal that is being pushed in Greece.

Microsoft Hellas proposes a contract that will take over control of the sovereign European state. Greece would lose the right to speak about other products its government uses and gain the right to support the business interests of the vendor and its policy goals.


Nice proposal, Microsoft will help Greece to spy on its ICT infrastructure in order to weaken the procurement power of Greece for the benefit of the supplier. Win-Win, right?

Watch the video which is contained in this post about the way Microsoft 'buys' Europe. It is about Greece and it shows some contract signing with accompanying context. Do follow the link if you wish to understand the degree of manipulation and its associated dangers.

About 20% of Novell South Africa’s Staff Quit the Company, Replaced

Posted in Boycott Novell at 9:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

About a week ago we mentioned the departure of lots of staff in Novell South Africa. There is now a more formal report which confirms this. It reveals some actual numbers too.

Naidoo reveals the local workforce was required to re-apply for new positions under its revamped structure. This process saw “about 20%” of its old workforce retrenched.

After such radical changes in terms of workforce, it is natural to expect that the level of skills of experience declined significantly. On the brighter side of things (depending on your perspective), Microsoft suffered a corporate executives exodus last week. About 4 highly senior staff departed. Mary Jo Foley has heard from source that there is more to come this week. The latter, however, is a case of “Microsoft bashing”, which we do not cover in this site. It’s FUD an manipulation that is of particular interest to us, i.e. direct attacks on open standards and Free software. such as GNU/Linux.

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