A reader of ours wrote a good piece yesterday about the likely motives behind letting specifications of the binary Office formats go loose. As Stephane indicated, Microsoft had never truly released the secret sauce and none of this is news. It’s part of the charade and many people fall for this self-serving gesture.
The following new article, “Microsoft publishes ‘incomplete’ OOXML specs”, says more about Stephane’s contentions.
Microsoft has been accused of publishing “incomplete” specifications for its Office file format binaries.
What has Microsoft told the media (via its PR arms) and why is it widely being being reported that all is well and the binaries have just been sent free (never mind completeness, never mind patents other licensing caveats)?
Here is another corny new article where Microsoft pretends that it wants peace and harmony, having snubbed and rejected ODF when it was first invited to participate. The article contains better balancing elements than most, but it remains curious that Ziff Davis almost has a monopoly on OOXML coverage. Anyway, the article ends with a few gems of truth, including in part:
However, some remain unconvinced of Microsoft’s message. Harish Pillay, president of the Singapore Linux Users’ Group said in an interview that ODF is quite capable of the same functions. “What [Microsoft] is doing with OOXML is to further lock down [users] with dependencies on Microsoft technologies as part of their business value chain,” Pillay said.
Pillay remains skeptical of Microsoft’s genuine efforts in winning mindshare with its purported revisions to OOXML. “Microsoft has abused the ISO process for their purposes,” said Pillay, in reference to the company’s reported swaying of votes in Sweden by offering companies “incentives”.
Free Software Foundation Europe president, Georg Greve, has also named Switzerland, Sweden, Germany, Portugal, the Netherlands, and the United States as countries that have been influenced by Microsoft.
Favours are being exchanged not only for OOXML. None of this should shock because it has been done forever, but the scale which this phenomenon has reached is flabbergasting. Here is another suspicious new move in Portugal.
Apparently unrelated to OOXML, Microsoft, a Business Parter (both on the portuguese TC) and an Institute who has a prominent member participating in the portuguese TC allegedly as an individual, are opening a Microsoft Innovation Center in Portugal oriented to clients and companies. Probably some CRM with OOXML capabilities?
Microsoft, in partnership with JP Sá Couto and ISCTE, is about to open a Microsoft Innovation Center focused on developing software for companies and clients (probably reads CRM, and probably focused around MS-OOXML)
* Mere coincidence?
* Proof of conflict of interest?
* Reward for activity in CT-173?
We happen to have mentioned Portugal quite a lot recently. Find out why [1, 2]. A friend of mine. Christian Einfeldt, says that an unreported fact is that Microsoft quickly loses its grip on the
Spanish Iberian peninsula. █