02.21.08

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Quick Mention: Sam Varghese’s Take on the Strategic ‘Announcement’ (Updated)

Posted in ISO, Linspire, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML, Turbolinux, Xandros at 11:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Moments ago the following good analysis was published and it nicely complements and overlaps our own.

Microsoft’s latest move on “interoperability” is an indication that it feels it has reached the stage of “extend” in the famous “embrace, extend and extinguish” strategy for which the company is well known. And the timing could not be better.

The embrace of four Linux resellers in 2006 and 2007 has been well documented and needs no elaboration – eager for handouts and keen to stand in line like good citizens, Novell, Xandros, Turbo Linux and Linpsire signed up with the team in Redmond.

It’s curious that an announcement titled “Microsoft Executives to Make Significant Company Announcement” comes a few days before national standards bodies gather in Geneva to begin a meeting that will culminate with a vote on whether Microsoft Office Open XML is accepted as an ISO standard or not.

Call me cynical but I can’t help noticing that this move also comes on the heels of a European Union announcement that it would investigate Microsoft’s actions in its bid to get OOXML adopted as an ISO standard.

The detail of the announcement will emerge later, much later, as there are thousands of pages which one must digest. Significantly, there is no time for those who are attending the Geneva meeting to understand this announcement – and that is by design.

Update: check out Bob Sutor’s excellent collection of links and quotes. Among them:

“The European Commission has expressed doubt regarding Microsoft’s announcement Thursday claiming a move toward greater interoperability.”

[...]

“Microsoft made major concessions Thursday that should make it easier for open-source software to dovetail with or even replace Microsoft products, but a major caveat means the company’s legal threats remain alive and well.”

[...]

“The European Committee For Interoperable Systems said it will take a wait and see approach in determining whether the changes will alleviate its concerns.”

[...]

What the heck exactly is “non-commercial” use of open source? Hobbyists?

[...]

“I expect that there it is no coincidence that this announcement comes just two business days (and only one, for most of the world) before the Ballot Resolution Meeting convenes in Geneva next Monday.”

[...]

“Microsoft is really pulling out all the stops to make sure OOXML gets the ISO standards nod. Losing lucrative government contracts here and abroad that require “open” standards would be no financial joke for the company.”b

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