03.20.08

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Keeping Abreast of Microsoft’s Latest Lies About OOXML

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, IBM, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Standard at 9:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“People everywhere love Windows.”

Bill Gates

Some time ago we wrote about the collusions involving Microsoft Windows. In a bit of a roundup over at Groklaw it was interesting to find that ongoing class action lawsuits over Windows Vista can teach a thing or two about deliberate deception. We saw plenty of this in Microsoft’s attempt to ‘sell’ OOXML as a standard.

Throughout the past year in particular we saw the frequency of deception peaking. We have heaps of examples documented, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4]. Lawsuits looming? How about the EU investigation? All of this remains to be seen, but the Commission limits its scope to just stuffing of committees on the face of it. Another set of examples will come in the next post, Pakistan and Egypt being the latest suspects.

Have a look at new ways in which Microsoft’s strives to claim support for OOXML as a standard. Microsoft uses a convenient spin.

For that matter, there is a difference between support for Microsoft Office 2007 and support for OOXML. They are not the same thing, so when OpenOffice.org announces native read and write support for Office 2007 documents, that is all it means. It doesn’t mean OpenOffice.org supports OOXML as a standard. No matter what Microsoft folks try to tell you.

It’s pitiful if the only way to get people to vote for your format is by confusing them with half-truths. Or worse. Misleading people about what is capable of running your software can get you sued, after all.

The same sort of half-truths or even lies by omission Stephane has just written about, referring to Microsoft false claims of backward compatibility. Remember that Microsoft need only fool the managers, who rarely bother to test things for themselves and validate the claims made by the merchant.

So, due to the fragments being just another representation of the binary records, Office 2007 use of XML terminology is absolutely misleading. Press pass filled with the XML acronym all over the place are very appealing to CIOs, however. It is more fair to say it’s angle brackets around complex stuff than actual XML. It that were truly native XML, that would be factored in to maximize the reuse of it across libraries, components and applications. Just like ODF does.

And while Microsoft claims OpenOffice.org’s support for OOXML (which is wrong, never mind Novell's paid-for role), there appears to be another piece of information about Microsoft’s Apache claims.

Stephen McGibbon (MS) says Apache POI would get support for OOXML added, Arnaud Le Hors (IBM) stresses the Apache Foundation does NOT support OOXML and Stephen is fine with that.

[...]

Isn’t it funny that all these Microsoft partners start new projects to bring support of OOXML to various open source projects. Sure, people who took a look at the respective code of these myriads of projects were not very much impressed. But at least you get the press headlines. XY adds Open XML support to Emacs, etc. etc

We wrote about Apache yesterday. This is beginning to seem like another classic case that involves putting 'insiders' in positions where they can subvert projects or entire companies, ultimately using these to promote the agenda of an ‘outsider’ company. At times like these it’s important to also remember Microsoft’s invitations to Apache [1, 2, 3].

Topping a lot of this mess, here we have another reaction (astonishment) to Dennis Byron’s wild claims.

Meanwhile, an analyst named Dennis Byron launched a series of startling articles on OOXML. In one, he incredibly railed against Microsoft for “wasting stockholder value” on standards. In another, he launched wild allegations against IBM that are totally at odds with all facts of which I have personal knowledge.

It’s all very depressing, as well as predictable. And it won’t be over until it’s over on March 29. Except, of course, it won’t be over then, either. The battle at then hand will simply be the next battle, as the forces withdraw briefly from the field of this last one while the votes are counted.

We wrote about Dennis Byron a few days ago. It seems like a Rob Enderle wannabe syndrome.

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