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

03.30.08

Does Microsoft Want to Kill ISO More Than Its Wants to Win an ISO?

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GPL, ISO, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Standard at 10:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

ODF formatFirst and foremost, it is important to emphasise that ISO is just a part of a bigger battle. To remind ourselves of this fact consider a new contribution from a reader who wrote in to say:


Denmark’s public sector requires OOXML or ODF. Microsoft Office supports neither, so it is one suite that will be locked out of Danish government. OpenOffice.org, StarOffice, Symphony, and others all get the green light:


Here is the new article which back his assessment but only to an extent.

Denmark’s public sector will not be affected if Microsoft’s latest file format is rejected or accepted by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), a government official said Wednesday.

Our reader speaks of open and well-documented standards that are implemented with an open source reference design, which also happens to be available for reuse (LGPLv3-licensed, for a good reason). It all aligns pretty well with this decent new article from a standards expert. He talks about the symbiotic relationship between open source software and open standards.

The acceptance and success of open source development methodologies pose both a challenge and an opportunity for standards organizations such as the JCP. Some argue that standards are less necessary in an open-source world, or that the collaborative efforts of open source communities can develop “de facto standards” in a more agile manner than the more traditional standards bodies whose processes are necessarily more cautious and time-consuming. I believe that both open standards and open source are necessary; they can and should complement each other. Open standards are essential to enable multiple competing implementations, protecting against vendor lock-in.

The definition of open standards is in jeopardy though, or at least their formal approval and status. See SubSonica’s comment right here. It is defended very strongly by the following blog spot which explains why Microsoft will gain in case it successfully ruins ISO altogether.

Hasn’t anyone learned anything over the last few years. It doesn’t matter if OOXML is approved or not. All that matters is that the process that gave ODF it’s international standing is ruined. ODF got where it is today because it is an international standard, not because it is necessarily the answer to every possible question. People believed in the ISO process and believed that a standard with their seal of approval was actually worth something in the real world. By badgering, bribing and threatening, Microsoft has effectively destroyed the ISO process. So who cares if OOXML becomes a standard or not? No one if there isn’t gold standard for it to be judged against. While ODF was a saint, the sinner of OOXML looked very dark and shabby. Now Microsoft has cast doubt on the lineage of ODF everyone is a sinner.

It is a sad truth and the quote below validates it further.

“We want to own these standards, so we should not participate in standards groups. Rather, we should call ‘to me’ to the industry and set a standard that works now and is for everyone’s benefit. We are large enough that this can work.” ¶

–Microsoft Corporation, internal memo (source [compressed PDF])

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

2 Comments

  1. Ziggyfish said,

    March 30, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    Gravatar

    We are quick to punish ISO, for this, but in September the process worked, what we should as a Open source community is shun the ECMA standard group, Because how did such a incomplete standard pass ECMA? If anything the ECMA standard group has loss most to all of it’s reputation(if it had any).

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 30, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    Gravatar

    Back in September the process did not work, either. It was a total disaster, with Microsoft going as far as bribing to have its specifications approved. Shortly after September, parts of ISO fell apart (people quit, or fled). It’s true that ECMA, along with Microsoft, are the cause for ISO’s demise, but suggesting that the process was OK back in September is very wrong. The whole OOXML/ODF saga (and fiasco) actually go back to around

    ECMA International is what Tim Bray referred to as a “toxic leech”. Not so long ago we saw a connection between ECMA and what then became a Microsoft lobbyist in CompTIA, which is a very vile pressure group. All of these groups need to be dismantled. They serve no function other than to corrupt the system with money and influence.

What Else is New


  1. How Long Can the EPO Bend the Rules Before the Avalanche of Invalid Software Patents?

    A 35 U.S.C. § 101/SCOTUS moment in Europe will likely squash loads of abstract European Patents granted by the EPO; shouldn’t the EPO foresee this and immediately cease granting such obviously bogus patents, whose main beneficiary is a bunch of patent trolls?



  2. Battistelli Trashed 223 Millions (of Stakeholders' Euros) on a System That Destroyed the European Patent Office and Made Few Private Corporations a Lot Richer

    A quarter of a billion euros later the EPO finally admits in private that this was a massive failure



  3. Links 19/2/2019: Mesa 18.3.4, Cutelyst 2.7.0, Plasma Pass 1.0.0

    Links for the day



  4. What Happened in the United States Now Happens in Europe: Lots of Patents Turn Out to Be Bunk, Fake, Bogus, Invalid and Thus Worthless

    Worthless patents — not opposition to such patents — are the greatest threat to the legitimacy of the patent system, yet bureaucrats fail to heed the warning in the name of short-term profits



  5. Stephen Rowan's and Nellie Simon's Letter to EPO Staff: eDossier Has “Not Reached the Required Quality Levels.”

    We've just commented on it; here is the raw letter in full, explaining that eDossier and related frameworks will be abandoned entirely and indefinitely within less than a fortnight



  6. Search Matters Not at the European Patent Office

    The EPO has found out that "System Battistelli" has been catastrophic for the quality of patents; it stops short of openly admitting it as such and in fact it keeps the message strictly confidential (explained to insiders, who will inevitably notice a system being abandoned)



  7. António Campinos Still Needs to Undo Battistelli's Union-Busting Activities at the EPO

    Solidarity and support for Laurent Prunier are needed because the new French president lacks empathy even for fellow Frenchmen whose sole 'crime' is that they represented EPO staff



  8. Links 18/2/2019: Linux 5.0 RC7, RISC-V Spreading Fast

    Links for the day



  9. António Campinos Still Needs to Hold Team Battistelli Accountable for Illegally Bringing Weapons to the EPO

    It is imperative that, in order to repair the reputation of the European Patent Office (EPO), António Campinos should pursue accountability for the managers who brought Benalla and firearms to the Office (very serious breach of German law, jail sentence included)



  10. Links 17/2/2019: Compiz 0.9.14.0, Geary 0.13.0, GNU FreeDink 109.6, Debian 9.8, Texinfo 6.6

    Links for the day



  11. Amazon's Patent Policy Should be Enough of a Reason to Boycott Amazon and AWS

    There are many things to criticise Amazon and its founder for; but rarely does the mainstream media bring up the company's appalling patent policy



  12. Don't Use Cloudflare Because You Impose This on People Who Least Want It

    Reasons to stop making the World Wide Web so heavily dependent on some dubious companies like Cloudflare, which already has a worrisome track record



  13. How Many/Most EPO Examiners View 'President' António Campinos

    Based on what readers/insiders have told us, there’s a prevalent perception that António Campinos is afraid of (thus controlled/directed by) Bergot, who is still doing Battistelli’s biddings at the European Patent Office (EPO)



  14. Techrights' Priorities Over the Years

    An old priority of ours, eliminating software patents in the United States, is no longer quite so relevant because such patents are perishing in US courts, with or without outside intervention such as activism



  15. Courts in Disagreement: Warning on Wrongly-Granted European Patents and the Looming Collapse of All Software Patents in Europe

    By devaluing patents and reducing their perceived worth (as is happening in China and Europe) patent offices risk decreasing participation in the very system they fundamentally depend on



  16. Computing Will Not Necessarily Make the World a Better Place

    The vision of "happy world" (because each person has a so-called 'smart' 'phone') is a yuppie delusion that overlooks business models and corporate interests



  17. EPO Grants Fake European Patents -- Including Software Patents -- and European Courts Keep Rejecting These

    The demise of the legitimacy or perceived validity of European Patents is measurable and the system isn't the same anymore; the EPO makes no effort to change this for the better, either



  18. Nobody But Patent Trolls and Litigators Will Benefit From the Corruption of the European Patent Office

    IAM, EPO leadership, Iancu and the rest of these raiders are enabling corruption and facilitating or supporting a racket; that money they collect comes at the expense of future victims of their "clients" or "customers" (that's what they call applicants, to whom they grant dubious monopolies as a matter of urgency)



  19. WSL is a Misleading Acronym/Name Because There's No Linux in It, It's Just Windows

    When Microsoft says "Linux" (as in "Microsoft loves Linux") what it actually means is Windows and/or Azure



  20. Links 16/2/2019: Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS, PyCharm 2019.1 EAP 4

    Links for the day



  21. Outline/Index of the Alexandre Benalla/Battistelli Scandal

    Our writings about the scandals implicating Benalla and the European Patent Office (EPO)



  22. Reading Techrights on a Mobile Device Running Android

    A new Android app for reading this site is being tested



  23. Links 14/2/2019: “I Love Free Software Day” and Mesa 19.0 RC4 Released

    Links for the day



  24. “EPO Lawlessness Again”

    Blackberry uses bogus European Patents (on software) for lawsuits; "all of them pure software patents. Patents on programs for computers as such," as Müller puts it



  25. Unitary Patent (UPC) is All About Imposing Patent Maximalists' Ideology of Greed and Self Interest on Courts in the Name of 'Unification' or 'Consistency' or 'Community'

    Pushers of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) are upset that they don’t always get their way when independent judges get to decide; as it turns out, many European Patents are just fake patents, more so under António Campinos



  26. Battistelli's Bodyguard, Part V: Mediapart Explains the 'Raid' Attempt, Reporters Without Borders Involved

    Mediapart, an investigative site that unearths a lot of incriminating things about Battistelli's former bodyguard Alexandre Benalla, was the target of a raid attempt some weeks ago



  27. Links 13/2/2019: Tails 3.12.1, MongoDB Being Dumped

    Links for the day



  28. Battistelli's Bodyguard, Part IV: Suspected Offenses of Forgery and Possible Falsification

    In a very underworld fashion, Benalla continues to break the law and create yet more scandals



  29. Battistelli's Bodyguard, Part III: Mars, France Close Protection (Benalla's Family), and Russian Oligarchy

    An article which examines the business background of Benalla, the outrageous salaries, the severance indemnity pay, and contract with a Russian oligarch close to Vladimir Putin



  30. Links 13/2/2019: Plasma 5.15.0 and a Look at Linux Mint Debian Edition Cindy

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts