“Microsoft may have media control, but hardly any juridical control, especially not outside the United States.”There’s a big storm coming, but it’s too early to disclose the details. In the mean time, leak by leak and drop by drop, eventually the truth will dribble out. Microsoft may have media control, but hardly any juridical control, especially not outside the United States.
Yesterday we saw some new examples of scandals from France and from Norway. There have been some ugly incidents or observation also in Croatia, Germany, Poland, Sweden, the UK, Denmark and where not? The main difference between one country and another is the level of visibility of the process. In the UK, for example, the secrecy was unbelievable. Isn’t it an open standard they purport to be weighing on? Almost nowhere have proceedings been fully transparent and those who ‘dared’ to speak out were sometimes at risk of getting sued.
Like a family preparing for the hurricane, ISO seems to have secured the home, stocked up the shelves and done maximum damage control just before shutting its doors and taking OXML [sic] down to the basement where it can lose its mind with a set of headphones and a fully-changed Walkman.
It’s actually to be expected.
ISO now has skeletons in it’s closet so they don’t *want* an appeals to be filed. Anything they can do to put this whole mess in the past and bury those skeletons is what they’ll do. They’ve already:
* Put out an “Everything is okay” SNAFU FAQ
* Tried to convince people that people who actually want quality standards (not fake unimplementable specs) are just anti-OOXML because they’re pro-ODF
* Tried to convince people that the only opposition is just a group of weirdos that like to protest anything, likely sponsored by IBM
This type of attitude of course utterly despicable coming from what’s considered to be the “International” body responsible for industrial ‘rules’. How thoroughly has it been corrupted by Microsoft, having been hijacked? One has to wonder.
The Noooxml lobby has been rather quiet recently, but efforts continue to go into raising of awareness rather than tracking and documentation of known and newly-revealed scandals. Speaking of positives:
I find it important to share the effort for the promotion of interoperable digital standards policies globally. Some members of our community refer to it ironically as the “domino project”. Policies like the one of the Netherlands are going to inspire other administrations to take similar steps. The call for open standards, that is standards free of vendor capture, which preserve us the “freedom to leave” regarding standard based solutions, would mount. One small step triggers the next.
Another item which is worth mentioning is this coverage about Corel. To satisfy a reader’s request we recently summarised the Corel situation. It appears as though Corel is still not fully obliged to neither OOXML nor to ODF. It does, however, brag about PDF capabilities.
Support for Open Office XML (which has been implemented as a standardised version, but not yet in software) and the OpenDocument format allows document exchange with users of Office 2007 and OpenOffice and StarOffice. However, the “File Format Freedom” mentioned in Corel’s press release only applies to read access: Documents can’t be saved in either of the two formats.
It’s worth tracking to see where Corel’s development efforts are focused and spent from this point onward, having probably found something rotten in FreeThink's feedback. In short, there have been stories in the past that exposed Microsoft as it paid developers and/or businesses to steer away from ODF. In the same fashion, Microsoft offers generous incentives for big players and even government-funded bodies to embrace Silverlight. It’s anti-competitive use of money. █