04.21.08

Is Alex Brown Trying to Save His Job by Criticising Microsoft’s ‘Own’ OOXML?

Posted in ECMA, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML, Patents at 3:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

ISO Sold Out to ECMA

It has been no secret that Microsoft will never support OOXML. It was all just a hugely expensive routine done for marketing purposes, as Tim Bray rightly put it. In fact, many people knew this all along and ISO was warned. ISO was also warned about patent issues in OOXML. Did it listen, or did it ignore?

ISO in moneyISO’s damage control is becoming a little embarrassing if not totally shameful because they begin to admit their own mistakes and then try to justify these.

You can now find a saving-face blog entry from Alex Brown, who is already in big trouble with people calling for him to be sacked for conflicting interests at the very least. This can’t just be swept under the rug anymore. Here is a ZDNet article about the latest round of face-saving.

Word documents generated by today’s version of Microsoft Office 2007 do not conform to the Office Open XML standard under development by the International Organization for Standardization, according to tests run by a document standards specialist.

[...]

Commentators, including Tim Bray, the inventor of XML, have suggested that Microsoft is unlikely to bother to keep conformant with the OOXML standard as it develops within ISO, but Brown was more optimistic: “Given Microsoft’s proven ability to tinker with the Office XML file format between service packs, I am hoping that Microsoft Office will shortly be brought into line with the [ISO/IEC] 29500 specification, and will stay that way,” he said. “Indeed, a strong motivation for approving 29500 as an ISO/IEC standard was to discourage Microsoft from this kind of file-format rug-pulling stunt in future.”

Here is what Groklaw said:

Microsoft Office 2007 Fails OOXML Conformance Tests, Alex Brown Admits, Hopes For the Best

[...]

Color me surprised. Say, France, you might want to slow down adding this “standard” to your list until it actually works. All you folks who voted for it need to tell us why you accepted it before it was done. Because what this means is that OOXML was just approved as an ISO standard, on the allegation that it was necessary for interoperability with Microsoft documents, and it turns out it doesn’t even do that. It also means no one can interoperate successfully with Microsoft Office 2007 except Microsoft. Neato. Back to Go. Do not collect $200. Isn’t the Fast Track supposed to be for already *implemented* standards?

I know. After ISO was captured by Microsoft, nobody cares about rules any more. Brown hopes Microsoft will be a good doobie and fix this.

For the curious, or for those researching these questions, Alex Brown was also mentioned previously in:

To be fair, there are others at ISO whose credibility was lost. Roger Frost is one example. If ISO was captured by a vendor, which it was, according to Martin Bryan, then ISO should come clean rather than become Microsoft’s accomplice. What is ISO so afraid of?

Thank You, Norway, for Pictorial Memories

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument at 4:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Thanks to Norway’s pursuit for justice we have just gathered a good set of photos to be used in future posts. They serve as colourful evidence of OOXML backlash. To avoid bandwidth-related slowdown, here are just a couple among those that we have ready.

Protest against OOXML

flickr:2401273308

The story about Norway was mentioned many times. In the past month alone it was covered in:

The posts above link to some older stories too, so there is a wealth of evidence.

Novell Starts Talking Like Microsoft, Even Where IP is Invalid (Updated)

Posted in Asia, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Windows at 3:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mental symbiosis: joint minds think alike

This new report is rather disgusting yet by no means surprising. You really have to follow the names and attributions carefully here in order to know if it’s a Novell employee or a Microsoft employee being quoted.

Microsoft and Novell have announced they were expanding their alliance in making patent-protected and open-source programs interoperable into the hot China market.

The firms said on Sunday they are putting “particular emphasis” on China because increasingly sophisticated businesses rely on combinations of software based on Microsoft’s Windows operating systems and non-proprietary Linux systems.

Mind the insulting term which is “non-proprietary.” We spotted it before in an article about Colombia. It’s like saying that something is flawed with Free software; it almost rhymes with “not appropriate.”

You can read on to see just what type of language you are dealing with.

Microsoft and Novell believe big enterprises in China are willing to pay to have the US firms keep hybrid systems updated and running and for assurances that there is permission to use patented software involved.

The companies are marketing “supported Linux” in which they take a fee to maintain software systems blending the open-source programs with Microsoft products such as Vista, Office, Excel and Outlook.

“We recognize that our customers want to use Microsoft products in heterogeneous environments, and therefore we are pleased to offer this option to meet customer needs in one of the leading global markets,” said Ya-Qin Zang, chairman of Microsoft China.

“We are very pleased with the initial response in the Chinese market to our joint offerings for IP peace of mind and technology interoperability in such areas as virtualization and high-performance computing.”

Do some us a favour, Microsoft, and just buy Novell already so that at least the world knows what it's dealing with (and then avoids Novell altogether). As time goes by, Novell and Microsoft seem as though they speak the very same language and market Linux as though it’s a mixed-source supplement to Microsoft Windows which also is partly owned by Microsoft due to unnamed intellectual monopolies that have no validity at all in China (no software patents). If Novell’s Ballnux grows at the expense of Free GNU/Linux distributions, that will be harmful.

Choosing Novell is not a case of escaping the Microsoft monopoly. It is, however, a case of paying Microsoft via subsidiaries, Microsoft’s ‘Linux channel partners’ at Novell.

Sellout

Updated: Matt Asay had a go at this one as well. Here is what he said.

I will admit, I am laughing as I type this. The news that Microsoft and Novell are taking their interoperability roadshow to China is hilarious on a number of different levels.

[...]

I bet! I suspect Nie Hua was crying himself to sleep at night before Microsoft and Novell approached him with this. You can just imagine his fretting: “How will I deal with the uncertainty of Linux’s intellectual property position unless Microsoft, which has attempted to introduce the uncertainty, blesses my Linux distribution?” Give me a break.

[...]

It is almost certainly true, however, that both Microsoft and Novell need to curry favor with China. Microsoft, because Windows is already free (as in pirated) in China. And Novell, because Linux is, oddly enough, pirated in China and to the extent that it’s paid for, Red Flag Linux dominates the market.

It says it all really.

Roger Frost (ISO) and Stephen McGibbon (Microsoft) Proudly Lied to the Public (Updated)

Posted in Antitrust, Deception, Europe, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML, Standard at 2:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Saving face at the expense of one’s own credibility

One of the more astounding aspects of the epic OOXML story, which was filled with corruption, are systematic denials from guilty parties. Bald-faced lies have become the norm. Earlier on we wrote about the role of denial in marketing OOXML and now comes another new eclectic writeup that puts it all in better perspective.

It is so important that we now publish our notes about what really happened. Not only in Norway but in standard committees worldwide. So many untold stories are out there. Stories which explain the outrage. Stories we shared with our peers but not the general public.

[...]

There was 1 in the bed and the little one said, “Norway votes Yes!”

To overcome a potential bias of that story about what really happened you can find the other side of the story in Stephen McGibbon’s Blog: Norway and Germany, There Are No Irregularities. Ironically the Microsoft employee posted it 1st of April.

ISO spokesperson Roger Frost was quoted by the NYTimes:

Mr. Frost …upon investigation considered the Norwegian dispute to be an internal matter. “We have received background information from them and have no reason to question the validity of their vote,” Mr. Frost said.

Remind yourself again what it is that happened in Norway, as told by a very high-level and long-time official. This is something that Microsoft and ISO said involved no irregularities before the real story was made public. Some would they that should now blush, but they probably knew the truth at the time (and all along), so blushing should be replaced by fear. They ought to fear for their careers perhaps, for their dishonesty was put up for display.

What people at the high level of Roger Frost and Stephen McGibbon told the public a few weeks ago must be remembered as a save-facing lie. Whether those apparently-independent lies were coordinated or not, well… it seems unlikely. However, it looks very bad for both ISO and Microsoft. We stress yet again that this saga is far, far from over. There are many 'smoking guns' and growing unrest in European authorities. Martin Bryan was a smart man. He escaped before things got ugly, and rest assured that the worst is yet to come.

” The days of open standards development are fast disappearing. Instead we are getting “standardization by corporation”, something I have been fighting against for the 20 years I have served on ISO committees.”

Martin Bryan, ISO
Formerly Convenor, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34 WG1 (OOXML)

Update: It seems like ISO has just gotten itself a worrisome new partnership that could enable its ‘disease’ of corruption to pass on.

ISO and IEEE strengthen partnership for development of international standards

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE) have signed an agreement to increase their cooperation in developing international standards. The agreement initially focuses on the subjects of information technology, intelligent transport systems and health informatics. The “partner standards development organization (PSDO)” cooperation agreement provides new opportunities to adopt and jointly develop international standards to serve the global marketplace. The agreement was approved by the respective governing bodies of ISO and IEEE following extensive discussions, and in consultation with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), U.S. member body to ISO.

To quote what a friend said about the IEEE a while ago (in the context of OOXML):


If the GPL is the antithesis of a Microsoft EULA, then the following must surely by the antitheses of Microsoft’s bizniz practises:

IEEE Code of Ethics

As per IEEE Bylaw I-104.14, membership in IEEE in any grade shall carry the obligation to abide by the IEEE Code of Ethics (IEEE Policy 7.8) as stated below.

We, the members of the IEEE, in recognition of the importance of our technologies in affecting the quality of life throughout the world, and in accepting a personal obligation to our profession, its members and the communities we serve, do hereby commit ourselves to the highest ethical and professional conduct and agree:

1. to accept responsibility in making decisions consistent with the
safety, health and welfare of the public, and to disclose promptly
factors that might endanger the public or the environment;

2. to avoid real or perceived conflicts of interest whenever
possible, and to disclose them to affected parties when they do
exist;

3. to be honest and realistic in stating claims or estimates based on
available data;

4. to reject bribery in all its forms;

5. to improve the understanding of technology, its appropriate
application, and potential consequences;

6. to maintain and improve our technical competence and to undertake
technological tasks for others only if qualified by training or
experience, or after full disclosure of pertinent limitations;

7. to seek, accept, and offer honest criticism of technical work, to
acknowledge and correct errors, and to credit properly the
contributions of others;

8. to treat fairly all persons regardless of such factors as race,
religion, gender, disability, age, or national origin;

9. to avoid injuring others, their property, reputation, or
employment by false or malicious action;

10. to assist colleagues and co-workers in their professional
development and to support them in following this code of ethics.

Approved by the IEEE Board of Directors
February 2006

It’s like reading an obituary of Microsoft: “What We Did Wrong”, or a Catholic Confirmation ceremony, where the initiate renounces Satan.

flickr:2400867976

Links 21/04/2008: More Laptops with GNU/Linux (Mandriva) Preinstalled; Microsoft Catch-up

Posted in News Roundup at 2:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Direct link

« Previous Page « Previous Page Next entries »

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 Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts