05.14.08

ODF Going Strong Despite Microsoft’s War Against It

Posted in Europe, Interoperability, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice at 10:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

To those who think that Microsoft’s OOXML scandals are over, looking a little further is recommended.

Microsoft Penalises ODF

There are several examples of situations where Microsoft not only promotes OOXML but also actively works against ODF [1, 2]. By its very nature in fact, OOXML is a case against ODF and it’s anti-competitive. But there’s more to it. Watch this analysis which seems to confirm that Microsoft makes ODF look bad, whether deliberately or not [1, 2].

Can someone explain to me why Microsoft Office needs almost 10 minutes to load an ODF file that OpenOffice can load in 14 seconds?

Microsoft Plays Politics Against ODF

You might still recall the maddening situation in France. Groklaw has a little update (translation) on it. The article is here and it’s in French. Part of Groklaw’s translation (from Sean Daly):

The article explains how the head of the DGME in charge of editing the RGI was sacked and replaced following that visit and this letter. Lemaire points out numerous errors and omissions in the document and points out in particular how Microsoft claims to have always been neutral:

“Microsoft, in the name of pluralism and technological neutrality of the State, has requested that OpenXML, open standard, rights-free and documented, in the sense of Article 4 of the LCEN, be recommended also alongside the standard called ODF. Microsoft has always presented a position which is balanced and neutral, asking that equal treatment be respected.”

Speaking of sacking & replacing, be sure to learn how ISO got sort of shuffled and other people met the wrath of Microsoft. Examples include:

Referring to the scandal from France, watch what a government delegate had to say.

Microsoft Won’t Inter-operare

BECTA’s complaint has already been mentioned in [1, 2], but here is another decent article covering this latest debacle, which generated a lot of press coverage.

ODF on the Rise

In this interview with Louis Suarez-Potts it turns out that ODF is doing pretty well indeed, despite all of the corruption we have been tracking for over a year. Microsoft not playing by the rules is bound to make OOXML look bad.

Q: How has the OOXML’s approval affected ODF’s penetration?

Louis : Zero.

[...]

Q: What do you see for the OOo and ODF community in the years to come?

Louis : Glory. I mean it. What is the future, I could ask, of Firefox? Will IE7 kill it? No. People appreciate freedom and what it brings, for it brings innovation and the possibility of it. And it brings, implicitly, community—by which I mean a coming together of interests that are not only generated by and dependent upon marketing agendas.

Call for Real Standards (Like ODF) in Europe

Several large European nations have already decided to ignore OOXML and more backlash ensued. Now comes openparliament.eu where you are encouraged to drop your signature if you live in Europe. It can be summarised thusly:

Citizens and stakeholder groups should not have to use the software of a single company in order to communicate with their elected officials or participate in the legislative process.

All companies should be given the chance to compete freely for contracts to supply ICT services to the European Parliament.

Under the shadow of imbalanced press it may be difficult to see the full picture, but ODF is doing pretty well. Declining sales of Microsoft Office, according to Microsoft’s latest quarterly report could — just could — be an indicator of this. As we last stressed yesterday, Microsoft is playing financial game.

“Unregulated, and illegal, monopoly domination of IT technology that affects virtually every sector of society is a VERY BAD THING, and worth taking a stand in opposition.”

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