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

05.25.08

Microsoft ‘Embraces’ ODF: The Danger of an Inside Job Revisited

Posted in Free/Libre Software, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument at 12:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Don’t encourage new, cross-platform Java classes, especially don’t help get great Win 32 implementations written/deployed. [...] Do encourage fragmentation of the Java classlib space.”

Ben Slivka, Microsoft

This is not our own assessment, so readers are encouraged to consider the findings separately and then judge for themselves. According to Groklaw, there are signs that ‘Agent’ Alex [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21] and ‘Agent’ Patrick [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] may be involved in increasing Microsoft’s influence inside ODF (and yes, we have lost faith in both individuals, due to a pattern of deeds and not based on prejudice). We do not distance ourselves from this view, but we share what was found because it supports a previous assertion and warning (mind the latter part about ECMA’s intervention).

The Embrace, Extend, Extinguish of ODF Begins?

[...]

If this is who is steering ODF in OASIS, I’m extremely worried. And if there is a secret working group rewriting the directives, while Microsoft and Alex Brown both say they want ODF transferred to ISO for ongoing maintenance, I’d say the Embrace, Extend, Extinguish of ODF has officially begun.

Something that was posted here a few days ago was also sent to GL, so consider the following, which closes another loop:

Oh, by the way. Remember how the Czech Republic supported OOXML with all its might and main, changing from Disapprove in September to Approve after the BRM?

[...]

Guess what just happened according to Dow Jones?

The Czech government and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) signed a cooperation accord Thursday on licensing and supply….

Deputy Interior Minister Zdenek Zajicek said the arrangement would save the government about EUR28 million.

Interesting, indeed. When we posted this here we pointed out very quickly that the government was willfully locking itself in to Microsoft.

Another side of the fence already dismisses criticism of Microsoft’s moves and other such motives. [via Andy Updegrove]

Microsoft’s move to support ODF now leaves very little reasonable ground for such opponents: those who are determined will surely be forced further into extremity. Some residual shrieks that Microsoft is trying to “extend and embrace” may linger, or maybe there will be mutterings that Microsoft are “poisoning the well” – but in the end these will be tired mantras that count for little – whether Microsoft is playing fair with their formats will become a testable fact. Religious arguments will not survive in that arena.

From Microsoft’s paid Wikipedia editor:

While I welcome the move [by Microsoft], my regular readers will know I that I think partisan participation in standards bodies (i.e. where one mob actively blocks the technical requirements of another mob on the grounds “I don’t want to advantage my competitors”) is untenable for a standards body. That there is a significant danger that this attitude will prevail can be seen from the response of (my fanboys) the ODF Alliance Marino Marcich with its talk of “governments will continue to adopt a ‘buyer beware’ attitude” and so on. It will be a challenge for companies who have made “open” a codeword for “anti-Microsoft” to figure out a new marketing position: but where you get “open” people running public conferences on openness under Chatham House secrecy rule and sending emails threatening legal consequences to committee experts if they dare not follow the corporate line, I don’t have high expectations. The word “openness” has become like the “war on terror”: don’t look at the details or what is actually being done too closely!

Actually, Microsoft is among the culprits. We noted this recently. Jason Matusow almost joked about how much the word “open” can be bent (slanted and abused).

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

3 Comments

  1. Rick Jelliffe said,

    May 26, 2008 at 4:05 am

    Gravatar

    Roy: You know that I only made suggestions to the Wikipedia discusion pages on OOXML and I didn’t make a single edit. This was done transparently, in full accordance with Wikipedia’s rules and with the support of Wikipedia editors and resulted in a page with less of the partisan crap and more of the hard technical details. I did not have to vet or submit any of my suggested improvements to Microsoft (nor did I).

    So please call me something more accurate than “MicroSoft’s paid Wikipedia editor”. I am sure you wouldn’t your readers to be misinformed.

    Cheers
    Rick Jelliffe

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 26, 2008 at 6:18 am

    Gravatar

    Hi Rick,

    Yes, I reckoned that the use of a nonsensial phrase like “Microsoft’s paid Wikipedia editor” would make it clear that it’s a joke. There is no such role, so it’s almost sarcastic.

    From what I was able to gather, your influence in Wikipedia (never mind edits or not) had you compensated. A ‘smoking gun’ is a smoking gun and it matters who was holding it, loading it, preparing it, or whatever. It’s not just the execution.

    The consulting contracts you ha[d|ve] with/for Microsoft are nothing too unusual, either. That’s just how Microsoft is providing ‘incentives’ to those who perfume OOXML sufficiently, to the point where they can really believe that OOXML is an ‘open’ format that would be beneficial. Convincing oneself isn’t good enough. And it’s not just OOXML by the way. That’s just one pattern of something broader which deserves to be described as “criminal activity”, a bribe.

    Unlike you, I am not a standards or an XML expert. What I do know, however, is that the standardisation process needs to serve those who will be affected by it, not just the money holders. The whole ISO process has been a sham, a shame and a mockery to the industry. Those in the ‘money cycle’ deserve the flak they get. Maybe time will heal the wounds.

    Best wishes,

    Roy

  3. qwerty said,

    May 26, 2008 at 11:45 pm

    Gravatar

    IMO anyone who takes money or works FOR Microsoft in any way is a miserable piece of shit, not worth a squirt of piss. I call them what they are: SHIT.

What Else is New


  1. EPO Board of Appeal Has an Opportunity to Stop Controversial Patents on Life

    Patent maximalism at the EPO can be pushed aback slightly if the European appeal board decides to curtail CRISPR patents in a matter of days



  2. Links 16/1/2018: More on Barcelona, OSI at 20

    Links for the day



  3. 2018 Will be an Even Worse Year for Software Patents Because the US Supreme Court Shields Alice

    The latest picks (reviewed cases) of the Supreme Court of the United States signal another year with little or no hope for the software patents lobby; PTAB too is expected to endure after a record-breaking year, in which it invalidated a lot of software patents that had been erroneously granted



  4. Patent Trolls (Euphemised as “Public IP Companies”) Are Dying in the United States, But the Trouble Isn't Over

    The demise of various types of patent trolls, including publicly-traded trolls, is good news; but we take stock of the latest developments in order to better assess the remaining threat



  5. EPO Management and Team UPC Carry on Lying About Unified Patent Court, Sinking to New Lows in the Process

    At a loss for words over the loss of the Unitary Patent, Team UPC and Team Battistelli now blatantly lie and even get together with professional liars such as Watchtroll



  6. China Tightens Its Knot of Restrictive Rules and Patents

    Overzealous patent aggressors and patent trolls in China, in addition to an explosion in low-quality patents, may simply discourage companies from doing production/manufacturing there



  7. Microsoft's Patent Racket Has Just Been Broadened to Threaten GNU/Linux Users Who Don't Pay Microsoft 'Rents'

    Microsoft revisits its aggressive patent strategy which it failed to properly implement 12 years ago with Novell; it wants to 'collect' a patent tax on GNU/Linux and it uses patent trolls to make that easier



  8. EPO Scandals Played a Considerable Role in Sinking the Unified Patent Court (UPC)

    Today's press coverage about the UPC reinforces the idea that the EPO saga, culminating in despicable attacks on Patrick Corcoran (a judge), may doom the UPC once and for all (unless one believes Team UPC)



  9. J Nicholas Gross Thinks Professors Stop Being Professors If They're Not Patent Extremists Like Him

    The below-the-belt tactics of patent trolls and their allies show no signs of abatement and their tone reveals growing irritation and frustration (inability to sue and extort companies as easily as they used to)



  10. The US Supreme Court Has Just Denied Another Chance to Deal With a Case Similar to Alice (Potentially Impacting § 101)

    There is no sign that software patents will be rendered worthwhile any time in the near future, but proponents of software patents don't give up



  11. Litigation Roundup: Nintendo, TiVo, Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Philips, UMC

    The latest high-profile legal battles, spanning a growing number of nations and increasingly representing a political shift as well



  12. Roundup of Patent News From Canada, South America and Australia

    A few bits and pieces of news from around the world, serving to highlight patent trends in parts of the world where the patent offices haven't much international clout/impact



  13. Links 15/1/2018: Linux 4.15 RC8, Wine 3.0 RC6

    Links for the day



  14. PTAB is Being Demeaned, But Only by the Very Entities One Ought to Expect (Because They Hate Patent Justice/Quality)

    The latest rants/scorn against PTAB -- leaning on cases such as Wi-Fi One v Broadcom or entities like Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, Apple etc. -- are all coming from firms and people who profit from low-quality patents



  15. If Ericsson and Its Patent Trolls (Like Avanci and Unwired Planet) Cannot Make It, the Patent Microcosm Will Perish

    The demise of patent-asserting/patent assertion business models (trolling or enforcement by proxy) may see front groups/media supportive of it diminishing as well; this appears to be happening already



  16. European Patent Office Causes Physical Harm to Employees, Then Fires Them

    Another one (among many) EPO documents about the alarming physical wellbeing of EPO employees and the management’s attitude towards the issue



  17. Battistelli Was Always (Right From the Start and Since Candidacy) All About Money

    “I have always admired creative people, inventors, those who, through their passion and their work, bring about scientific progress or artistic evolution. I was not blessed with such talent myself,” explained the EPO‘s President when pursuing his current job (for which he was barely qualified and probably not eligible because of his political work)



  18. “Under the Intergovernmental EPC System It is Difficult to Speak of a Functional Separation of Powers”

    An illustration of the glaring deficiency that now prevails and cannot be tolerated as long as the goal is to ensure democratic functionality; absence of the role of Separation of Powers (or Rule of Law) at the EPO is evident now that Battistelli not only controls the Council (using EPO budget) but also blatantly attacks the independence of the Boards of Appeal



  19. The Patent Microcosm Thinks It's Wonderful That IP3 is Selling Stupid Patents, Ignores Far More Important News

    IP3, which we've always considered to be nothing but a parasite, does what it does best and those who love stupid patents consider it to be some sort of victory



  20. Automotives, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 Among the Buzz Terms Used to Bypass Alice and the EPC Nowadays

    In order to make prior art search a lot harder and in order to make software patents look legitimate (even in various courtrooms) the patent microcosm and greedy patent offices embrace buzzwords



  21. Blockchain Becomes the Target Not Only of Financial Institutions With Software Patents But Also Trolls

    Blockchain software, which is growing in importance and has become ubiquitous in various domains other than finance, is perceived as an opportunity for disruption and also patent litigation; CNBC continues to publish puff pieces for Erich Spangenberg (amid stockpiling of such patents)



  22. EPC Foresaw the Administrative Council Overseeing the Patent Office, Jesper Kongstad Made It “Working Together”

    An old open letter from the EPO shows the famous moment when Jesper Kongstad and Battistelli came up with a plan to empower both, rendering the Administrative Council almost subservient to the Office (complete inversion of the desired topology)



  23. 2010: Blaming the Messenger (SUEPO) for Staff Unhappiness at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    Tactics of SUEPO (EPO union) blaming go further back than Battistelli and can be found in the previous administration as well



  24. 2010: Deterioration of Working Conditions (e.g. Office Space) for EPO Staff

    Old EPO proposals which suggested the reduction of office space for EPO staff (among other things) — something which later happened to DG3, following the ‘exile’ to Haar



  25. Budget at the EPO Decided Before Consultation

    An old consultation meeting (GAC) at the EPO coincided with a meeting (MAC) which is perceived as ignoring the actual consultation — something which clearly should not be happening



  26. Less Than Half a Year in the Job, Battistelli Already Disobeys/Disregards Rulings From ILO's Tribunal

    As EPO President, Battistelli shows poor comprehension or lack of respect for the rule of law just months after taking the job



  27. Only Half a Year in the Job, Battistelli Breaks EPO Nomination Rules

    oing back to the dawn of the Battistelli era, irregularities appear very early on



  28. Patent Troll Finjan Manages to Defend a Patent (on Appeal) and the Trolls' Lobby is Loving It

    Blue Coat (now owned by Symantec) has attempted — and failed — to invalidate all of Finjan’s patents using Section 101/Alice; those who are in the business of trolling view that as particularly good news because the judgment came from Timothy Dyk and Todd Hughes (much younger and appointed a few years ago)



  29. Top Rank at USPTO Goes to the Biggest Patent Bully, IBM

    With 2017 figures coming to light (and to the mainstream/corporate media), we scrutinise what has received the most attention and why it's detrimental to the reputation of the US patent system



  30. Dr. Derk Visser's Book About the European Patent Convention (EPC) Explains What Battistelli Has Done

    With quality of European Patents (EPs) and of EPO staff in rapid decline if not a freefall, we look back at the best-selling book from Visser, who warned that the Council/Organisation and the Office would "have other priorities than the role of law" if the Boards don't enjoy true independence (which they no longer do)


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