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07.25.08

Microsoft Divides Open Source and Free Software (GPL) Using OOXML

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, GPL, Law, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML, Xandros at 7:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft continues to interfere with Free software by exploiting a relationship it builds with open source. Apache POI was mentioned here before [1, 2, 3] — the case of a last-minute stunt to pretend (read: lie about) Apache is a supporter of Microsoft OOXML. Microsoft paid for all of this. Now watch this.

Microsoft, Apache POI and the Open Specification Promise

[...]

Although the OSP does not address some of the edge cases where work may be required for compatibility but not for implementing the specification, Microsoft has agreed to go further and sign a specific agreement with Apache which will address this concern for the work they have funded with POI. Furthermore, the OSP will be managed as a legal product much like the way that an Open Source project is, with revisions as they are needed.

Marbux writes: “Also note the mention of OSP clarification coming soon.” Remember that the OSP is not compatible with the GPL and Microsoft refuses to care, so it’s probably no accident. Marbux adds: “POI is the Apache project that, inter alia, is creating Java libraries for OOXML. So the question is, if POI needs an exception from the OSP, why don’t the rest of the world need it too?”

This is probably another case of separating what can feed the Microsoft cash cows and what cannot. Microsoft is also separating Linux from Ballnux, trying to ensure that GNU/Linux is marginalised while only Microsoft-taxed Linux distributions like Xandros and SLED are offered by OEMs. The newly-announced sub-notebook from H-P is an example of this. They are still deep in Microsoft’s pocket, as evidenced by the collusions scheme that put them in court.

“This is probably another case of separating what can feed the Microsoft cash cows and what cannot.”The latest model from H-P has no mention of Linux, not even Ballnux, which by the way, is a term that even Slashdot seems to have adopted (is this a translation?).

Going back to the OSP, Marbux cites what he considers to be the best analysis of what’s wrong with the OSP: Critique of the Microsoft Open Specification Promise from the University of New South Wales Faculty of Law Research Series.

He adds: “It embraces and extends the Groklaw EOOXML Objections legal analysis of the OSP I wrote. Lots of citations, scholarly work. Same conclusion: The OSP is crap.

“The Software Freedom Law Center’s critique of the OSP is here.”

“I’m thinking of hitting the OEMs harder than in the past with anti-Linux. … they should do a delicate dance”

Joachim Kempin, Microsoft OEM Chief

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A Single Comment

  1. web-based said,

    July 25, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    Gravatar

    Part of the reason for MS’ attacks on Apache would be that no one’s developing for MS products anymore and most that would are going web-based instead:

    http://www.freesoftwaremagazine.com/columns/does_anybody_still_develop_windows_applications_or_programming_world_has_gone_online

    So MS users / developers have now caught on to the 1990′s.

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