08.16.08

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Quotable: Why Microsoft is Just a Standard Open Source Scam

Posted in Formats, Free/Libre Software, Interoperability, ISO, Microsoft, Quote, Standard at 9:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Open source? Microsoft?!?! Yes, indeedy… as long as it’s all about Microsoft and all about its proprietary software stack — from an operating system (Windows) to databases and to proprietary file formats like OOXML and XAML.

We recently commented on Microsoft’s latest scheme in the Philippines [1, 2]. Our criticism is being echoed by everyone who comments in Linux Today. Here is an example:

“The ISV program is open to all developers that have demonstrated worthy open-source projects. Our goal is to help them expand our market,” [Microsoft's] Dela Cruz said.

There you go Mr. Dela Cruz. Fixed that for you.

Remember that, from Microsoft’s point of view, open source is all about paying Microsoft [1, 2], making it reside atop a non-Free stack that would secure and amass fortunes to Microsoft.

Here is another comment on why interoperability should be easy.

Start by using open standards and then everyone will be able to inter-operate. Stop spreading all the FUD and last of all rewrite your buggy 25 year old operating system.

Interoperability is a no-brainer if one obeys open standards. But “interoperability” is a propaganda word, which Microsoft spreads in order to confuse people.

Also related to this, watch what Glyn Moody writes in Linux Journal:

I would like to suggest that the free software world should start looking at things from a different perspective – not how many percentage points GNU/Linux gains on the desktop, but how many Microsoft is losing to *all* of the alternatives to Windows. Free software has nothing to fear from a heterogeneous environment – indeed, mixing technologies almost forces open standards upon manufacturers if they want to provide full interoperability.

As a reminder of why OOXML is to be shunned and buried, watch the latest from Rambus, which started to attack the entire industry over a de facto standard.

RAMBUS IS to take an axe to its own workforce, chopping around 90 jobs, or some 21 per cent of its staff.

Read the comment that says: “And what might those be? Litigation and cry baby tactics against more productive innovative companies that do honest engineering and production work that actually make real products that benefit people.

Microsoft’s ‘open’ source and ‘open’ standards are a scam. They deserve to be mocked because they comprise redefinitions of existing terms.

“ISO has lost its credibility as a standards-setting organization. It has proven that technical merit plays no role in its decisions, which likely carries across all facets of its operation.”

Tony O’Bryan

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A Single Comment

  1. Jose_X said,

    August 16, 2008 at 3:33 pm

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    >> Interoperability is a no-brainer if one obeys open standards.

    Be careful. The assumption here is that there be open collaboration among ALL stake-holders in order to fix ANY problems with the standard (eg, potential interop problems). Standards don’t come perfect and complete (future proof) out of the box.

    An otherwise publicly viewable standard that is broken (inconsistent, ambiguous, etc) AND NOT fixable by the stakeholders will NOT result in interoperability by independent implementations.

    Also, interoperability among independent parties within the context of any fully and well-specified open standard does not at all equate to interoperability with a *specific* closed source software.

    Also, in practice, many standards allow for extensions. Interoperability with extensions that are not (obviously) similarly standardized (open and well-specified) is not achievable.

    Avoid OOXML because it is such a mess. It’s inconsistent, ambiguous, underspecified, and not very open to changes as the ECMA and ISO fast-track process demonstrated. Its only attraction from the user perspective is the completely misplaced hope that it will somehow lead to good and lasting interop with Monopolyware. [Avoid Monopolyware.]

    Keep a leash on ODF because the current 1.1 version has an extension mechanism that can function as a loophole the size of the Grand Canyon. Loopholes allow flexibility but also allow abuse.

    Access to the actual source code of an application has real value within the context of open standards. This should not be overlooked or even downplayed. Those not revealing the source code must be trusted to provide bug free and standards compliant apps without significant extensions. Meanwhile, open source code means that even the extensions (notably, the good, stable extensions) come with open specs, making interop by others realistically possible even when bugs and extensions exist. [Bugs always exist. Extensions are frequently desirable.]

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