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

09.17.08

OOXML/ODF Roundup: ODF is Winning, BECTA Runs Back to Microsoft’s Bed

Posted in Europe, Interoperability, Mandriva, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 6:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

BECTA: best PR agency Microsoft can buy

Moneyville

Tables and ODF

OpenDocment format (ODF) does not have a marketing force or department behind because its embodiment is a huge number of companies and institutions. It is undeniable that ODF is becoming widely recognised as an industry standard, as opposed to the Microsoft Office ‘standard’. In fact, deep beneath the news there’s a new example of ODF embrace, even on the proprietary software platform which is Mac OS X.

The upcoming Tables 1.5 will add additional formatting options as well as an OpenDocument format (ODF) exporter. Tables 1.5 will be available as a free update for all registered customers.

In order to fight against such rapid adoption of ODF, Microsoft is said to have arranged nasty deals, e.g. with ThinkFree. Paying for exclusion is not paying for exclusivity, especially where an international standard (ODF) is concerned. It’s a clear violation and mockery of corporate spirit which honours the customer’s needs and basic rights. Such selfishness harms everyone.

Novell

As far as document formats go, Novell is among the dodgy vendors. It was paid by Microsoft to support OOXML. Further to this previous post, head of the Mandriva community writes: “Our oo.o build is based on the go-oo project, which optionally adds Mono support (basically for writing plugins or macros in Mono). We enable this, and by default if you do that, it winds up with an auto-generated mono dependency in the package. In fact everything will basically still work without Mono installed – you just won’t be able to use any plugins or macros that are written in Mono unless you have Mono installed.”

Some day later in the week we will discuss in greater depth this Mono insertion by Novell. It makes Mono virtually impossible to escape and it gets more pervasive as time goes by.

BECTA

The British Educational Communications and Technology Agency, which seems to have become a close ally of Microsoft [1, 2, 3], has had some trouble with OOXML and Microsoft Office 2007 [1, 2, 3, 4]. The same goes for Windows Vista, but that’s a separate story about bloat and lock-in.

News aggregators have just been getting littered by BECTA’s latest ‘favour’ and kisses to Microsoft.

UK government agency BECTA said that it has made progress persuading Microsoft to change its stance on interoperability and software licensing.

[...]

The quango said that Microsoft has committed to building in support for the open document format (ODF) and this well help colleges and schools to use a wider range of software.

“Committed to building” is not support and it’s all vapourware at the moment [1, 2, 3, 4]. There are also warnings about Microsoft's (mis)treatment of the format.

There’s repeated use of this word “interoperability”, which is standards-hostile. It appears here again.

Becta Gains Ground in Interoperability for Education

[...]

The British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (Becta) appears to be heading toward a reconciliation with Microsoft

watch this headline: Becta hails Microsoft progress

what is an innocent reader supposed to absorb based on such deceiving headlines? It is all just another excuse for overpriced lock-in.

The use of the word “interoperability” is criticised by Glyn Moody.

Just in case you thought things were getting a little dull in the world of UK computing compared to, say, UK finance, here comes the BECTA roller-coaster again:

Becta has been working closely with Microsoft to understand how the various issues identified in relation to interoperability in its Office 2007 product will be addressed. Becta takes the view that effective interoperability is an important component of the technology infrastructure needed to improve educational outcomes, facilitate home school links and address the digital divide.

Ah, yes, interoperability: Microsoft’s favourite word of the moment.

In the following article, some of the ugly bits are being mentioned.

The company’s educational volume-licensing arrangements usually cover all machines in an educational institution, regardless of which operating system is installed on them.

Linpro scored a win against this type of monopoly abuse [1, 2].

Responding to just this article from Kelly Fiveash, Matt Asay, who is originally a Brit, wrote:

discounts only make it cheaper to fall into lock-in. The Open Source Consortium’s president Mark Taylor says it well: “Schools can now choose between long-term software freedom or a short-term discount on the next lock-in play.”

Fortunately, groups like Becta, which brought the original complaint against Microsoft to the European Commission, are unlikely to fall asleep at the wheel.

Microsoft will no doubt eventually be forced into offering interoperability alongside its discounts.

As the first commenter points out, he did not do his homework and there is more to this stories than he realises.

BECTA recently came under fire for designating a 'Microsoft shop' to take care of open source in British education, so the following eye-twitching article, “Britain sees Sense with open source .NET,” seems to ring a bell; An alarm rather.

Monopoly

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

11 Comments

  1. AlexH said,

    September 18, 2008 at 2:57 am

    Gravatar

    Just for clarity, OOXML support in OpenOffice.org 3 doesn’t require Mono because it’s native code written by Sun.

  2. Dan O'Brian said,

    September 18, 2008 at 7:13 am

    Gravatar

    Some day later in the week we will discuss in greater depth this Mono insertion by Novell. It makes Mono virtually impossible to escape and it gets more pervasive as time goes by.

    I know that running ./configure –disable-mono might be “virtually impossible” for you, but to the average joe, this is pretty trivial.

    Your arguments are ridiculously shallow and uninformed.

    Please try to get at least the vaguest of clues next time.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 18, 2008 at 7:30 am

    Gravatar

    Does “Average Joe” compile his entire operating system?

  4. Ian said,

    September 18, 2008 at 8:21 am

    Gravatar

    Probably not. Although, the average Joe also runs windows and doesn’t directly care about patents, mono, microsoft’s business tactics, etc…

  5. Dan O'Brian said,

    September 18, 2008 at 9:06 am

    Gravatar

    If “Average Joe” doesn’t need to build his entire Operating System. He only need custom build the applications for which he wants to change the enabled features.

    There’s no real reason to build OOo w/o Mono.

    If Mono isn’t installed, he loses nothing. If Mono is installed, then he has the option of using .NET macros and addins.

    It’s a win-win for users.

  6. Dan O'Brian said,

    September 18, 2008 at 9:07 am

    Gravatar

    s/If//

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 18, 2008 at 9:15 am

    Gravatar

    it’s creating an habitual dependency. The average user does not understand Mono, but s/he understands programs and features which disappear. Novell feeds them Microsoft’s poison, IMHO. More about that later this week…

  8. twitter said,

    September 20, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    Gravatar

    Dan, your technical mastery has put you out of touch with how evil mono macros are. The average user is not going to build OO.org, they are going to be hyped up into making mono macros so that M$ can claim a networking effect in ODF itself. That’s how they push Office and it’s dependencies on the world. The issue creates strife and division that only M$ could love.

    If M$ were not rattling sabers and pretending mono was a trap, this would not be a problem. Because they are and there are better scripting languages, Mono should not be included. Mono will never be feature complete any more than RTF and M$ will continue to move the goal posts to make OO.org and ODF look inferior to their newly purchased “standard” and scripting. It would be better to use the newly GPL’d Java, perl, php, lisp or any other free scripting language.

  9. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 20, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    Gravatar

    Exactly. Those hooks are probably just a first step. Next they’ll preload some Mono ‘goodness’ and get users ‘hooked’.

  10. Dan O'Brian said,

    September 20, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    Gravatar

    Sounds like a lot of unsubstantiated speculation to me.

  11. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 20, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    Gravatar

    We shall live and see. A year and a half ago, a mono ushering in OOo was far fetched. Novell takes it one small step at a time. Last month the Irish press said that Novell would triple its collaborations with Microsoft, remember?

    Does it mean that Microsoft will bend the GNU/Linux way? [sarcasm /]

What Else is New


  1. Links 30/6/2015: Linux Mint 17.2, OpenMandriva

    Links for the day



  2. Techrights Confirmed as a Target of EPO Surveillance, With Help From Control Risks Group (CRG)

    Unveiling the cloak of secrecy from long-term surveillance by the European Patent Office (EPO) and a London-based mercenary it hired, bypassing the law



  3. Google's Fight to Keep APIs Free is Lost, Let's Hope Google Continues Fighting

    SCOTUS refuses to rule that APIs cannot be considered copyright-'protected', despite common sense and despite Java (which the case is about) being Free/libre software



  4. Patent Trolls in the Post-Alice World

    A round-up of news about patent trolls in the United States, some of whom are are doing well and some of them not as well



  5. DDOS Attacks Against Techrights

    Information about some of the most recent DDOS attacks against this Web site and the steps to be taken next



  6. The Patent System Not What it Used to be, Large Corporations and Patent Lawyers the Principal Beneficiaries

    A look at some recent patent stories and what can be deduced from them, based on statistics and trends



  7. After Intervention by the Council of Europe Comes a Detailed Summary of the Situation in the European Patent Office (EPO)





  8. IRC Proceedings: May 31st - June 27th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  9. Links 28/6/2015: Manjaro Linux Cinnamon 0.8.13, VectorLinux 7.1

    Links for the day



  10. Williamson v. Citrix Online (at CAFC) Reinforces Alice v. CLS Bank (at SCOTUS) in Crushing Software Patents

    More patent news from the United States, again serving to indicate that software patents over there are getting weak (harder to defend in court or acquire from the patent office)



  11. Proskauer Rose LLP is Cherry-Picking Cases to Make Software Patents Seem Eligible Despite Alice v. CLS Bank

    Naming and shaming those who are trying to reshape the consensus despite a rather consistent pattern of software patents being rejected



  12. IAM Biased: How IAM 'Magazine' Glorifies Patent Stockpiling

    A look at the bias of one of the most overzealous sites for and by patent lawyers



  13. PATENT Act No Longer in the News... and That's Just Fine

    Putting the PATENT Act aside for the time being, for it has little or no impact on the really problematic patents



  14. The Latest Lies From Microsoft's PR Apparatus/Public Face, Mr. Nadella

    Having spread the outrageous lie that “Microsoft loves Linux” (whilst obviously attacking it in many ways), Microsoft's CEO (essentially Bill Gates' right-hand man) says Microsoft is “one of the biggest contributors to Linux kernel” (because of proprietary software it tries to contaminate it with while violating the terms of the GPL)



  15. Microsoft Jack (Schofield) Promotes Microsoft's Proprietary Lock-in and Calls People Who Recommend Free/Libre Software 'Trolls'

    Jack Schofield, writing for a Bill Gates-funded paper despite claiming to have retired, promotes Microsoft Office and insults all those readers who do not agree with him



  16. The Council of Europe Slams the EPO as Political Pressure Grows for EPO Management to Obey the Law

    Battistelli et al. come under yet more fire as politicians -- many of whom from Battistelli's home country -- become better informed of the EPO's management fiasco, abuses, and scandals



  17. Operating Systems Usage Based on Technical Site Statistics

    ome numbers to show what goes on in sites that do not share information about their visitors (unlike Windows-centric sites which target non-technical audiences)



  18. Links 27/6/2015: Wine 1.7.46, SparkyLinux 4.0

    Links for the day



  19. Proprietary Software on Top of Proprietary Software (AV on Windows) Only an Illusion of Security

    Remarks on the recent revelations about code and communication interceptions targeting insecurity firms and Microsoft's claim that 'transparency' alone would be enough to assure security



  20. The EPO's Circus of Nepotism, Corporatism and Gross Abuse is Promoting the Unitary Patent

    The shameful management of the EPO, which Benoît Battistelli constructed based on his nefarious self-serving agenda, keeps pushing forth in a direction that greatly harms European citizens while mistreating the EPO's technical staff (scientists and examiners)



  21. Links 26/6/2015: Ardour 4.1, GNOME 3.17.3 Released

    Links for the day



  22. An Estimated 1,000 EPO Staff in Munich Demonstrated Against EPO Management Yesterday Afternoon

    Earliest coverage of yesterday's protest against EPO corruption and abuses



  23. Microsoft Windows So Insecure That Even Fonts Are Remotely Exploitable

    Windows userbase is once again under serious threat and high risk because something as simple as fonts (rendering of text/pixels on the screen) isn't done securely in Windows



  24. Microsoft is 'Buying' the Media Ahead of Vista 10 Launch

    Signs serve to indicate that Microsoft is already tightening its grip on technology news sites, ensuring that they give Microsoft disproportionate levels of coverage



  25. DockerCon 2015 Infiltrated by Microsoft

    DockerCon gives room to Microsoft propagandists who want to divert the audience's attention from secure GNU/Linux focus to proprietary Windows with back doors and surveillance



  26. Links 25/6/2015: Docker Focus, NVIDIA Opening Slightly

    Links for the day



  27. The Lie or the Fiction of Microsoft Tolerating GNU/Linux

    The 'Microsoft loves Linux' nonsense cannot be put to rest, as that tired old lie keeps resurfacing in the media



  28. Microsoft is Again Demonstrating That It is Not Interested in Making Windows Secure

    Microsoft decides to leave Windows with flaws in it, claiming that fixing the flaws would not be worth Microsoft's resources



  29. Not Only is Vista 10 Not Free, It is Getting More Expensive, According to the Taiwanese Press

    More proof that Microsoft charges quite a lot for Vista 10 (at OEM level), despite the perpetual deception about costs



  30. EPO Protest in Munich and Growing Unpopularity of EPO Management, Media Manipulation by the Management

    Poll shows that the European Patent Office (EPO) comes under fire for its media strategy which involves wasting taxpayers' money on fake/organic media coverage that glorifies the EPO


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