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 20/9/2014: GNOME 3.13.92, Android L

    Links for the day



  2. Scanning Patent Troll Implodes; Is the Podcasting Patent Troll Next?

    MPHJ loses and Personal Audio LLC perhaps wins for the last time since software patents are quickly losing legitimacy in the United States



  3. If CAFC is Not Above the Law, Then it Should be Shut Down Now

    A long series of abuses in CAFC may as well suggest that this court has become broken beyond repair



  4. The Latest From Microsoft Patent Trolls and Patent Partners

    Microsoft-linked and Linux-hostile trolls continue their relentless attacks (albeit with little or no success) while patents as a weapon lose their teeth owing to a Supreme Court ruling



  5. Microsoft Proves That Its Massive Layoffs Are Not About Nokia

    Microsoft is laying off a lot of employees who have nothing at all to do with Nokia



  6. Links 19/9/2014: Another Red Hat Acquisition, Netflix Dumps Microsoft Silverlight and Brings DRM to WWW

    Links for the day



  7. Links 18/9/2014: Windows Copying GNU/Linux, Germany Moves to Security

    Links for the day



  8. Web Site 'Patent Progress' Now Officially 'Powered by CCIA' (FRAND Proponent, Microsoft Front)

    After talking a job at CCIA, "Patent Progress" and its chief author should be treated as dubious on real patent progress



  9. Articles About the Death of Software Patents in the United States

    Recent coverage of software patents and their demise in their country of origin, where even proponents of software patents are giving up



  10. The Death of Software Patents is Already Killing Some Major Patent Trolls

    VirnetX seems to be the latest victim of the demise of software patents in the United States



  11. More Microsoft Layoffs

    More Microsoft layoffs go ahead as the company is unable to compete



  12. ODF on the Rise

    Milestones for OpenDocument Format (ODF) and the launch of FixMyDocuments



  13. Links 17/9/2014: CoreOS, ChromeOS, and systemd

    Links for the day



  14. Italy is Cracking Down on Microsoft's Monopoly Abuse While Gradually Moving to GNU/Linux

    Italy is not only moving to Free/Open Source software but also to GNU/Linux while at the same time barring Microsoft from forcibly tying Windows to new PCs



  15. OpenSUSE's 'Assurances' Are Classic MBA School Hogwash

    OpenSUSE is not part of any commitment, except for SUSE's; the impact of the Novell/SUSE acquisition casts uncertainty on the project's future



  16. Links 16/9/2014: Firefox OS Smartphones in Bangladesh, “Treasure Map” of the Internet

    Links for the day



  17. The United Kingdom Should Dump Microsoft For the Sake of National Security

    The UK has issues of Microsoft dependency and Windows viruses; its migration to Free software and GNU/Linux is not fast enough to guard its autonomy in the age of digital imperialism



  18. CBS Hires Even More Microsoft Staff to Cover Microsoft Matters

    CBS continues to be infested with Microsoft staff past and present (this time Dave Johnson) and the bias in output is quite revealing



  19. Microsoft Has Just Killed Minecraft for GNU/Linux and the Possibility of Free/Open Source Releases

    Persson sells out to Microsoft and lets the abusive monopolist destroy the popular cross-platform game that a community has been built around



  20. Another Reason to Boycott Intel UEFI

    More anti-competitive aspects are revealed inside UEFI, which helps merginalise GNU/Linux



  21. Quick Mention: Novell and SUSE Passed to Microsoft's 'Partner of the Year', Microsoft Focus

    Novell is changing hands again, and falling into the hands of even more Microsoft-friendly actors



  22. Links 16/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC5, KDE Frameworks 5.2.0

    Links for the day



  23. Željko Topić, Benoît Battistelli, and the European Patent Office (EPO): Part II

    Part II of our look into the EPO appointment of Željko Topić and other matters showing the dubious integrity of the EPO



  24. Links 14/9/2014: Android-based Watches Earn Optimism

    Links for the day



  25. Links 14/9/2014: Eucalyptus Devoured

    Links for the day



  26. Links 11/9/2014: Linux Toilet Project, Linux-Based Wheelchair Project

    Links for the day



  27. Links 10/9/2014: Brian Stevens in Google, Ubuntu 14.10 Expectations

    Links for the day



  28. Links 9/9/2014: Hating/Loving Linux, Android Aplenty

    Links for the day



  29. Links 8/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC 4, Switzerland Welcoming Snowden

    Links for the day



  30. Suspicion of High-Level Corruption at the European Patent Office (EPO): Part I

    The European Patent Office (EPO) Vice-President has a background of corruption and his appointment to the EPO too is believed to be reliant on systemic corruption


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