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Novell Markets Its OpenOffice.org Fork Using Patents-Encumbered Microsoft Add-ons

Posted in Fork, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, SUN, Ubuntu at 10:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Become a Novell customer, be ‘safe’?

Novell’s attempt to steal Sun Microsystems’ thunder (OpenOffice.org charm) was previously covered in [1, 2]. It’s a fork. It’s there for everyone to see, even with some software patents on top of it. Well, Ubuntu’s coming release will exclude OpenOffice.org 3.0, in part because of Novell’s Microsoft-esque version of the software, which contains patent poison and helps the spreading of OOXML.

Finally, one of the headline features of OpenOffice.org 3.0 that many people have asked about is support for Microsoft Office 2007 documents. Thanks to our use of the Go-oo patch set, we already support this important feature with 2.4.1.

We encouraged GNU/Linux users to lobby against this. It’s not the nature of the fork that makes it dangerous; it is the forker, a Microsoft ally, which makes this untrustworthy.

Had Novell been serious about Free software and open standards, it would not have sold out to Microsoft and OOXML back in 2006. In fact, some time next year, even Microsoft will have surrendered to ODF, thus confirming that the real international standard is growing dominant and never going away. The Register has this new article regarding Microsoft’s time line.

In May Microsoft moved to appease its critics and reassure regulators by proclaiming that Office 2007 SP2 will support rival file format OpenDocument Format (ODF) 1.1 used by openistas such as IBM and Sun Microsystems.

As another side note worthy of a mention, Microsoft’s accessibility smear against ODF is FUD that’s growing thinner than ever before owing to this announcement: [via Glyn Moody]

Today I am more than pleased to share with you news of the AEGIS project, a €12.6m investment in accessibility, with the vast majority of it focused on open source solutions.

What is AEGIS?

AEGIS stands for “open Accessibility Everywhere: Groundwork, Infrastructure, Standards”. It is a major research and development investment in building accessibility into future mainstream Information & Communication Technologies.

ODF comes complete with many of the necessary features, yet it is not based on a single reference implementation, which makes it elegant. Why again is Novell helping OOXML? Oh, that’s right. Microsoft bribed paid Novell to do so.

Novell gets 'bribed'

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  1. landofbind said,

    October 24, 2008 at 12:00 pm


    Well, Ubuntu’s coming release will exclude OpenOffice.org 3.0, in part because of Novell’s Microsoft-esque version of the software.

    So you liar where did anyone say anything like that?

    C’mon explain it?

    You really are a miserably person!
    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from an incarnation of a known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  2. vincent said,

    October 24, 2008 at 12:07 pm


    Why Office 2007 SP2 will support ODF 1.1 and not ODF 1.2 which
    will be standardized soon ?

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 24, 2008 at 12:28 pm



    Maybe people have asked that question. I’m not sure if Microsoft ever responded (maybe I missed it).

  4. Dan O'Brian said,

    October 24, 2008 at 6:30 pm


    The likely/obvious answer is that Microsoft can’t implement a spec which hasn’t been finalized yet.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 24, 2008 at 6:53 pm


    Microsoft has already deviated far from OOXML (even in Office 2009) and expresses no plan to validate, so it’s hard to buy such an argument.

    “It’s hard for Microsoft to commit to what comes out of Ecma [the European standards group that has already OK’d OOXML] in the coming years, because we don’t know what direction they will take the formats. We’ll of course stay active and propose changes based on where we want to go with Office 14. At the end of the day, though, the other Ecma members could decide to take the spec in a completely different direction. … Since it’s not guaranteed, it would be hard for us to make any sort of official statement.”

    Brian Jones, Microsoft

    could they use th same excuse here?

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