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Does Microsoft Try to Conquer ODF to Sell Microsoft Office?

Posted in Africa, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument at 9:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Protests in Norway (OOXML)

NO matter one’s point of view, it’s clear that ODF is not going away. It has already become a national standard in several nations, whereas OOXML is typically shunned due to binary Office formats, (X)HTML, and PDF. ODF adoption too is increasing.

According to Tectonic, which is based in South Africa, the government there is “more committed to ODF than ever.” It’s worth remembering the tricks that Microsoft and its lobbyists tried to pull there, without success. In fact, South Africa filed a complaint shortly afterwards.

Open standards are critical in ensuring that the South African government both avoids vendor lock-in and promotes democracy. This is according to South Africa’s minister of home affairs, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

In a prepared speech for the opening of the recent Second International ODF conference in Pretoria, Mapisa-Nqakula said that the department of home affairs was “forging ahead to make open standards a priority” to ensure future ability to process and share documents “using formats which have significant impact on the efficiency, interoperability and accessibility of public services”.

Even if a country has strong pro-ODF inclinations, Microsoft wants to virtually force it to pay for Microsoft Office. As we’ve seen before, it may be capable of sending its lobbyists to threaten governments.

“As we’ve seen before, it may be capable of sending its lobbyists to threaten governments.”If Microsoft is able to take ODF into its own hands, which is something it may already be trying to achieve [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], then a pro-standards policy will be less effective than a Free software policy.

Meanwhile, it sure seems like there are appointments of more Microsoft cronies inside ISO. This time it’s Jesper Lund Stocholm [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]. ISO becomes more of a farce as time goes by if it permits itself to be taken over by Microsoft’s interests.

In another new post from Alex Brown, there seems to be more typical agenda of promoting Microsoft Office for ODF. How ironic is is that the sidebar of the blog also includes a “Quotable” from “Jesper Lund Stocholm.” They are all from the same ‘group’, sharing the same vested interests and seeking to exploit the system for self gain, using it to their advantage.

The most un-enamoring thing of it all is infinite dishonesty from Microsoft, which fought ODF like fire. Now it’s just pretending to be its friend and evangelist, having snuck a proprietary format into ISO, using blackmail, bribes, sabotage, smear campaigns and vote-rigging.

“Freedom is primarily achieved by providing the means for self-reliance. When individuals can provide for their own needs independently, without placing burdens on others, they are more free.”

Terry Hancock

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  1. Linux said,

    October 29, 2008 at 9:41 am



    So now companies who have the cash can own the internet !! This system is for the rich, by the rich and of the rich !!

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 29, 2008 at 9:49 am


    I think that has always been the case, in general. ISO is no exception and it makes it truly visible by allowing a rich spoiled brat to run it.

  3. pcole said,

    October 29, 2008 at 12:15 pm


    What is bothersome is, many people are switching to the ODF format and MS has it’s people in SC 34. The fear is that they may be approving MS-only bin-blobs into ODF, thereby corrupting the format to MS’s interests.

  4. Gentoo User said,

    October 29, 2008 at 4:42 pm


    Um, I wouldn’t be too quick to bemoan the “they’re all in league” angle, considering this twitter guy promotes your site heavily on Slashdot (under god knows how many accounts).

    Note: comment arrived from a witch hunter that does not even use GNU/Linux.

  5. twitter said,

    October 29, 2008 at 4:58 pm


    I’m sad to say that I link to Wintel press articles more often than Roy.

    You too may be worth quoting. Got anything interesting to say about M$’s move to put ODF under the authority of the OOXML group and M$’s blatant corruption of ISO?

  6. Gentoo User said,

    October 29, 2008 at 5:24 pm


    Err… I’m not going to get into that with you, since you’re obviously a troll (and badly conceptualized at that), but if by “M$” you mean Microsoft, then no.

    Then again, I probably wouldn’t sensationalize it as much as you require.

    There’s a story on the /. front page right now about Twitter (the service), and half the posts there seem to be jokes about you. I’d take that as a warning sign if I were you…

    Note: comment arrived from a witch hunter that does not even use GNU/Linux.

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 29, 2008 at 5:43 pm


    ‘Gentoo User’,

    Please keep personal disputes off this site and don’t try to associate me with other people who just visit the Web site.

    I don’t sensationalise. ISO has gone through quite an ordeal that left is run by many people who operate in the interests of a rich spoiled brat called Microsoft. This is not the first such example.

  8. G. Michaels said,

    October 29, 2008 at 6:23 pm


    twitter, I would like to congratulate you on adding a former XEmacs developer and long-time Unix advocate to your “Troll Zoo” list, after he dared post this:


    In response to your highly rated flamebait (posted with a sockpuppet, no less):


    You truly are a credit to F/OSS evangelism. And your Perens/Raymond quotes sure lessen the impact of your apparent inability to control your anger and hatred towards anyone who disagrees with you.

    Note: writer of this comment adds absolutely nothing but stalking and personal attacks against readers, as documented here.

  9. Gentoo User said,

    October 29, 2008 at 6:27 pm


    @schestowitz: The “sensationalist” thing was not directed at you.

    Note: comment arrived from a witch hunter that does not even use GNU/Linux.

  10. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 29, 2008 at 6:29 pm


    Either way, if you have a Slashdot confrontation, please refrain from bringing it here.

  11. twitter said,

    December 4, 2008 at 9:42 pm


    Since you mention it, here’s the troll zoo. It’s fun but it does not have much to do with ODF.

  12. G. Michaels said,

    December 5, 2008 at 12:23 am


    Funny how you never allowed comments there, nymshifter.

    Note: writer of this comment adds absolutely nothing but stalking and personal attacks against readers, as documented here.

  13. AlexH said,

    December 5, 2008 at 4:23 am


    @pcole: SC 34 doesn’t have any control over ODF. Fears of ODF being “corrupted” are unfounded.

  14. pcolon said,

    December 5, 2008 at 8:19 am


    Yes, all fears of MS stacked SC 34 are unfounded. JTC-1 helps the consumer. Ecma, ACTA are good for SMB’s. MS is looking out for our welfare. Comcast is not looking to censor the internet. RIAA/MPAA are looking out for the artist’s interest. Novell is not a turncoat. The Gates foundation is a real charity and do not invest in media outlets and energy revenues; OLPC is a money laundering outfit. ISO is honest.

    click, click, there’s no place like home.

  15. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 5, 2008 at 8:24 am


    Alex, please don’t try to pass naivety onto other readers. This is not Faux News here.

    Direct link

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