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.”