FFII has recordings of yesterday’s conference. There are over 10 hours of this, which is a lot, but those who care to listen carefully will find Microsoft’s Morasco talking about OOXML in GO-OO, which is Novell’s evil fork of OpenOffice.org [1, 2, 3, 4]. Novell has supported OOXML since 2006 when it signed a harmful patent deal with Microsoft. Novell was a major force in this campaign for vendor lock-in.
There is plenty more among these talks and it would be handy to have the WAV files stored there permanently for future reference. There are nice bits in there, which are worth exploring to realise just how Microsoft mixes specifications like OOXML with patents and Novell. In the afternoon session, Morasco said that even open source software is supporting OOXML. This probably includes former Novell employees.
Elsewhere in the news, Bob Sutor writes about the need for universal standards such as ODF.
For the first time in memory, technology standards have become a discussion topic at legislative hearings, on the U.S. presidential campaign trail and at E.U. regulatory meetings. Why the scrutiny? Shouldn’t we trust that computer companies will always have the public interest at heart? Won’t we always be able to open and read electronic documents?
A committee is already established to manage ODF and enforce conformance.
The Organisation for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (Oasis), which fights for open standards for information, has formed a new committee to advance the OpenDocument Format (ODF).
As pointed out very recently, Microsoft’s Web-based office suite is an OOXML and Mono trap and it should therefore be avoided. The following short article is a reminder of the fact that in order to escape Microsoft’s lock-in, ODF or old binary formats are still required. OOXML is no-man’s land, except Microsoft’s.
But the company objective is certainly to retain not only visitor for as long as possible, but also to their market share in Web advertising, and specifically with regards to their new, free online office productivity suite that will compete with Google’s own product, which is currently oriented towards open source document formats such as ODT (Open Document Text), also supported by the OpenOffice.org suite.
“Microsoft corrupted many members of ISO in order to win approval for its phony ‘open’ document format, OOXML. This was so governments that keep their documents in a Microsoft-only format can pretend that they are using ‘open standards.’ The government of South Africa has filed an appeal against the decision, citing the irregularities in the process.”
–Richard Stallman, June 2008