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The Latest of ‘Open’ XML is Another Scam

Posted in Deception, Law, Microsoft, Open XML at 10:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It’s not a viewer, it’s a translator

OOXML translation

THIS subject, which we covered very briefly yesterday, attracted a lot of Microsoft apologists, Novell boosters, Mono enthusiasts, and revisionists of sorts. A careful look at some more articles reveals an even uglier picture than we first saw (with greater effects than initially imagined).

Microsoft’s media mole is mentioned in this IDG article, which improperly characterises another push around Microsoft’s proprietary formats, which ruined ISO.

The new tools were outlined in a blog posting by Peter Galli, a Microsoft senior open source community manager.

Open XML Document Viewer translates Open XML documents to an HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) Web page, allowing readability of those documents on Web browsers such as Mozilla Firefox, he wrote. A Community Technology Preview (CTP) of the tool is available on Microsoft’s Codeplex site.

Got that? Microsoft terms and licences. Moreover, there is lots of deception in the media, e.g.:

Even The Register covers the story:

Microsoft has today released a plug-in for Firefox that allows Open XML documents to be viewed within the popular open source browser. The software giant said that its new Open XML Document Viewer works within Firefox and can be used on Windows and Linux platforms without needing a local installation of MS Office. .. So today’s announcement will be seen – by MS at least – as going some way to placate the firm’s naysayers.

Let’s check the source.

Interoperability solutions announced today translate Open XML documents to a Web page (HTML) allowing readability on Web-friendly browsers such as Firefox,…

Get it? It’s not a viewer? It’s a translator to HTML and there is no word on the quality of this.

OOXML is bad

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  1. AlexH said,

    December 4, 2008 at 10:56 am


    The “viewer” won’t be that hot; it translates to HTML because that’s the only thing that Firefox will display. It basically works the same way the ODF one works.

    It’s ok for reading the text / etc. but it won’t be high fidelity by any means.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 4, 2008 at 10:59 am


    If people want to view ODF, they go to OpenOffice.org. You are totally missing the point. Again.

  3. AlexH said,

    December 4, 2008 at 11:00 am


    Oh, good grief Roy, you asked on the quality, and you’re berating me for pointing out it won’t be much good?

    And yeah, I’m sure plenty of people download ~100Mb+ office suites just to view files. Sure.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 4, 2008 at 11:02 am


    With OOo you can edit, not just view. Microsoft gives an illusion or very poor, read-only ‘inter-operability’.

  5. AlexH said,

    December 4, 2008 at 11:07 am


    This article is about OOXML, not ODF. OOo is indeed great software, but off-topic for this I feel. Chill out, Roy.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 4, 2008 at 11:10 am


    Are you here as a moderator?

  7. AlexH said,

    December 4, 2008 at 11:11 am


    No, just trying to work out why you’re trying to divert the discussion again.

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 4, 2008 at 11:12 am


    It’s not being diverted.

  9. AlexH said,

    December 4, 2008 at 11:15 am


    Er, what? You starting talking about what software people should get to view ODF and accused me of missing the point.

    I rather think it’s you who missed the point, given this article is about OOXML.

    It’s fascinating how you quickly attack people even when they’re effectively agreeing with your articles….

  10. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 4, 2008 at 11:22 am


    Why is it that whenever I criticise some Novell/Microsoft technology you treat that as a personal attack against you?

  11. Jo Shields said,

    December 4, 2008 at 11:24 am


    Erm, no, wait. he agreed with you, and you attacked him for it

    Really, I know you hate to “dwell on the past” when writing things, but try re-reading the comments.

  12. AlexH said,

    December 4, 2008 at 11:25 am


    @Roy: take 10 minutes to chill out and actually read what I wrote. I was agreeing with your criticism (well, one of them, anyway).

  13. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 4, 2008 at 11:33 am


    I read that in light of our previous (ongoing) discussion.

  14. AlexH said,

    December 4, 2008 at 11:35 am


    Well, that’s not the thread I was responding to.

  15. landofblind said,

    December 4, 2008 at 4:45 pm


    Dismissing everyone that disagrees with you as apologists, boosters, revisionists and enthusiasts!!!???? will surely give you that credibility that you so desperately need.

    So, Microsoft releases something that doesn’t work right. So what else is news. They have been doing that forever. Are you now worried about Microsoft’s future and well being?

    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.

  16. twitter said,

    December 4, 2008 at 4:49 pm


    Ha ha, AlexH. I had a hard time believing you were being constructive too.

    Thanks for the tip about how suck the OOXML translator is, but try not to imply there’s a problem with ODF viewers. If nothing else is done, it should be possible to view ODF perfectly with free software by printing it to pdf first (yes, my favorite browser embeds it’s pdf viewer in tabs without a hitch). Because there are several free software programs that display ODF in an form that can be edited, there’s no need to resort to klunky html “translators”

  17. AlexH said,

    December 4, 2008 at 4:54 pm


    @Twitter: thanks for the concern, but I was comparing the two Firefox plugins. I wasn’t commenting on general ODF apps.

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