No, not Eee PC
THE LAST discussion about OOXML revolved around software patents, but more problematic is Microsoft's attempt to ruin what already works: ODF. This issue was raised before [1, 2] and there is a new article that compares Microsoft’s tactics against document standards (ODF) to what Microsoft did to Netscape.
That’s how Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) killed Netscape many moons ago. Embrace this newfangled “Web browser” market with a new product. Extend the existing Web standards with proprietary technologies like ActiveX. Extinguish the competition by denying them access to those fancy new features. When it works, this is a great way to build and maintain wide, alligator-filled business moats.
It seems to me that Mr. Softy is up to his old tricks again. The target this time is the OpenDocument standard, a free and open alternative to Microsoft’s own Office formats for text documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more. The standard’s biggest proponent so far is Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: JAVA) and its StarOffice/OpenOffice software packages, but other alternatives like Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Documents, IBM’s (NYSE: IBM) Lotus Symphony, and Corel (Nasdaq: CREL) WordPerfect come with ODF support, too.
Instead, Microsoft has put up a Web site full of “implementation notes” for this new feature, which will be added in a service pack for Office 2007. Office will write “additional data” into its files, and there are “implementation variances” from the published, open standard — all according to a set of “implementation decisions.” We’ll have to wait on the specifics, but this sounds eerily reminiscent of IE-versus-Netscape to me.
Another case of Microsoft EEE (embrace, extend and extinguish) might be “open source”, whose isolation from Freedom and flexibility Microsoft keeps exploiting.
We previously showed some new tricks that Microsoft was using to have the Silver Lie somehow associated with those two words, “open source”. Here is another new example of Silver Lie and Open Source sharing a headline to deceive.
Deep Earth: When Virtual Earth Meets Silverlight 2 and Open Source
Deep Earth is a project created at the intersection of Microsoft Virtual Earth, Silverlight 2, and open source. Hosted on the Redmond company’s open source repository CodePlex…
This is possibly designed to make Silver Lie look as though it’s not proprietary. For purposes of openness or freedom, this is totally pointless. They may want to create a confusion that will make it hard to separate Microsoft’s proprietary technology from Free software. They blur the gap deliberately. What they did to standards they also do to code. █