Blast from the past, regarding JDK
When Microsoft announced “support” for ODF, people were baffled to find that Microsoft rejected the newer version (1.2) of the standard and chose an older one instead (1.1). Microsoft does not mean well, but it sure pretends and fools a lot of reporters along the way. For a little bit of background on Microsoft’s promised “support” of ODF:
- Beware the Vapourware (Microsoft to Save ODF Bunnies, End Global Warning)
- Taking Stock of Microsoft’s Vapourware Announcement
- What People Say About That Mythical Microsoft Service Pack
- Groklaw: Microsoft’s ODF Moves Vapourware, Possible Trojan Horse for Software Patents
- Old FUD Pattern Makes Epic Comeback
- Office and OOXML Under Pressure, So Microsoft Retaliates with ODF
- Document Formats Roundup: Why Microsoft Should Worry
- OOXML/ODF Roundup: ODF is Winning, BECTA Runs Back to Microsoft’s Bed
Microsoft must control the formats in order to promote its business. That’s just the way it operates and ethics can be neglected, even obedience of the law. It’s not just a corporate stigma but a well-proven pattern.
Microsoft’s long and brutal fight against Java is nothing new. It started with an embrace, but Microsoft developed its own surrogate, .NET/C#.
Bill Gates’ attitude towards JDK is telling
[PDF]: “I think supporting JDK 1.1 is fine and I am hard core about NOT supporting JDK 1.2. I really needed to understand where we were going to dnaw the line because I am so afraid of the slippery slope.
“If you think we should support JDK 1.2 its ok but you will really have to explain why and where it stops.”
So Gates says OK to 1.1 but not to 1.2 of something related to Sun. Does that sound familiar? Same version numbers, similar companies at play, and a bizarre snub amid antitrust violations.
When Microsoft declared support for ODF 1.1 people were suspicious. Maybe it’s time to take this little voyage back in time and learn from history. When Microsoft says it will “support” something, it often just means it will “[E]mbrace” that something. And we all know what comes after the first “E” [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].
One reader said that we “could even mention the negative effect that Microsoft has had on Sun’s Java. First, they tried to “pollute” it with their own Windows-optimised version of Java APIs and then, when Sun’s lawsuit stopped that strategy, Microsoft’s responce was an embrace-and-extend ploy with C# and .NET.” Further, concludes this reader, “It still amazes me that someone who aligns himself with Sun could sneer at Microsoft as if they only fight FOSS and they don’t affect his preferred vendor.” █
A nice cuppa Java that Microsoft tries spilling
Correction from a reader (02/01/2009): there is no ODF 1.2 standard. ODF 1.2 is under active development, but no one knows what it will say when adopted by OASIS. And it won’t be stable before it’s been through the JTC 1 wringer. OASIS ODF 1.1 is the latest adopted version of ODF. It’s ISO/IEC:26300 plus some accessibility extensions.
To suggest that Microsoft should implement a standard that does not yet exist is really taking things over the edge quite a bit. [...] There are far better issues to beat up Microsoft with than accusing it of malfeasance because it did not implement a standard that does not yet exist.