01.09.09

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Why Apple Supports OOXML

Posted in Apple, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument at 5:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IN response to this previous post about ODF support in AbiWord, one reader wrote: “iWork 09 have no support yet! shame on Apple!”

Although I’ve responded to this personally, I also sought points of interest in an old Microsoft-Apple engagement, which is similar to that of Microsoft-Corel and Microsoft-Novell, both being cases of companies that sold out to Microsoft and supported OOXML [1, 2].

“Steve Jobs essentially promotes duopoly with Microsoft on the desktop.”We’re deep-linking to a YouTube video here. Watch Steve Jobs saying (back in 1997) that “Apple plus Microsoft equals 100% of the desktop computer market. And so, whatever Apple and Microsoft agree to do, it’s a standard.”

The head of the Open Source Initiative sort of accused Novell of helping Microsoft create "Monopoly 2.0" (or duopoly), so the video above tickles a nerve. Steve Jobs essentially promotes duopoly with Microsoft on the desktop. He also ignores the existence of GNU/Linux (Apple always ignores it, to this date) and other operating systems from that time.

There was a similar incident where browser duopoly got promote by Jobs, who pretended that only Safari and Internet Explorer would exist. Apple also pushed Safari installations, slipping them by the back door (iTunes), just like malware writers typically do. In both cases, Mozilla complained publicly.

Apple’s treatment of OOXML is a subject that we covered before [1, 2] and there was a note about ODF as well. Microsoft actually cited Apple (repeatedly even) as “supporter of OOXML.”

Bob Sutor has meanwhile put ISO in the trashcan for being coprruptible. He totally ignores its existence. ODF, which is maintained by OASIS, will soon have this “ODF Congres” meeting in Utrecht (The Netherlands). ODF is where the world is going.

ISO Sold Out to ECMA

“ISO is dead for software standards. Do you need an official funeral?”

Benjamin Henrion, FFII

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13 Comments

  1. Oh nevermind said,

    January 9, 2009 at 5:29 pm

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    TextEdit, the default (and free) text editor on Mac OS X can open and save ODT files…and has been able to do that since 10.4. Good thing you guys do research!

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 9, 2009 at 5:50 pm

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    You obviously didn’t follow the references in this post (5th from the end, anchor: “note about ODF as well”). I was referring specifically to TextEdit.

  3. mok said,

    January 10, 2009 at 7:11 pm

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    Hate to say it, but (in reference to your comment about not following links), a link (like a citation) should make sense in its context, and there was no reason to believe that your link made any sense there as being a comment on TextEdit and ODF. That’s the kind of statement that undermines your premise in the article. Based on the TE/ODF link, it seems that your beef is with Pages, not with Apple. Yo, that undermines your whole article. In other words, based on academic standards (I’m a prof…), you used a lousy embedded citation to hide what you meant to say. And that makes you an untrustworthy source. Sorry to call it that way, but that’s how you come across.

    Now, to rephrase the argument, you’re mad that Apple supports OOXML without coming out as publicly for ODF. Okay, I can understand that. But, why can’t they support both? When Apple has cared to support more than one standard, they have done so. When they have cared to not commit, they have done so. And when they have leapt ahead, they have done so. This ODF/OOXML thing comes down to them not committing yet, nothing more. Again, that’s not what you said, and that, again, makes you a non-trustworthy source in this discussion.

    If you’d care to rephrase what you wrote above to acknowledge that Apple and ODF are in good standing (as your link to yourself indicates), then I’m sure we’d all appreciate it. Thanks.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 10, 2009 at 7:18 pm

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    Apple added ODF at a very late stage. It was helping Microsoft push OOXML forward. I was there. I watched it on a daily basis. I know what I saw at the time.

    Apple’s ODF support is still rudimentary (i.e. lacking) and there is hardly any public endorsement of it. In fact, people had to almost squeeze out this news from Apple (re: ODF in Leopard).

  5. Nick said,

    January 11, 2009 at 9:11 am

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    So much malice from one person. I’m sorry for the author of this piece because life must be painful for him having to live with his own anger, ill will, and hatred. These are what the Buddhists call “destructive emotions” – and I guess they have a point: the author can’t harm Steve Jobs, but he can give himself dyspepsia.

    So Apple’s technical representatives didn’t vote against Microsoft’s new (fake) “open” format. It’s a shame, but I’m hardly surprised. Apple had to do a deal with MS to get MS Office on the Mac, because without Office they’d have been sunk. (Of course, that was (and is) a very profitable deal for MS, so they didn’t mind throwing Apple a lifeline. It certainly wasn’t because Microsoft executives are, as Mr Paul Thurrott has asserted when referring to this agreement, “compassionate”.)

    Of course, having made the agreement, Apple has circumscribed its freedom of manoeuvre. It can’t very well take Office with one hand and campaign against it with the other. (And these XML formats will be at the heart of Office going forward.) Anyone with two brain cells to rub together could see that. Apple likes to tweak Microsoft’s tail – their amusing adverts, and the underlying tension in the Gates/Jobs interview by Mossberg are a reminder of that – but one supposes Apple can only go so far.

    Would ODF support be nice in Pages/Numbers? Sure, I’d love to see it – although I should imagine putting it there would be a lot of work and Apple would certainly have other, more pressing, uses for developer time. If the format takes off, as with any luck it should, users will be looking to open and edit these documents (and with something more sophisticated than TextEdit), so they’ll have to add support.

    Never mind, in the meantime, there’s oo.org (and now IBM’s Symphony). I know – not nice, lightweight Objective-C programs – not even individual programs at all – but one great humungous mess, horrible C++ bloatware. And there’s a fascinating story (also involving MS, Sun, and a few machinations) for those few readers of this page who might prefer history to ranting and raving, too:

    http://www.noodlesoft.com/blog/category/java/

    But, as I say, for Mac users who need/want to read/write ODF documents there is, at present, oo.org. It’s not a nice program, but needs must … So, if you were worrying about us, Don’t. We’re OK, calm down. :-)

    Technically, the Apple reps should’ve voted against – which would also make it the right thing to do morally. “Politically”, they weren’t not in a position to. End of story. Get over yourself already.

  6. Kittens said,

    February 3, 2009 at 4:00 pm

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    Nick: “So much malice from one person. I’m sorry for the author of this piece because life must be painful for him having to live with his own anger, ill will, and hatred.”
    I hate people like you that assume that just because someone feels strongly against something and speaks about it, that it consumes their entire life. people assume that I am absolutely obsessed with making game life a living hell because I write critical reviews about online games, but when it gets down to the grind, I love doing what I do. I love giving people something to read and I like seeing that people read it all the way through. whether or not you admit it, you just made someone happy by writing such a long reply.

    -Tangent

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 3, 2009 at 5:22 pm

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    I wrote what I felt was correct based on what I know.

  8. Kittens said,

    February 3, 2009 at 6:16 pm

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    I wasn’t talking to you, roy, I was commenting on nick’s assinine assumptions

  9. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 3, 2009 at 6:52 pm

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    Yes, I know. My response was to him (belated though).

  10. Kittens said,

    February 3, 2009 at 10:04 pm

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    :)
    better late than never, good job Roy.
    I like a man who can speak out his own word. word man…word…

  11. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 3, 2009 at 10:49 pm

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    This page was cited by a big Mac site, so the comments were written with faith/emotion (devotion to Apple), possibly with little attention to facts.

  12. Jose_X said,

    February 4, 2009 at 7:58 am

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    >> So Apple’s technical representatives didn’t vote against Microsoft’s new (fake) “open” format. It’s a shame, but I’m hardly surprised. Apple had to do a deal with MS to get MS Office on the Mac, because without Office they’d have been sunk.

    True or not, the “they’d have been sunk” is an assumption on your part. Those were old comments from Jobs that Roy linked. Though I don’t know the context, it appears Jobs was incorrect in his predictions; thus, even if Jobs thought at one point in time that he needed MSOffice on the Mac, as you appear to think he did, it might not be too surprising if he would have been wrong in that prediction as well.

    I’ll note that you did not address the point Roy made of Jobs comments over Apple and Microsoft determining what becomes a standard for the market. Roy suggests Apple has colluded with Microsoft.

    If you follow this site, you’ll see that Apple is not a fan of openness. Roy at least offers support for the case point he is making, rather than simply assume as you have without providing supporting evidence.

    What you present appears to have been so done with intent to get Apple off the hook, but, even if true, it would confirm Microsoft’s tremendous leverage, which has other implications for both Microsoft and Apple, given their close working relationship.

  13. Jose_X said,

    February 4, 2009 at 8:41 am

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    >> Hate to say it, but (in reference to your comment about not following links), a link (like a citation) should make sense in its context, and there was no reason to believe that your link made any sense there as being a comment on TextEdit and ODF.

    There is no reason for that to have been specified. In the current article, only “iWork09″ is mentioned. The commenter mentioning Text Edit apparently assumed Roy said something he had not. Even without any other links, Roy simply did not say or imply any other program besides iWork09 today would be lacking ODF support (and I’m not sure even the iWork09 lack of support was implied by Roy). In particular, one of the links in this piece certainly suggested that Roy was aware that such support might exist somewhere today.

    FWIW, I have not followed all the links either, but then I’m not criticizing Roy.

    >> That’s the kind of statement that undermines your premise in the article.

    Since you appear to have been incorrect in your judgment, does this mean your entire comment is undermined? How much of it is undermined? Surely, at least Roy is off the hook, right?

    BTW, what premise are you talking about.. that Apple supports OOXML or that Apple colluded with Microsoft (or “sold out” to them) or something else?

    >> Based on the TE/ODF link, it seems that your beef is with Pages, not with Apple. Yo, that undermines your whole article. In other words, based on academic standards (I’m a prof…)

    Can’t tell which link you are talking about, but I think this article is fine.

    Apple has supported OOXML and, if we are to judge Jobs by his comments, has done so perhaps with intent to help stifle competition.

    I see nothing in your comment, “prof”, to contradict this. In fact, I see nothing in your comment that would support the notion that Roy’s piece is flawed in any material way.

    >> you used a lousy embedded citation to hide what you meant to say. And that makes you an untrustworthy source. Sorry to call it that way, but that’s how you come across.

    You have ignored what he did say. You have also assumed he was trying to say something else, yet you did not even quote him.

    Given you’ve shown nothing yourself, I don’t see that “lousy embedded citation” point.

    What was that about someone being untrustworthy? [I mean, if we go by the "academic standards" you mentioned.]

    >> But, why can’t they support both? When Apple has cared to support more than one standard, they have done so. When they have cared to not commit, they have done so. And when they have leapt ahead, they have done so. This ODF/OOXML thing comes down to them not committing yet, nothing more.

    This doesn’t contradict anything Roy said. It’s true I have not followed all the links, but you have provided no evidence to at least point me in the right direction.

    In fact, what you are saying is perfectly consistent with the view that Apple and Microsoft have colluded to stifle competition whenever it suited their interests.

    And what you have alleged about Roy appears to be incorrect or at least presumptuous.

    What was that about being untrustworthy?

    >> Again, that’s not what you said, and that, again, makes you a non-trustworthy source in this discussion.

    I’m thinking that maybe you and I read different postings.

    >> If you’d care to rephrase what you wrote above to acknowledge that Apple and ODF are in good standing (as your link to yourself indicates), then I’m sure we’d all appreciate it. Thanks.

    Not sure ODF and Apple are in “good standing”. You haven’t shown this.

    I also don’t see what that has to do with what Roy did say or, if the “good standing” bit were true, how this would contradict Roy’s piece.

    *****

    There are many people that come here and bad-mouth boycottnovell or Roy without shame. The problem is that while they sometimes have points, many times they don’t nearly have as strong a point as they seem to suggest, and when that is the case (or when they are outright incorrect), they will usually fail to quote very much if anything at all.

    It’s easy to bad-mouth an essay or a person, but where is your evidence or case?

    Please quote or else readers might think you are just talking garbage.

    See the “niece” comment here http://boycottnovell.com/2009/01/11/ms-maintaining-gap-vs-linux/#comment-58349

    PS: What does “prof” mean? ..professor? ..professional astroturfer? What exactly?

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