EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS


Malaysia Saves with Free Software and ODF, Europe Rises Against Microsoft

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Novell, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, SUN at 9:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

But Novell throws mud

LAST WEEK WE heard about the significant news from Vietnam, which plans to move to Free software within a couple of years. On one occasion in the past we wrote about tricks that Intel and Microsoft had been pulling in Vietnam in order to secure a case of digital colonialism and the subject also arose in the IRC channel (late last week [1, 2, 3]).

Yesterday we saw another nation adopting a similar, pro-Free software stance (mentioned here) and Malaysia had already begun large-scale migrations to OpenOffice.org across the nation, backed by an ODF-supportive policy. Here is the latest encouraging report from Malaysia:

Say it with me slowly, forty million big ones !

That’s how much government agencies have saved by deploying open source software in favour of proprietary, and costly licensed technology in government ministries, departments and agencies.

A massive big up is due to the folks at MAMPU and the Open Source Competency Centre (OSCC) for this.

How might Microsoft respond to this*? Other than EDGI (which targeted StarOffice at the time [1, 2, 3]), Microsoft could probably resort to a favourite strategy which is infighting (civil wars). Technical evangelism presentation material from Microsoft specifically mentions this as a tactic, so "talking points" will continue to appear.

“One vector of FUD that’s aligned against the OpenOffice.org brand at this moment is Microsoft’s ally, Novell.”One vector of FUD that’s aligned against the OpenOffice.org brand at this moment is Microsoft’s ally, Novell. Microsoft rarely ridicules its rivals directly, but this new comment from Linux Today, titled “Talking Points for the Microsoft Trolls,” asked whether “[T]his is the December talking points list for the Microsoft Trolls.” The commenter refers to Michael Meeks. We wrote about this before [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] and ZDNet (where Microsoft connections do exist) is still kicking a dead horse by calling/labeling OpenOffice.org a “dying horse”, thereby shedding doubt on its future prospects. These insults are coming through Novell**. Having poisoned the minds of some people, ZDNet Asia generalises:

OpenOffice.org is still not past its expiry date, but more needs to be done to drive community participation and ensure the open source software remains relevant, say industry watchers.

Dana Blankenhorn fuels this. He comments on it too. Guess where? ZDNet.

Meeks was explicit in his meaning at the blog, saying Sun is disengaging from the project, that its participation is not being replaced, and that improvements are grinding toward a halt.

A talking points treadmill, poisoned minds, exaggeration, or is it genuine concern? Probably a combination of all these factors is at play. Either way, let’s press on.

Time may have passed since the OOXML corruptions, but activists from FFII have not given up. The real struggle for freedom is taking place right now when countries like Malaysia are choosing ODF. According to research from Andre at <No>OOXML, European SMEs were against OOXML, but their voices probably got hijacked by Microsoft henchmen like Jonathan Zuck and his handful of empty shells that masquerade as groups advocating for small business [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8].

A real surprise to many observer of the Open XML debate was that most of the usual suspects of SME astroturf were not called to arms in the Open XML standard struggle. The new turf Voices for Innovation seriously lacked maturity and didn’t take off. The attempt appeared rather foolish. Vendor capture was not restrained but frank, as if European standard setting was the natural domain of European sales departments and partners. Another indication of SME weakness in the process.

As now all relevant sides agree that the ISO fasttrack process needs reform, I am curious what proposals the standard technocrats in Europe will come up with to strengthen true SME representation in the standard setting process. New instruments of competition law are expected to be developed to overcome the misrepresentation problem for which OOXML became a paradigm. How to crack down on future standard voting cartells in Europe and foreign influence? I wonder what reform suggestions NORMAPME would make.

It may have been a while since we last wrote about Microsoft’s OOXML mischiefs in Greece. Examples were included in:

The FFII in Greece has gotten some updates about its case against the government’s deal with Microsoft.

On 1 February 2006, the Greek government and Microsoft announced a strategic partnership agreement (the “Agreement”). At least 6 questions by the parliament remained unanswered by the government. On 10 January 2008, the government created a law proposal that would make the Agreement have the power of law. The law was approved by the Parliament on 29 January 2008. The FFII and the Hellenic Linux Users Group filed a complaint to the European Commission, which is still (as of 28 December 2008) under investigation.

“FFII Greece spent 4700 Eur on lawyer fees but the association didn’t make much buzz in other parts of Europe,” based on what we were told. Quebec took similar steps against the government’s illegitimate deals with Microsoft, as we last noted here. Many of these government deals are illegitimate at best and more likely just corrupt.

“The danger is that Microsoft is using strategic monopolistic pricing in the education market, with the government’s assistance, to turn our state university systems into private workforce training programs for Microsoft.”

Nathan Newman

Microsoft a  bad ride

* This is an exercise in ‘reverse-engineering’ reaction as means of analysis and prevention.

** Sun chooses not to confront publicly as that would make things worse.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one


  1. aeshna23 said,

    January 13, 2009 at 2:34 pm


    “The real struggle for freedom is taking place right now when countries like Malaysia are choosing ODF. ”

    This is really weird thing to say about a country like Malaysia where the Islamic government murders people for changing their religion or for being gay. We should keep some perspective on the relative importance of freedom of conscience versus FOSS.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 13, 2009 at 2:43 pm


    We concentrate on software here, so the other points are less relevant. Lots of countries silence dissent in one way or another while they effectively daemonise other countries that do exactly what they do (i.e. they are hypocrites).

  3. Yoon Kit said,

    January 14, 2009 at 2:53 am


    > the Islamic government murders people for changing
    > their religion or for being gay

    Meh? Murder would be a strong allegation.
    Any links to this?


  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 14, 2009 at 5:09 am


    I was doing to ask for proof myself.

What Else is New

  1. The EPO's Balkan Express Keeps Chugging Along Despite Predictions of Derailment

    The latest part in the series regarding the reappointment of the two Vice-Presidents, Casado and Topić

  2. Advice to Journalists: Stop Repeating Propaganda of the EPO, a Serial Liar With a Track Record

    The EPO is weaponising its propaganda and pushing hard for media across Europe to repeat this propaganda while severely punishing anyone who 'dares' contradict it

  3. Leaked: Ljiljana Kuterovac Covering Željko Topić's (EPO) Back

    Leaked E-mail from June 2012 regarding Željko Topić, an EPO Vice-President who reportedly faces many criminal charges in Croatia

  4. Leaked: Budget and Finance Committee Outcomes That Jeopardise What's Left of the EPO's Future

    A look at the latest reckless step from the Budget and Finance Committee of the Administrative Council (chaired by Battistelli's pet chinchilla), which marginalises yet more oversight or a branch which facilitates patent quality control (thereby concealing the effect of Battistelli's ruinous sausage factory mentality)

  5. Links 27/10/2016: Major Changes in Unity 8, Nextcloud Targets Phones

    Links for the day

  6. 'Balkan Express' Teaser: EPO's Željko Topić, Kuterovac, Campinos, Gurry, Battistelli and the DKPTO (Kongstad)

    Various photos of Topić and Kuterovac. Some more photos with other IP "luminaries" such as Campinos of the EUIPO and Gurry of the WIPO.

  7. The United States Pressures India to Broaden Patent Scope and Other Monopolies

    The envoy of the US is trying to tell India how to run the country (stricter laws regarding copyrights, trademarks, and patents), as a condition for foreign investment by multinational corporations

  8. Budget and Finance Committee of the Administrative Council (EPO) Confirms Exile of the Boards of Appeal

    Crushing of highly-skilled staff, propaganda in the form of new press releases, and recruitment attempts that won't succeed because the world now knows what goes on inside the European Patent Office

  9. Links 26/10/2016: “softWaves” in Debian 9, Rust in GNOME

    Links for the day

  10. Leaked: EPO's Vice-President Willie Minnoye Saying the Unsayable, Then Threatening Anyone Who Keeps Record (Evidence) of It

    E-mail that would leave Vice-President Willie Minnoye bashful, as it helps show not only bad policy but also attempts at suppression of discussion about it

  11. Puff Pieces of the EPO-IPO (EPO+EUIPO) Have Begun to Appear Amid New Evidence of Brain Drain, Lowered Standards

    The grim vision of the EPO which is losing all its talent (over time), becomes more like a production line (quality does not matter), and produces propaganda for "media positioning" (or "placements") -- all under the guise of 'studies'

  12. Leaked: Minutes From the Administrative Council of the EPO Regarding the 'Reform' (Exile) of the Boards of Appeal

    Details of the relatively secret proceedings back in June (belatedly released only a short while ago), carefully abbreviated to demonstrate which delegations helped Battistelli crush the Boards of Appeal and which ones insisted on maintaining the status quo, as per the EPC

  13. No Promising Future For the EPO Under Battistelli (If Any Future At All)

    Pessimism becomes realism at the European Patent Office as units are being torn apart, patent quality discarded, "unified" patent courts dreamed of (more patent lawsuits, higher damages), and EUIPO (EU-associated, unlike Eponia) gets closer to the EPO

  14. Leaked Minutes From the EPO Reveal That Battistelli is Detached From Reality and Blames Everything on “Union Officials”

    Minutes of the Administrative Council's meeting reveal some truly bizarre rants from Battistelli, who simply refuses to accept that the European Patent Office is burning (without a future direction, only burnout and brain drain) under his poor and abusive leadership

  15. Tata/TCS is Still Pushing for Software Patents in India

    The obnoxious company that is promoting Microsoft and software patents in a country that needs neither makes the headlines again (Financial Express)

  16. Links 25/10/2016: Rackspace's Praise of FOSS, Chain Chooses the GPL(v3)

    Links for the day

  17. Links 24/10/2016: Linux 4.9 RC2

    Links for the day

  18. Battistelli Plans to Expand the Social [sic] 'Study' (Then 'Conference') Propaganda Until Next Month, Under the 'Workshop' Umbrella

    Milking his shameless propaganda (paid-for 'studies'), Battistelli wants to rewrite the record by all means possible, then pretend that EPO staff participates in it

  19. EPO and EUIPO Join Hands to Release Propaganda (for European Media to Parrot) Some Time Tomorrow

    EPO and EUIPO in collaboration for the promotion of the notion that they are both necessary (and reinforced speculations about growing overlap between them)

  20. UPC Preparatory Committee Puts the Brakes on UPC Amid Brexit and Growing Uncertainty

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) preparatory committee recognises that the UPC isn't going anywhere (any time soon) and false job advertisements -- or advertisements for jobs that will never exist -- are withdrawn

  21. Updates Regarding EPO and BoAC: Unrest and Injustice Carry on

    Some of the latest information which is publicly and privately available to us, in particular regarding the case of a suspended judge which represents unprecedented erosion of the appeal boards' independence (and hence lack of justice in the Organisation)

  22. EPO and the “Iberian Connection”: Patricia García-Escudero Márquez - Battistelli's Pet Chinchilla on the Boards of Appeal Committee?

    Why the Boards of Appeal Committee has begun showing prominent signs that it is anything but independent and capable of standing up to Battistelli (or his circle at the Office, which includes the “Iberian Connection")

  23. Links 23/10/2016: Alcatel's New Android Smartphones, Another Honorary Doctorate for Stallman

    Links for the day

  24. Open Letter Exposing the Farce Which Was Battistelli's 'Social Conference' Coinciding With Further (New) Attacks on EPO Staff Representatives

    A detailed letter reveals legitimate concerns expressed by staff representatives at the EPO ahead of the so-called Social Conference, in which we have highlighted severe factual flaws

  25. Translation of Latest Rant From French MP Philip Cordery About Benoît Battistelli's Abuses at the EPO

    Philip Cordery crosses horns with Benoît Battistelli, who has become a source of embarrassment for France with his autocratic tendencies and misguided policies that rapidly ruin the European Patent Office (EPO)

  26. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC ‘Study’: Leaked Document Shows PwC's Dishonesty and Misrepresentation of EPO Staff

    An in-depth analysis (but not comprehensive, just preliminary) of the so-called 'study' from PwC, which basically did what it was paid for (pay to say)

  27. Links 22/10/2016: Deus Ex for GNU/Linux, Global DDoS (DNS)

    Links for the day

  28. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC ‘Study’: Survey Comparison Shows Serious Deterioration and Efforts by PwC to Disguise the Truth

    The latest output from PwC turns out to be even worse than initially thought, indicating that not only did it find a degradation in the EPO but also attempted to hide/obscure it

  29. EPO Teaser - The "Iberian Connection" - Some Photos of García-Escudero and His Royal/Government Connections

    A look at the undeniably close connections between Mr. García-Escudero and the most powerful people in Spain

  30. Disruption to Site's Service

    A technical note about why Techrights has not been publishing many articles recently


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time


Recent Posts