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XML Patents, Microsoft Aggression, and ODF Hostility

Posted in Microsoft, OpenDocument, Patents, Standard at 4:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Microsoft’s threat to XML, hostility towards ODF, and other news of interest

THE recent i4i case [1, 2] had Microsoft essentially fined $200,000,000. The nature of their patent was particularly curious because it was editing of XML. This is a reason for concern for the following reason.

Wait, Editing An XML Document Is Patented And Worth $98 Per Application?

A bunch of folks sent in variations on the story about Microsoft losing a patent infringement lawsuit to the tune of $200 million to a small Toronto firm (the ruling also came right on the heals of another ruling against Microsoft in a patent case, for $388 million).

Microsoft has it share of XML patents too and as this pro-Microsoft blogger insinuates, Microsoft is in the mood for abuse of software patents.

Burning the Ships provides insight into Microsoft’s recent IP moves from an insider’s perspective, but the company’s newfound desire to share doesn’t seem like all good news for the tech industry. The question isn’t whether there should be IP rights, but whether current law strikes the right balance. I have concerns that it doesn’t.

The book this blogger refers to is patent propaganda.

Looking elsewhere for some ODF news, will ODF become a national standard in Indonesia sooner rather than later?

Last year, i wrote about When Will Indonesia Use ODF? Up to now, we still don’t have any standard for document format. Do you think .doc or .docx is a standard? Well, think again, as it’s not an official standard in Indonesia as it hasn’t been approved by the National Standarization Agency of Indonesia. As a de factor standard yes, not not by de jure.

Jason Brooks is still somewhat skeptic when it comes to Microsoft’s relationship with ODF, which keeps moving forward.

The state of file format compatibility across a range of different applications has come a long way in the past few years, as vendors such as Microsoft and OpenOffice.org have made progress toward addressing file format compatibility.

Wouter van Vugt was accused by some people of being an agent of Microsoft. Despite many of yesterday’s ODF-hostile remarks from him in Twitter, he denies having a direct relationship when he writes:

Lol. Paid by Microsoft. NOT! I am payed by my customers, in both the corporate world and in government.

There is more than just direct relationships to consider. The ODF Foundation is a good example of this [1, 2] and nonetheless, its president keeps receiving some attention with which to promote the whole "CDF" malarkey (or equivalents).

Gary Edwards, a Web developer and former president of the OpenDocument Foundation, told me Wave means “the greater web of designers can be designing a new type of document — one that’s multidimensional, highly graphical, highly interactive, and not OS-specific or device specific.”

The implication, Edwards told me, is that Wave is the thin edge of the wedge — or the thin edge of the Web — that could crack Microsoft’s dominance on the desktop. “Once they lose the document model, they might have lost it all,” he said.

Thus the fear of Google, for example.

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  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    May 30, 2009 at 9:34 am


    Wouter van Vugt didn’t address the accusation, but changed the topic. He’s paid by his customers. If it is Microsoft, then it is unlikely to be direct and more likely that he is paid via Waggener Edstrom or one of the many other fingers on the hand.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 30, 2009 at 9:55 am


    Wouter van Vugt is a a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (see banner at the side). Also notice how much time he spends ridiculing Microsoft’s rivals. Maybe that’s how he becomes an MVP. From the front page alone:

    “The story of Lotus Symphony [bashing]“

    “Validity to schema is not an ODF conformance requirement”

    “Some more un-guidance from the ODF Alliance”

    “Why Linux Sucks”

    What a true gentleman…

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