06.08.09

ODF News and Microsoft’s Acts Against It

Posted in Asia, Europe, Formats, GNU/Linux, Interoperability, Office Suites, Open XML, Standard at 12:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

AbiWord as ODF

Summary: Bits and pieces about the road to document interoperability and those standing in its way

THIS post offers an assorted roundup, which starts with the Dutch government actively supporting ODF, as it has for quite some time. There is a workshop coming:

The workshop is meant for people who write and architect the code to handle the actual ODF in applications – desktop editors and viewers, online apps, mobile, etc.

The event is organised by the Dutch government programme Netherlands in Open Connection and OpenDoc Society under auspices of the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations.

As it turns out, Dutch people also sponsor this project called officereader, which promotes ODF.

For the first time ever, it is now possible to read your OpenDocument files from OpenOffice.org, KOffice, AbiWord and Lotus Symphony on your Symbian Smartphone using Open Source software

We have been writing quite extensively about how Microsoft was harming ODF with MSODF [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. In relation to the news about Fraunhofer promoting Microsoft lock-in, Pamela Jones writes in Groklaw: “I think this may explain why Microsoft deliberately followed the ODF version it did. My weather report: lots of FUD ahead. And Apache is helping them. You likely recall the role the Fraunhofer Fokus group played in the OOXML vote.”

A week ago we also wrote about MSCOSCONF (Malaysia), which is a Microsoft-oriented event going under the “open source” banner. They even use Office 2007 to produce material. Pamela Jones writes about MSCOSCONF in Groklaw: “May I ask why anyone would help Microsoft do this? Why is it “great” that Microsoft is spreading money around FOSS, with such a goal as this as transparent as it is? Think. Road kill. What comes after Embrace, Extend?”

Also in Malaysia we find this new article where Microsoft pretends to be collaborating.

“We are committed to being open when it comes to interoperability,” said Dzahar Mansor, national technology officer at Microsoft Malaysia.

“This includes ensuring open connections, enhancing support for industry standards and fostering a more open engagement with customers and the industry, including open-source communities.”

Microsoft, he said, is taking this path because it will enable its customers to have more choice in software and be able to easily integrate mixed-source infrastructure

This is marketing buzz. If Microsoft is “committed to being open when it comes to interoperability,” then why are its developers breaking format compatibility in ODF? Notice the talk about “mixed-source infrastructure.” Microsoft would love to abolish discussion about software freedom.

The next statement from Microsoft goes like this:

“Data will move seamlessly between applications and systems regardless of platform or vendor,” he added.

Which platform might that be? The one which Microsoft is suing (Linux) using software patents, which are invalid where the defendant is based anyway?

Microsoft continues making void allegations to suppress the use of platforms other than Windows. Bill Gates was scheming to use software patents against OpenOffice.org, which is a viable rival to an increasingly-confusing and bloated Microsoft Office. What can Microsoft offer which OpenOffice.org does not deliver to 80% of the people out there (who only use like 20% of the features)?

Answer: A highly cluttered — and thus baffling — office suite, where change is made for the sake of change (illusion that a sale of the newer version will be worth the price). See what some people mean by “clutter”.

I just need to share this one. Playing around with MS Word 2008 on my Macbook, I made a wonderful discovery. In case you’re familiar with the Ribbon UI of MS Office 2007 and in case you’ve always been wondering how the Mac version of Office 2007 turned out to be a bit, well weird, then here are some news for you.

Had Microsoft had no lock-in, which an interoperable ODF is rightly intended to put an end to, how many people would actually buy this “premium” offer which is Microsoft Office? Lock-in like OOXML yields enormous leverage. Microsoft is not capable of selling software; It is a lot better at forcing people to ‘buy’ its software, e.g. get Windows whenever you buy a computer or be forced to get Office to access personal files and read files from peers/colleagues.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

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

What Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Monday, November 30, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, November 30, 2020



  2. Links 30/11/2020: GhostBSD 20.11.28, Nitrux 1.3.5, Linux 5.10 RC6, GNOME Circle, Microsoft Collapses Again in Web Server Share

    Links for the day



  3. Alternatives to the World Wide Web, to HTML, to HTTP/S, and to the Internet

    Looking around the Web (yes, the Web) for alternatives to the Web (and the stack underneath the Web), we're finding that IPFS is mature and robust enough for our needs



  4. Management of the EPO Dragged to the International Labour Organisation Over Its Assault on the Right to Strike

    Opinion on strikes challenged by the Central Staff Committee of Europe's second-largest organisation; if strike rights are almost abolished there, what hope is there for the rest of Europe?



  5. [Meme] Management of the EPO Cannot Let the Staff Breathe or Smell Freedom

    Working for the EPO means giving up on one’s human rights; that’s the sort of conclusion many workers have reached



  6. “ViCo” is Nothing New (Not Even the Acronym), Done on 9/11 Last Year, Been Possible as Long as the EPO Has Existed

    Contrary to what many people are led to believe, the EPO isn't embracing innovation, it's just embracing COVID-19 and leveraging lock-downs (de facto house arrest to some) to impose an illegal practice on EPO staff and EPO stakeholders



  7. Release: Early Letters and Documents About Financial Hoax Disguised as EPO 'Study'

    It was over a year ago that staff representation at the EPO expressed concerns about what would later enrage workers — seeing that based on unscientific fabrications the EPO would take away what had been promised to them



  8. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 29, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, November 29, 2020



  9. Managing IP: Puff Pieces Galore for the EPO's Dictatorship (Complete With Buzzwords and PR Stunts)

    By giving a platform to notorious patent trolls and ‘engaging’ with the EPO‘s dictator (whom only 3% of EPO staff trusts) Managing IP is sort of giving away its real agenda, which isn’t journalism but conducting or assisting misinformation campaigns



  10. Links 29/11/2020: Genode OS Framework 20.11, Linux 5.11 Kernel Changes, and Latest in KDE Itinerary

    Links for the day



  11. Sincere Thoughts About Outreachy

    Outreachy's role in the Free software community and inclusion in the FSF's High Priority Projects, as seen from the eyes of a female coder from a minority group; she used to work for the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and she expresses concerns about what Outreachy has become



  12. Free Software Under Tyranny of Codes of Conduct as the Western Equivalent of Blasphemy Law (Corporations as the New Religion/Sponsors as Deities)

    The free speech crisis in Free software communities has enabled expulsion of opinionated people whose opinions truly matter; in their place we now have companies that bomb people, sometimes even kidnapping children and sterilising women because nothing says “Ethics” like naked fascism and corporate domination everywhere



  13. Release: 4 More Documents and Letters About the Financial Siege at Europe's Second-Largest Institution

    Documents disputing the accuracy of the "hoax" from António Campinos and the Mercers



  14. One Year Ago: The Last EPO Demonstration Before COVID-19

    About a year ago staff of the EPO apparently had its last protest (in front of the Isar building) before staff got ‘herded’ into homes, where workers became more isolated and even illegally spied on



  15. [Meme] Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) is an Attack on Europe and the European Businesses That Don't Do Litigation

    Litigation lawyers and patent zealots want to set Europe ablaze with legislation that they themselves crafted; thankfully, however, they face constitutional obstacles, no matter how many politicians they bamboozle and buy



  16. Reasons EPO Staff Decided to Go on Strike This Year (Before or Until Coronavirus Prevented It)

    An year-old letter from the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) to the President of the EPO; 7 reasons for going on strike are enumerated



  17. EPO Can Save Money by “Dropping Events Like the Inventor of the Year, Reducing the Number of Managers, Throwing Less Money at Consultants or Bringing the Boards of Appeal Back into Office Buildings.”

    Constructive suggestions from EPO staff, made just over a year ago and assembled into a letter to their EPO colleagues



  18. The Real Fate of the UPC 'Stunt' in Germany Will be Known Next Month (or Next Year) and There Are Substantial Constitutional Barriers in the Way

    Contrary to what Team UPC wants people to think, UPC(A) isn’t a “done deal” in Germany; they never actually addressed the substance of complaints and with help from Benoît Battistelli‘s friends in the Commission they’re just attempting a blatant coup



  19. Microsoft Removes Free Software From GitHub Again, This Time for Motion Picture Association (MPA)

    GitHub is proving to be more of a censorship site than a code-sharing site; with the GitHub takeover Microsoft became a 'censorship police' or force of occupation against its ideological competition; just weeks after the YouTube-DL debacle and further take-downs seeking to 'protect' broken DRM schemes (by banning code) we can see that Microsoft isn't defending developers at all; it's just protecting the interests of MPA, RIAA and other Biden circles from the interests of the general population, which sometimes circumvents perfectly circumventable 'DRM' schemes



  20. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, November 28, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, November 28, 2020



  21. Help Make Techrights (and Other Technology-Centric Sites) More Robust to Censorship by Setting Up More IPFS Nodes

    We’re trying to improve the site’s availability (ensuring it can never be offline) and make it more censorship-resistant; people who adopt IPFS can make that happen while tackling the “bloated Web” and “centralised Internet” issues — all at the same time



  22. Microsoft Loves Linux and Android Apps Running on Windows Instead of GNU/Linux and Android Devices

    Microsoft loves Linux, they say; but as Microsoft's former VP James Allchin put it: "If you're going to kill someone there isn't much reason to get all worked up about it and angry -- you just pull the trigger [...] We need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger."



  23. Links 28/11/2020: RenderDoc 1.11, GNOME 40 Scrolling Horizontally

    Links for the day



  24. Nine Documents About the Financial Siege Against EPO Staff (Past, Present, and Future)

    Today we release dozens of pages of letters and documents (internal to Europe's second-largest institution); they all focus on the betrayal and skulduggery, crushing staff in spite of what was originally promised (and what workers actually signed up for)



  25. EPO Senior Management (Cabal) “Essentially Deaf to the Proposals From Staff Representatives.”

    Representatives of EPO staff feel like the management of the EPO is "deaf" and uncaring; there's hardly any meaningful progress (or none whatsoever) when it comes to truly honest dialogue with real participation



  26. EPO Management, Led by António Campinos, Attempted to Stifle or Prevent Staff From Being Surveyed

    Battistelli's cabal, which covers up a lot of fraud and corruption, is attempting to prevent the staff from expressing an opinion (for insiders and perhaps outsiders to assess) because things are really bad and autocratic measures are seen as necessary to keep the lid on issues/abuses



  27. The European Patent Office's Central Staff Committee: Office Cannot Recruit Fit-for-Purpose Patent Examiners Anymore

    One third of EPO recruits are 'locals' (Germans), 0.2% are Swiss, 1% Scandinavian; the EPO as an employer became unattractive and it's unable to attract the staff it needs (as was projected and planned when the EPC was agreed upon)



  28. IRC Proceedings: Friday, November 27, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, November 27, 2020



  29. Links 27/11/2020: Jolla is 7, Diffoscope 162, MNT Reform Production

    Links for the day



  30. The Time Coronavirus Helped EPO Management Prevent Staff From Protesting and Going on Strike (March 26th)

    "In view of the spreading of the New Corona Virus, the planned General Assemblies have to be cancelled," the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) wrote in the wake of the crisis across Europe back in March (weeks ahead of a planned strike)


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