Summary: ODF news which is more or less organised and some other picks from the news
A COUPLE of days ago we wrote about lunch that Microsoft was having with at least one journalist, to whom Microsoft lied. It is hardly surprising that this journalist has just published an article commending Microsoft and reciting the same deception he was spoon-fed. It is a familiar sight.
Interestingly enough, the reporter also ended up talking to Laura DiDio, whom we last wrote about right here. For years she has been slamming Microsoft’s competitors and parroting Microsoft/SCO. She was paid by Microsoft to do this inside the Yankee Group [1, 2], part of that Microsoft mill.
Anyway, the reporter, whose article might be verbally ghostwritten by Microsoft, is also using Novell to embellish Microsoft’s image. Here is just a portion from it:
Paoli also highlighted Microsoft’s work with Novell, including Microsoft Operations Manger 2007 Cross Platform Extensions for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server; sponsoring an open-source Eclipse plug-in for Silverlight development; and nurturing the Mono Silverlight plug-in for Linux.
Microsoft’s motivation for working on these projects is twofold: It wants to be more customer friendly, and it needs to compete in new markets, said Laura DiDio, founder of Information Technology Intelligence Corp., a Boston-based consultancy and research firm.
Microsoft has been “steadily trying to learn from its mistakes” and is trying to “turn the lemons into lemonade” with better licensing, security and interoperability, she said. The company is also entering into new markets that have higher profit margins to spur its growth—beyond its operating system and Office businesses, she added.
So, after lunch with Microsoft (and lies from Microsoft employees) he promotes the Microsoft party line. Why is nobody surprised? And yes, that’s DiDio right there who offers ‘independent’ perspective. Classic!
“[T]hat’s DiDio right there who offers ‘independent’ perspective.”One person in Twitter adds that “Microsofties should really stop trying to slant #Wikipedia articles to smear #ODF. It’s not like we can’t see the page history.”
hAl has been very busy at Wikipedia today, adding anti-ODF contents (about 12 more edits) to Wikipedia’s article on ODF. Here are just two examples among many others. Of course he is also linking to the blogs of Microsoft employees, keeping it where it’s warm and showing how much Microsoft really hates ODF, whose interoperability it knowingly subverts [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. One of our readers writes to say: “I am reminded in this piece by the efforts that Microsoft has gone to in preventing interoperability even with interoperability specifications like ODBC.”
The person in Twitter writes: “If everyone and their dog can properly support #ODF except #Microsoft, then that’s likely either incompetence or malice on their part.”
Microsoft is of course not interested in interoperability. It never was. It is not good (for shareholders) to allow people to choose office suites based on technical merits, as opposed to pure lock-in and preconceptions. That’s where Microsoft’s FUD and perception management [1, 2] helps, as whisper campaigns surely illustrate. Microsoft Office remains one of the few Microsoft products that are really profitable and that too is at great risk as the following new article suggests:
For now, according to the BW article, Microsoft will continue to deliver its core Office package as server-based package while offering a free neutered online version. Some may embrace the free one because they are dealing with a known commodity, but many have likely switched already to another vendor and won’t give it a look. Microsoft could go all the way here and offer a tiered online pricing model and compete directly with Google at something it does well, but it’s afraid of costs spiraling out of control and killing their cash cow.
Moving again to more positive news, Rob Weir concludes the ODF Plugfest.
We had an ODF Plugfest last week in the Hague. Although we’ve had interoperability workshops and camps before that attracted a handful of vendors, this was the first one that had nearly universal participation from ODF vendors. I’m not going to recap the details of the plugfest. Others have done that already. But I will share with you some of my conclusions, based on long discussions with other participants, from whose insights I have greatly benefited.
In the KDE camp, another important milestone for KOffice 2 is being reached and marked.
Today, exactly one month since the release of KOffice 2.0.0, the KOffice team releases the first bugfix release in the 2.0 series. This release contains no new features but lots of bugfixes for almost all of the components in KOffice 2.0. We are planning at least two more bugfix releases of 2.0 before starting the 2.1 series in October this year.
The OpenOffice.org project has this important post about federating its community.
Nevertheless, one still needs the political infrastructure in order to constitute a Foss community that has any chance of sustaining itself. Mere spirit won’t do it in the long run. This means that there must be in place the mechanisms by which any member of the project can communicate to another and freely discuss project matters with the expectation that discussions have effect and are not just politely ignored. As well, it is generally important, though I no longer think it requisite, that members have a sense of “ownership” in the community or at least in what they are doing. It’s a feature more important in some areas than others, and as Foss continues to move away from its origins in the West and find welcome homes in Asia and Africa and India, that model becomes less essential.
All the same, this is just another way of saying that what global participatory communities need is a structure of governance that can accommodate difference within the community itself. Governance means here the guidelines by which authority is coordinated. Given the global nature of, especially, large Foss projects, or even smaller ones (the Internet knows now boundaries), flexibility is crucial―but so are guidelines that ensure impartiality and nullify arbitrariness.
Lastly, having covered Free software that is honestly compatible with ODF, here is another piece of software called Oxygen XML Editor. It has a new release which the ODF aggregator seems to endorse. █