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


Signs That Microsoft Might Prepare for ‘Patent Terror’ Against Rival Office Suites

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Patents, RAND, SUN at 1:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“What we’re seeing though now can be loosely described as patent terrorism, where people are using their patent horde as a threat [...] It’s almost like a cold war stand over tactic; where I have these patents and if you breach these patents, I’m going to come after you and sue you.”

James Eagleton, systems product manager for Sun Microsystems

Summary: Signs of increased patent aggression in Microsoft’s behaviour amid sinking profits

With OpenOffice.org 3.2 coming quite soon, not to mention the ODF Workshop, Microsoft has many reasons to worry about its biggest cash cow. Microsoft seems to be dealing with rival office suites in the same way it deals with GNU/Linux: FUD, patents, and litigation, in that order. Microsoft has already moved beyond smearing or belittling Apps and OpenOffice.org. Having already made vague patent accusations against OpenOffice.org back in 2007, Microsoft is now collecting patents on word processing.

At the same time that Microsoft was pushing for the adoption of an XML-based file format for documents, it had a patent pending that would cover most uses of XML for word processing files.

This is an issue that was covered some days ago [1, 2] and also a few months ago in:

Michael Tiemann speaks about Microsoft’s latest RAND traps [1, 2] (patent royalties).

Glynn Moody writes an insightful analysis of Microsoft’s latest attempt to confuse the issue of open standards by throwing a new word into the mix: balance. It didn’t fool Glynn, and it shouldn’t fool you, either.

In the final analysis, the question of what is an open standard, and how governments and free markets should police the claims of those who purport to offer open standards should never come down to a question of rhetoric. An open standard should never depend on what the definition of “is” is. Rather, there is plenty of room for those who are honest to say “X is a proprietary standard, dependent on restrictive technologies that must be licensed for a fee” and for others who are equally honest when they say “Y is an open standard, dependent on a variety of technologies, all of which can be practiced royalty free”. And if we believe that free markets can make intelligent decisions based on fair information, market participants can choose which offering is most attractive to them and the best will come to all.

With that in mind, Tiemann and the OSI should be aware that Microsoft is trying to appeal to FOSS projects while it’s suing GNU/Linux vendors. Microsoft uses lawsuits against vulnerable Linux-distributing companies that surrender and let Windows be publicly perceived as ‘safer’. RAND is part of this plot, which Microsoft may later try to use as a suppressor of OpenOffice.org adoption.

In a bid to increase their support for open source technology, Microsoft (News – Alert) has announced the addition of SugarCRM Community Edition for free download on the Windows Web App Gallery.


In November 2006 TMC reported that SugarCRM had announced its membership in the Interop Vendor Alliance with Microsoft.

Going back to office suites, they already appear to be marketing Microsoft Office with pseudo ODF ‘support’ [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] over at Wikipedia [1, 2]. Another vector of competition happens to be the Web (SaaS) and not only Google Apps or Zoho are out there looking to poach users. Evermore is moving there as well. From the news:

Chinese Microsoft Office Rival Launching on Web Soon

A Chinese company that offers a rival suite to Microsoft Office is following industry trends by turning its software into a Web-based service.

Evermore Software, based in the eastern Chinese city of Wuxi, has for years offered a software suite that looks very similar to Microsoft Office but costs less. Now the company sees its rivals moving online, and it is designing a Web version of its suite to compete with the likes of Google Docs and Microsoft’s upcoming Office Web apps.

Some of Microsoft’s acquired patents may also apply to Web-based office suites. Is Microsoft preparing to ‘pull a SCO’ in desparate attempts to defend its aging cash cow?

Cash cow

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

A Single Comment

  1. David Gerard said,

    August 10, 2009 at 9:53 am


    I really want to see Larry Ellison aggressively pushing OpenOffice.org to take Microsoft out. Boy does he hate those guys.

What Else is New

  1. Links 2/10/2015: Qubes 3.0, Linux.Wifatch

    Links for the day

  2. Microsoft-Connected Firm Net Applications Used to Mislead About Vista 10 Share and Mock GNU/Linux

    People who are connected to Microsoft (some being former staff) link to a firm that is connected to Microsoft in order to create the illusion that Vista 10 market share grew to 6.63%

  3. Chairman of the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA) and EPO Vice-President of DG3 Suspiciously on Unlimited Sick Leave After Benoît Battistelli's Unprecedented Attacks on Other EBoA Staff

    Rumours suggest that Benoît Battistelli's affairs at the EPO may have something to do with Wim Van der Eijk's longterm absence

  4. Microsoft's Secret Special Relationship With EPO Illustrates Serious Corruption at Microsoft and the EPO

    A big story about the EPO and Microsoft working in a sort of collusion-type setup so as to serve Microsoft's patent agenda, which involves aggression, even against European software that is Free (as in freedom)

  5. Links 1/10/2015: LFS 7.8, Calculate Linux 15 Released

    Links for the day

  6. The 'Microsoft Loves Linux' Baloney is Still Being Floated in the Media While Microsoft Attacks Linux With Patents, New Lawsuits Reported

    Despite Microsoft's continued assault on Linux and on Android (using software patents, which it still discreetly lobbies for), some figures in the media are perpetually peddling the Microsoft-serving lie that 'Microsoft loves Linux'

  7. The Microsoft Botnet Goes Bonkers and ATMs Running Windows Spew Out Cash

    The terrible security (by design) of Microsoft Windows is causing all sorts of very serious and collectively expensive issues

  8. Black Duck Continues to Pile FUD on Free/Libre Software

    Having spent nearly a decade promoting the fear of Free software licensing, Black Duck now does the same regarding Free software security<

  9. Links 30/9/2015: New Kernels, Nexus Devices

    Links for the day

  10. Links 28/9/2015: Last News Catchup Before Resumption

    Links for the day

  11. Links 25/9/2015: GNU/Linux in Indian Government, NeoKylin in China

    Links for the day

  12. Süddeutsche Zeitung Explains Imminent Federal Scrutiny Against Battistelli's EPO in Germany

    The German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reveals that actions by the German government may be imminent against the EPO's cliquish management, including its ringleader Benoît Battistelli

  13. EPO Managers, Patent Lawyers, Commissioners and Other Non-Technical Personnel Tackle Democracy, Alter Laws in Bulk and in Secret

    The reckless assault on European democracies and long-established laws across Europe are now lucidly demonstrated when it comes to patents

  14. Europe's Acceptance of and Resistance to Software Patents, Courtesy of Corporate Front Groups and Courtrooms Respectively

    A snapshot of recent developments and upcoming developments in Europe, regarding software patents in particular

  15. German Press Explains EPO Investigation Unit (I.U.), Struggles to Openly Speak to the Secretive EPO

    The secretive Investigation/Investigative Unit (I.U.) of the European Patent Office (EPO) is further studied/explored by a recent article from junge Welt, an old and well-established German newspaper (since 1947)

  16. Links 24/9/2015: GNOME 3.18, Fedora 23 Beta, New Firefox

    Links for the day

  17. Translation Needed of Article About EPO Threats Against SUEPO's Elizabeth Hardon

    A call for translation of an important article that may help shed light on the modus operandi of the Investigation/Investigative Unit of the EPO, which works with Control Risks Group (CRG), the 'British Blackwater'

  18. Media Filled With Spin and Lies Amid Microsoft's Admission of Internal Usage (and Modification) of GNU/Linux

    Further analysis of Microsoft's admission that it uses Linux internally and the media's poorly-researched response to that

  19. EPO Management Justifies Censorship (Even of Journalists) Using Its Vice-President Željko Topić

    The Topić connection to EPO-imposed and universally-induced censorship not just of news sites but also sites which speak about the censorship itself, or dare question the integrity of the EPO's management

  20. Changes at Techrights

    A few short notes on how we are going to re-align the site with disruptive trends, notably patents-related

  21. EPO President Benoît Battistelli Compared to Famous Criminals on European Television

    The Belgian TV network featured a show which was making fun of Battistelli earlier this month

  22. Dutch Politician John Kerstens Says EPO Investigative Unit is Called ‘the Gestapo’

    The infamous Investigation Unit (I.U.), which secretly bullies staff of the EPO with notorious interrogation techniques under virtually no oversight, is described on Dutch radio

  23. The European Patent Office's Autocracy Has Proven the Streisand Effect, Amplifying Its Opposition's Messages

    The management of the European Patent Office (EPO) is still trying to suppress negative messages about managerial failures, violations and abuses, thereby serving to only increase media coverage (newspapers, radio, television) of increasingly well-known and widely-covered scandals

  24. IBM is Again Attacking Free/Libre Open Source Software by Pushing for Patents on Software

    A timely reminder that Big Blue is no true friend of GNU/Linux and other Free software projects, just an opportunist that uses the Linux brand and wants to make the platform a commodity (for servers that run IBM's proprietary software and use IBM-branded hardware)

  25. Windows is Dying, Based on my Conversations With Microsoft Windows Staff

    The arrival of Vista 10 heralds the continuation of a trend that Vista 8 cemented, namely an inevitable demise of Microsoft's common carrier (and formerly cash cow), Windows

  26. Microsoft Claims to Have Built 'Windows' on Top of Linux, But Where is the Source Code (GPL)?

    Microsoft cannot rely on Windows anymore, so it takes GNU/Linux code and puts its own brand on it, without even releasing the changes (as per the GPL's requirements)

  27. Dutch Report: EPO Suicides Possibly Caused by Working Conditions Imposed by EPO's Management

    More press coverage about the terrible situation at the European Patent Office

  28. Links 21/9/2015: Tizen 3.0, Red Hat's Results Coming

    Links for the day

  29. European Patent Office Expands Censorship and Intimidation Against Staff as Pressure Mounts

    The management of the European Patent Office (EPO) continues to increase its repressive assaults on EPO staff, essentially blocking access to additional sites which explain what the EPO is really doing and why this is wrong

  30. Patents Roundup: Europe's and India's Software Patents Affair, US Continues to Demote Software Patents With Alice Case

    A roundup of news of interest regarding patents, especially software patents whose impact on Free/Open Source software is exceptionally profound


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