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. The Latest EPO Spin: Staff Protesters Compared to 'Anti-Patent Campaigners' or 'Against UPC'

    Attempts to characterise legitimate complaints about the EPO's management as just an effort to derail the patent office itself, or even the patent system (spin courtesy of EPO and its media friends at IAM)

  2. The Serious Implication of Controversial FTI Consulting Contract: Every Press Article About EPO Could Have Been Paid for by EPO

    With nearly one million dollars dedicated in just one single year to reputation laundering, one can imagine that a lot of media coverage won't be objective, or just be synthetic EPO promotion, seeded by the EPO or its peripheral PR agents

  3. EPO: We Have Always Been at War With Europe (or Europeans)

    The European Patent Office (EPO) with its dubious attacks on free speech inside Europe further unveiled for the European public to see (as well as the international community, which oughtn't show any respect to the EPO, a de facto tyranny at the heart of Europe)

  4. What Everyone Needs to Know About the EPO's New War on Journalism

    A detailed list of facts or observations regarding the EPO's newfound love for censorship, even imposed on outside entities, including bloggers (part one of several to come)

  5. EPO Did Not Want to Take Down One Techrights Article, It Wanted to Take Down Many Articles Using Intimidation, SLAPPing, and Psychological Manipulation Late on a Friday Night

    Recalling the dirty tactics by which the European Patent Office sought to remove criticism of its dirty secret deals with large corporations, for whom it made available and was increasingly offering preferential treatment

  6. The European Private Office: What Was Once a Public Service is Now Crony Capitalism With Private Contractors

    The increasing privatisation of the European Patent Office (EPO), resembling what happens in the UK to the NHS, shows that the real goal is to crush the quality of the service and instead serve a bunch of rich and powerful interests, in defiance of the original goals of this well-funded (by taxpayers) organisation

  7. Microsoft Once Again Disregards People's Settings and Abuses Them, Again Pretends It's Just an Accident

    A conceited corporation, Microsoft, shows not only that it exploits its botnet to forcibly download massive binaries without consent but also that it vainly overrides people's privacy settings to spy on these people, sometimes with help from malicious hardware vendors such as Dell or Lenovo

  8. When the EPO Liaised With Capone (Literally) to Silence Bloggers, Delete Articles

    A dissection of the EPO's current media strategy, which involves not only funneling money into the media but also actively silencing opposing views

  9. Blogger Who Wrote About the EPO's Abuses Retires

    Bloggers' independent rebuttal capability against a media apparatus that is deep in the EPO's pocket is greatly diminished as Jeremy Phillips suddenly retires

  10. Leaked: EPO Award of €880,000 “in Order to Address the Media Presence of the EPO” (Reputation Laundering)

    The European Patent Office, a public body, wastes extravagant amounts of money on public relations (for 'damage control', like FIFA's) in an effort to undermine critics, not only among staff (internally) but also among the media (externally)

  11. Links 27/11/2015: KDE Plasma 5.5 Plans, Oracle Linux 7.2

    Links for the day

  12. Documents Needed: Contract or Information About EPO PR/Media Campaign to Mislead the World

    Rumour that the EPO spends almost as much as a million US dollars “with some selected press agencies to refurbish the image of the EPO”

  13. Guest Post: The EPO, EPC, Unitary Patent and the Money Issue

    Remarks on the Unitary Patent (UP) and the lesser-known aspects of the EPO and EPC, where the “real issue is money, about which very little is discussed in public...”

  14. Saving the Integrity of the European Patent Office (EPO)

    Some timely perspective on what's needed at the European Patent Office, which was detabilised by 'virtue' of making tyrants its official figureheads

  15. A Call for Bloggers and Journalists: Did EPO Intimidate and Threaten You Too? Please Speak Out.

    An effort to discover just how many people out there have been subjected to censorship and/or self-censorship by EPO aggression against the media

  16. European Patent Office (EPO) a “Kingdom Above the EU Countries, a Tyranny With ZERO Accountability”

    Criticism of the EPO's thuggish behaviour and endless efforts to crush dissenting voices by all means available, even when these means are in clear violation of international or European laws

  17. Links 26/11/2015: The $5 Raspberry Pi Zero, Running Sans Systemd Gets Hard

    Links for the day

  18. EPO Management Needs to Finally Recognise That It Itself is the Issue, Not the Staff or the Unions

    A showing of dissent even from the representatives whom the EPO tightly controls and why the latest union-busting goes a lot further than most people realise

  19. Even the EPO Central Staff Committee is Unhappy With EPO Management

    The questions asked by the Central Staff Committee shared for the public to see that not only a single union is concerned about the management's behaviour

  20. The Broken Window Economics of Patent Trolls Are Already Coming to Europe

    The plague which is widely known as patent trolls (non-practicing entities that prey on practicing companies) is being spread to Europe, owing in part to misguided policies and patent maximalists

  21. Debunking the EPO's Latest Marketing Nonsense From Les Échos and More on Benoît Battistelli's Nastygram to French Politician

    Our detailed remarks about French brainwash from the EPO's media partner (with Benoît Battistelli extensively quoted) and the concerns increasingly raised by French politicians, who urge for national or even continental intervention

  22. The Sun King Delusion: The Views of Techrights Are Just a Mirror of EPO Staff Unions

    Tackling some emerging spin we have seen coming from Battistelli's private letters -- spin which strives to project the views of Techrights onto staff unions and why it's very hypocritical a form of spin

  23. Links 25/11/2015: Webconverger 33.1, Netrunner 17 Released

    Links for the day

  24. United They Stand: FFPE-EPO Supports Suspended Staff Representatives From SUEPO

    An obscure union from the Dutch side of things at the EPO is expressing support for the suspended colleagues from SUEPO (more German than Dutch)

  25. Censoring WIPR Article About Censorship by EPO

    A testament to how terrified journalists have become when it comes to EPO coverage, to the point of deleting entire paragraphs

  26. Censorship at the EPO Escalates: Now We Have Threats to Sue Publishers

    Having already blocked Techrights, the EPO's management proceeds to further suppressions of speech, impeding its staff's access to independently-distributed information (neither ordinary staff nor management)

  27. Response to Bogus Accusations That EPO Staff Protests Are Really an Attempt to Derail UPC

    Common myths about staff protests in the European Patent Office (EPO) debunked, with some additional background and general perspective on recent events, the unitary patent (UPC) and so on

  28. New Heise Article Makes It Clear That 'Nazi'-Themed Accusations Against the Suspended Board Judge Were Insufficiently Substantiated

    The personal attacks on a judge who was illegally suspended (a so-called 'house ban') increasingly look like the management's own campaign of defamation, mostly intended to marginalise and punish a judge who spoke about serious charges against VP4 (Željko Topić)

  29. Links 24/11/2015: Asus Chromebit CS10, Second Linux 4.4 RC

    Links for the day

  30. European Central Bank Staff Committee Adds to Growing Pressure on Abusive EPO Management

    The staff representatives of the European Central Bank E-mail their colleagues -- with European Central Bank managers' approval -- regarding the European Patent Office and its attacks on staff unions


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