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Small Updates on ODF and OOXML

Posted in Courtroom, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Patents at 3:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Prague conference centre

Summary: ODF Workshop arrangements and i4i appeal scheduled

Jomar Silva has just updated the agenda of the ODF Workshop. “[W]e’re trying to do a live streamming on the second day,” he writes, adding about the event that “It will be 5 days discussing and building the basis of a new world…”

As one person remarks, “Someone please confirm that ODF files open on HTC Hero or on Android . I’m sick of saving my docs in .doc format just to see them on phone”

See, that’s the reason a standard like ODF is necessary. To depend on one vendor as though it is the universal owner of all documents in the world is simply not acceptable. This is not about “hate” as FCW puts it in the headline, it’s about practicality. Why is Microsoft so keen on hating international standards despite people’s demand for this? In Wikipedia, for example, HAl is removing references to “{{FLOSS}}” as though it is a dirty word when used in conjunction with ODF.

ODF is also distanced from the issue of software patents, for now. Matthew McKenzie, a proponent of Free software, writes:

According to i4i, the company has already concluded that the current version of OpenOffice.org — and presumably ODF — do not violate its patents. There is some speculation, however, that future releases might tempt the company to revisit this question.

Bear in mind: An attack on OpenOffice.org or ODF would risk war with companies like IBM and Novell that use — and have an interest in defending — both technologies.

The last company that tried this against IBM was a rotting penny-stock carcass called SCO. We all know how that turned out.

A few days ago we cited Andy Updegrove's take on the i4i case [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11]. Sam Dean — like many others — takes it for gospel, whereas one of our readers claims that Updegrove is utterly wrong and simply won’t ever admit it. “So to summarize,” writes the reader, “Microsoft either wins that motion for a stay or it promptly settles with i4i pretty much on i4i’s terms. That’s the squeeze play the i4i lawyers had as their litigation strategy.

“It’s a safe bet that settlement negotiations are already under way to determine what the settlement will be if Microsoft does not win that stay. In fact, there may already be a settlement agreement that makes what i4i gets contingent on how the motion to stay is decided by the Court of Appeals.”

An appeal is already scheduled. The date to eye is September 23rd.

On Sept. 23, a federal appeals court will hear Microsoft’s appeal of the injunction prohibiting it from selling versions of Microsoft Word with custom XML capabilities.

According to our reader, Microsoft should already be forbidden from selling Microsoft Word, regardless of whether it agrees with the judge or not.

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