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

09.12.09

Latest Wins for OpenDocument Format

Posted in America, IBM, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Standard, SUN at 4:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

OOXML protests in India
From the Campaign for Document Freedom

Summary: IBM dumps Microsoft Office; reports from ODF Workshop arrive; the Microsoft crowd still tries to capture ODF seats

IBM and Lotus

THE BIGGEST piece of news about OpenDocument Format (ODF) is probably IBM’s internal migration from the proprietary Microsoft Office to the proprietary Lotus Symphony. But it’s not exactly news; it seems like news that IBM occasionally re-announces to generate buzz. Either way, it is another “Big Win for ODF,” to use the summary of a Sun employee.

IBM asks all their employees to stop using Microsoft Office, and completely switch to Lotus Symphony – IBM’s office suite which is based on OpenOffice.org 1.1.

Here is the coverage from Heise:

American IT giant IBM plans to have its staff abandon Microsoft office software. According to a report in German daily Handelsblatt, the some 360,000 employees of the firm are to switch from the MS Office Suite to IBM’s own Lotus Symphony. The paper’s report (German link), is based on leaked internal IBM correspondence from upper management. IBM’s internal move away from Microsoft Office began in June 2008 with early pilots. By the end of the year, IBM documents are to be created in the ODF format, which is license-free for everyone.

There is also some coverage in IDG and in The Inquirer, which adds this for context:

IBM’s aggressive new campaign comes as Microsoft faces legal challenges over the lynchpin of its Office suite. Canadian software firm i4i has accused Microsoft of violating its patents on XML components within the word processing application. The case nearly halted sales of Word within the US.

Here is some coverage about the i4i case [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11].

ODF Workshop

The ODF Workshop in Brazil is something that we covered at the end of August. The ODF Alliance finally has a sort of summary covering this event.

The growing public-sector support for ODF was on display at the 3rd International ODF User Workshop, which concluded last week in Brasilia. The event—organized by the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, SERPRO (Federal Service for Data Processing – Ministry of Finance, Brazil) and Caixa Econômica Federal, in collaboration with the ODF Alliance—brought together representatives from governments around the world that have already made the move to ODF or are actively considering how best to utilize an open format to preserve access to documents and records, increase software choice, and save some money in the process. The first day of the event was held at the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Itamaraty Palace) and the second day at CONSEGI, the largest international free software and electronic government conference organized by the Brazilian Federal Government.

Jomar Silva, who organised this event (or helped in organising it), has his own summary too. Here is the English version:

After his presentation, the debate was basically done by a group that agrees that we need a stronger stance against proprietary technologies and the group that believes that we must continue addressing the issue more calmly … and we had almost two hours of debate, perhaps the most interesting I’ve ever attended.

Microsoft Interference

Microsoft Corporation, the company which is fragmenting ODF [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], has already attempted to bring ODF to its own turf; corrupting for OOXML was apparently not enough. A month ago we showed that Microsoft managed to bring SC34 into its own area of influence and now we find messages like this one: “packing for Seattle ISO SC 34 meeting #sc34 #odf #ooxml #microsoft”

“They try to get into panels where they can promote Microsoft without it seeming that way.”Yes, Seattle/Microsoft will be the place in which to discuss ODF. And meanwhile, Microsoft proponents Rick Jelliffe and Jesper Lund Stocholm are grilling Rob Weir over ODF in their continued battle to mock ODF (based on simple track record and business affiliations/payments).

Stocholm, for instance, is flirting with other ODF people like Jomar Silva, hoping to hide his agenda and mingle with those whose work he later abuses. Privately, we’ve heard similar stories about Microsoft proponent/partners who attend FOSS events across the world for the purpose of getting inside, understanding the people (reporting/ousting ‘troublemakers’ to Microsoft) and later affecting the agenda from the inside. That’s what Microsoft and its ecosystem do best. Here is Stocholm getting inside another panel. Very typical. They try to get into panels where they can promote Microsoft without it seeming that way.

Leftovers

Pia Waugh is seen promoting ODF, which is great news. “Current speaker has format compatibility issues,” she wrote. “Good lesson in importance of open standards. Everyone sh[oul]ld go ODF!” From the Customer Support Lead at Mozilla we learned a few days ago that this is “a day to remember…. as the day when @patrickfinch sent an ISO standard ODF document to the k-team!!”

Here is a warning that “iWork lacks ODF support”. We have already explained why Apple helps the duopoly with Microsoft.

“That particular meeting was followed by an anonymous smear campaign against one of the TC members. A letter was faxed to the organization of the TC member in question, accusing the TC member in question of helping politicize the issue (which is, of course, untrue). I too had the dubious pleasure of hearing first hand how Microsoft attempted to remove me from the TC (they did not succeed, thanks to integrity and cojones of the organization I am affiliated with).”

“If this unethical behaviour by Microsoft was not sufficiently despicable, they did the unthinkable by involving politics in what should have been a technical evaluation of the standard by writing to the head of the Malaysian standards organization and getting its business partners to engage in a negative letter writing campaign to indicate lack of support of ODF in the Malaysian market. Every single negative letter on ODF received by the Malaysian standards organization was written either by Microsoft, or a Microsoft business partner or a Microsoft affiliated organization (Initiative for Software Choice and IASA).

A Memo to Patrick Durusau

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

10 Comments

  1. JohnD said,

    September 12, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Gravatar

    Lotus Symphony is not proprietary.
    They are using an old product name for continuity only. Symphony is based on OO with some minor changes to allow the applications to run as tabs within an Eclipse based client.
    The suite is free for everyone.
    IBM has stated that they will integrate things from previous apps like 1-2-3 into Symphony and make those features available to the community.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Where can I download the source code of Lotus Symphony?

    I’ve already asked some people in IBM about this and it is not Free software. IBM exploits people’s inability to discern gratis from libre.

    JohnD Reply:

    Well you need to find some other people to talk to because they’ve obviously given you inaccurate information.
    Here’s a link that explains what they’ve done:
    http://symphony.lotus.com/software/lotus/symphony/developers.nsf/home#1
    Want the source code? Download OO and Eclipse and you have it. The only “thing” that might be close to proprietary is the UI. The only reason they changed the UI is to provide a consistent interface for the end user.
    If you take the time to read the literature they are also marketing it as an alternative to proprietary options like M$.
    How do I know all this you ask? Because I’m a PCLP 5&6, and I sell and support Lotus products and work with IBM business partners.

  2. JohnD said,

    September 12, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Gravatar

    Download OO and eclipse – that’s all you need.

  3. JohnD said,

    September 12, 2009 at 11:15 am

    Gravatar

    I’d also like to know how IBM is “exploiting” people when they aren’t charging for the product and they are using ODF instead of a proprietary format.
    They took two FOSS products and integrated them in order to provide a consistent interface with some of their other products which are proprietary. Lotus Notes 8.x and Symphony use the same eclipse based client that’s all. Just because they aren’t telling you exactly how they did it, doesn’t make the product proprietary. They have done nothing to alter the functionality of Eclipse or OO. All they have done is change the packaging, not the product. The user community is not being short changed in any way.
    This idea gets to be even more of a stretch when you factor in the fact the IBM started Eclipse and helped move it into the FOSS community. Not to mention IBMs continued support of the Eclipse project.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    The code situation is more complicated than you make it seem.

    JohnD Reply:

    No it isn’t.
    All the code that makes the product works is available to anyone via OO or Eclipse. The only pieces “missing” are the things they did to integrate OO and Eclipse to provide an interface that’s consistent with other products that are proprietary.
    End users are not being charged for the product.
    IBM has not included anything into the product that would subject end users to patent attacks.
    You have cited definitions in the past:
    1 : one that possesses, owns, or holds exclusive right to something; specifically : proprietor 1
    2 : something that is used, produced, or marketed under exclusive legal right of the inventor or maker; specifically : a drug (as a patent medicine) that is protected by secrecy, patent, or copyright against free competition as to name, product, composition, or process of manufacture
    3 : a business secretly owned by and run as a cover for an intelligence organization
    Item 2 is the most applicable in this case. The only thing IBM has exclusivity to is the name and possible the UI – this hardly makes Symphony a proprietary product.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 12, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Gravatar

    The only pieces “missing” are the things they did to integrate OO and Eclipse to provide an interface that’s consistent with other products that are proprietary.

    So it’s not Free software. IBM still controls it.

    The only thing IBM has exclusivity to is the name and possible the UI – this hardly makes Symphony a proprietary product.

    Saying “hardly makes Symphony a proprietary product” is like saying “this lady is hardly pregnant.”

    JohnD Reply:

    Roy what world do you live on?
    IBM does not control Eclipse or OO. Take those two things away and there is no product.
    Using your rationale – if I create a custom tool bar for OO and don’t tell anyone how I did it – OO has just become my proprietary software.
    All the tools they used to create the UI are public domain. Anyone who has a desire could go out and duplicate what they’ve done.
    There may be a few things they don’t want to release because they are covered by preexisting patents for Notes – Notes has been around a long time. Not putting those things in the public domain would actually protect end users – not screw them over.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    IBM’s attitude towards software patents is another topic worth debating.

What Else is New


  1. Links 21/8/2014: Conferences of Linux Foundation, Elephone Emerges

    Links for the day



  2. Links 20/8/2014: Linux Event, GNOME Milestone

    Links for the day



  3. Corruption Watch: Microsoft Lobbying Designed to Kill Chile's Free Software Policy and Promote Microsoft With Subsidies, More Dirty Tricks Emerge in Munich

    icrosoft is systematically attacking migrations to GNU, Linux and Free software, using dirty tricks, as always



  4. Vista 8 Such a Disaster That Even Microsoft Cannot Cope With It, Vapourware Tactics Start Early

    Microsoft's Windows-powered services are failing and Windows gets bricked by Microsoft patches, whereupon we are seeing yet more of Microsoft's vapourware tactics (focusing in imaginary, non-existent versions of Windows)



  5. On BlackBerry and Other Patent Trolls

    A roundup regarding patent trolls, starting with the bigger and latest joiner, BlackBerry's new patents apparatus



  6. Links 19/8/2014: Humble Jumbo Bundle 2 Betrayal, Mercedes-Benz Runs GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  7. BlackBerry -- Like Microsoft Nokia -- Could be the Next Patent Proxy Troll

    BlackBerry is restructuring for patent assertion (i.e. trolling) in the wake of some alliances with Microsoft



  8. After Microsoft's Soft Bribe Some Non-Technical Deputy Does Not Like Free Software, Microsoft-Linked Media Responds to This Non-News by Making Bogus Claims of Munich Leaving GNU/Linux (Updated)

    The subversive forces that have secretly been attacking Munich over its migration to GNU/Linux (Microsoft press, Gartner, and even HP) are back to doing it while China and Russia follow Munich's lead



  9. Gates Foundation CFO Quits and Debate About Revolving Doors Recalled Amid Systematic and Shrewd Bribery of Public Officials

    More officials step out of the Gates Foundation and their destination is not known yet; Gates continues to corrupt the public sector with his money so as to increase personal gain at taxpayers' expense



  10. Links 19/8/2014: GNU/Linux Raves and Alternative to Proprietary Voice Chat

    Links for the day



  11. Links 18/8/2014: Linux 3.17 RC1, Escalation in Ferguson

    Links for the day



  12. Gartner Group Advocates Using Defective Software With Back Doors

    Despite strong evidence that Microsoft has been complicit in illegal surveillance, Gartner continues to recommend the use of Windows and other espionage-ready Microsoft software



  13. The Microsoft Patent Trolls: Android Extortion, Vringo Versus Google, and Intellectual Ventures

    Roundup of news about patent aggression by Microsoft and some of its proxies



  14. Links 16/8/2014: Microsoft Linux, US Government Turns to Free Software

    Links for the day



  15. Links 15/8/2014: Reiser4 in Headlines Again, GNOME and KDE Events Finish

    Links for the day



  16. Links 14/8/2014: Kernel Summit Coming, KMix on KDE Frameworks 5

    Links for the day



  17. Shameless Microsoft Spin is Blaming China for Microsoft's Misconduct and Back Doors While Justifying Massive Losses in Hardware (Made in China)

    A new look at how Microsoft-friendly media takes negative Microsoft news and turns that news into some kind of scandals where Microsoft is the victim



  18. Microsoft Spin in the Media Evokes 'New Microsoft' and New Back Doors

    Some new examples of Microsoft boosters rewriting history, characterising Microsoft as a FOSS champion, and generally weak/shallow reporting on Microsoft's audio/video surveillance software



  19. Links 13/8/2014: GNU/Linux as Winner, New Snowden Interview

    Links for the day



  20. Reader's Article: Skype Spying Reaches New Levels of Blatant

    Forced 'upgrades' of Skype give useds [sic.] of Skype more than they asked for



  21. The Problem is Software Patents (and Scope), Not Patent Trolls Who Abuse Them Just Like Large Corporations

    Reminder of the dangers of losing sight of the real patent problem, which is the patents themselves, not necessarily those who use them



  22. Fraud in the USPTO and CAFC Helped Apple Launch Frivolous Patent Lawsuits Against Linux/Android, Based on New Withdrawals

    Inherent corruption in the US system has aided Apple's assault on east Asian electronics giants that use Linux at the core of their products



  23. Investigation Reveals That USPTO is Corrupt, Time to Abolish It or Annul Nearly a Million Patents

    Corruption is found at the heart of the USPTO and the USPTO works hard to hide it, despite attempt by whistleblowers to bring this corruption to light



  24. Links 13/8/2014: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 Beta, Tizen in Watches

    Links for the day



  25. Links 12/8/2014: Chromebooks Surge, OpenGL in the Headlines

    Links for the day



  26. Bill Gates is Profiting By Diverting Public Money to His Own Pocket and Reducing Wages

    Gates' lobbying for companies he is an investor of and for lower salaries inside companies he is investing in (and managing) comes as no surprise



  27. Microsoft is Still Attacking Open Standards, So Khronos Does Not Need the Microsoft Moles

    Having attacked the industry's document standard OpenDocument Format (ODF) while pretending to have 'embraced' ODF Microsoft is now pretending that it is eager to support OpenGL



  28. Another Depressing Look at the Patent Systems in the US and in Europe

    A roundup of news about patent monopolies and in particular the immense power wielded by giant multi-national corporations that steer the debate and acquire trans-Atlantic monopolies on ideas, always against citizens' interests



  29. Links 11/8/2014: DEFT 8.2, Linux Mint on Debian Stable

    Links for the day



  30. Links 9/8/2014: Knoppix 7.4.0, GNU Linux Libre 3.16

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts