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

11.30.09

Helge Sander Helps Microsoft Again by Blocking ODF in Denmark

Posted in Bill Gates, Europe, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 4:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Dannebrog

Summary: Danish minister with history of Microsoft affinity is suspending a move to make OpenDocument Format the only national standard

THE saga surrounding Denmark never seems to end. Considering the size of this country, the amount of information about ODF and OOXML that comes from there is staggering. Some of our previous posts covered both the scandals and the wins of ODF. We wrote about OOXML and ODF in Denmark under:

Some of the above information may be required for good understanding of how Denmark reached its current policy and controversy. Its delegation at the OOXML BRM, for example, was stuffed by Microsoft. Its national standards body is internally divided and as more recent posts show (the above is chronologically sorted), the head of this body accused Microsoft of “lying” earlier this month. Tough words, true words.

There is a major new development in Denmark and Josef Assad (Danish) writes: “It looks like the Danish public sector might announce #ODF as the chosen standard later today. http://bit.ly/5noiB8″

“Yes glad someone didn’t fall for M$ propaganda – http://bit.ly/6seZLp (Denmark looks to go for ODF only),” argues another Dane.

Leif Lodahl, who is renowned for his work spreading ODF and Free software (OpenOffice.org) in Denmark, writes: “The Parliament said #ODF only! The Minister of Technology said NO and told his ‘big brother’; Minister of Finance.”

Guess who that would be? Helge Sander. Again.

This has been covered as it developed, primarily by IDG in Denmark. Articles include:

Ebbe Petersen from Denmark writes: “ODF/OOXML standard discussion in The parliament, sigh! In the future, office packages will support each others ISO, so full backing to ITST.”

Later came IDG with this report about Helge Sander’s disruptive role.

For those who cannot recall, the Sander report was rather hostile towards standards (ODF) and neglected to account for Microsoft scandals. Why would Sander be so apologetic towards Microsoft? Many people have just asked the same question. To quote: “I Wonder how much Microsoft pay Helge Sander (http://bit.ly/6Hc88a) to work against Open Document Format (ODF)”

Here is another IDG article about Sander’s blockade. What it may not say is that Sander has history with Microsoft. From Microsoft.com:

“As part of our software strategy, we asked Microsoft to provide us with technology that would help exchange our many millions of documents. We wanted something that would make communication easier, create interoperability and stimulate innovation,” said Helge Sander, minister for Science, Technology and Innovation for the Danish government. “Microsoft has responded with a clear step in the right direction by making its XML technology openly available. This enables our E-Government solutions to utilize standards-based technology while further enabling open and effective tools for our citizens and government.”

He also met Bill Gates under the banner of “openness initiative” (seriously, it’s no joking matter):

Helge Sander has recently talked with Microsoft’s founder Bill Gates about the need for greater openness. The Danish government stresses the importance of open standards, efficient exploitation of software and healthy market competition. For its part Microsoft characterises the Danish government’s focus on standard- based technologies like XML as visionary. The iconic software concern’s initiative in Denmark will soon be followed by similar initiatives in other European countries. The news is reported by Computerworld online.

Leif Lodahl had his own interpretation a couple of years ago. Sander’s unofficial service for Microsoft is not exactly news.

Please tell me why The Prime Minister Ander Fogh Rasmussen and Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Helge Sander is so happy about Microsoft?

[...]

In 2002 Microsoft bought the Danish IT-company called ‘Navision’. ERP etc., now called Microsoft Dynamics a company in Vedbæk, just a few miles north of Copenhagen. Today there is about 1.400 employees and Dynamics in Vedbæk is the largest Microsoft development center outside the US. In February 2005 Bill Gates visited Copenhagen and at a meeting with The Prime Minister and The Minister of Science, Bill Gates threatened to take development ‘home’ (to the States), if the Danish government became too hostile to Microsoft. This is about the same time, where Europe began to find out what was going on in State of Massachusetts.
My guess is that some promises was made at the meeting.

So once again Sander is obstructing open standards and instead defending Microsoft’s cash cow, which is of course proprietary and does not support ODF properly [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. It is also rather concerning that almost all the coverage comes from IDG, which does business with Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. This type of ‘monopoly’ over information that people receive can be misused and often enough we have shown that it does get abused.

Here is an automated translation of one report about Sander’s impact:

IT decision put on hold

Folketing’s IT committee could not convince Helge Sander, of the IT standards of the public to use. The decision is now on standby.

It remains open what file formats the public need. It was otherwise expected that the Folketing’s IT committee Wednesday evening would agree on the so-called open document standards, ie free file formats, public institutions must use in the future. But a majority of the IT committee could not convince Science Minister Helge Sander (V).

With Microsoft cronies seemingly everywhere, it is reasonable to be skeptical.

Peter Krantz writes about the situation in another Scandinavian country. He writes: “Norway evaluating ODF and the two OOXML:s for national generic document standard.”

We wrote about Norway’s struggles against OOXML lock-in under:

On the upside, ODF carries on growing an ecosystem of templates, tools, and developers. One of them asks: “Does anyone know how to manipulate opendocument files with ruby?”

From around the same area comes Bart Hanssens who shares links to Ruby tools for ODF, not all of which are new. There are lots of ODF projects out there which do not receive the recognition they deserve.

The lpOD Project develops a set of multilanguage tools around the OpenDocument Format standard.

* Development of a library implementing the ISO/IEC 26300 OpenDocument Format standard in extenso.
* Development of a set of high-level APIs in the Python, Perl, Ruby languages. The project has some industrial relevance through projects and applications in the fields of Business Intelligence (BI) , CMS applied to museography, ETL, etc.

Here is a new post on “ODF Templating using Appy pod.”

I you ever need to generate ODF documents from Python, do give pod a try!

Bart Hanssens also shares information about YaBS, which we mentioned some days ago.

YaBS, the successor of MP Invoicing, is an Enterprise Resource Planner for managing products and contacts. It can be used to generate offers, orders, invoices, and includes basic book keeping. YaBS can export to ODF and PDF.

Apart from more ODF fanfare (and even literature) from the likes of Jomar Silva, there is also this good new essay on the importance of open standards. ODF is given as an example of an open standard, whereas OOXML is treated as proprietary (as it should be treated).

There are some file formats which are published, open standards. Portable Document Format (PDF) is one you’ve probably heard of. HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is another. OpenDocument Format (ODF) is an ISO international standard, and the tools to use that format are free. But there are other file formats which are proprietary, and can only be edited natively in one specific application. The formats used by Microsoft Word (DOC and lately DOCX) come to mind. WordPerfect (WPS) is another program which uses a proprietary file format to store information.

If I receive a PDF or HTML file, I can open it in a wide variety of applications, some of which are both well designed and obtainable for free. But if I’m sent a WPS or DOCX, I need the specific application that was used to create the file to open it reliably. Requiring me to have certain computer software doesn’t seem very inclusive. “But everybody has Microsoft Word!” you might be thinking to yourself. Is that the same “everybody” who celebrates Christmas? Think about that.

In summary, eyes should now be on Denmark because Sander poses as a barrier which needs to be removed. He acts as an agent of monopolisation.

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

What Else is New


  1. IBM Comes Under Growing Scrutiny for Increasingly Acting Just Like a Patent Troll Amid Layoffs

    Deservedly if not belatedly too, more and more pundits come to recognise the rogue element which is IBM, having promoted software patents all around the world, utilised software patents aggressively (to attack/marginalise/tax rivals), lobbied the government to antagonise the Supreme Court's decision on Alice (using former IBM staff which it had somehow snuck into the USPTO), created bogus solutions to the side effects (such as patent trolls) and so on



  2. Enemies of Europe: A Month After Promoting UPC in London, Benoît Battistelli and the EPO Do This in Helsinki

    The US-leaning corporate occupation by Battistelli and his big corporate clients (or bosses) comes up north, approaching even Russia's border



  3. You Need to Become Proprietary Software Customer (Microsoft Recommended) to Interact with the European Patent Office

    The European Patent Office (EPO) continues to show technical and bureaucratic anomalies that have essentially turned it into agent of monopolisation, benefiting firms from across the Atlantic



  4. US Congress Should Investigate EPO and Battistelli, Not Just WIPO and Francis Gurry

    The US takes more and more actions against WIPO for abuses against workers, but why not the European Patent Office (EPO) as well?



  5. Amid French Political Actions Against EPO Management French Consulate the Target of Next Week's EPO Staff Protest

    Next Wednesday at lunchtime staff of the European Patent Office will march to the French consulate in Munich in pursuit of labour rights, human rights etc. (not just of EPO staff but also, by extension, all staff in such unaccountable international institutions)



  6. Links 5/5/2016: gNewSense 4.0 released, IPFire 2.19

    Links for the day



  7. Links 4/5/2016: Wine Staging 1.9.9, ImageMagick Bug Fixes

    Links for the day



  8. Links 3/5/2016: Mozilla Firefox 46.0.1, More Jolla Funding

    Links for the day



  9. New Paper About the UPC Explains Why It is Bad for Small- and Medium-sized European Businesses

    A detailed academic analysis of the Unitary (or Unified) Patent Court reveals/concludes/asserts that it is being marketed or promoted using a misleading premise and promise



  10. [ES] Gobiernos en Europa Todavía Activos en Contra de la Gerencia de la EPO

    Todavía hay trabajo político que está siendo hecho — aunque discretamente — contra Battistelli y sus chácales en la alta gerencia de la Oficina Europea de Patentes



  11. Links 3/5/2016: International Day Against DRM, 25th Anniversary of Linux (Kernel) Near

    Links for the day



  12. Interesting Supreme Court Cases About Patents in the United States

    A quick review of some of the latest developments regarding SCOTUS (the US Supreme Court) as far as patents go



  13. Governments in Europe Still Active Against EPO Management

    There is still political work being done -- albeit rather discreetly -- against Battistelli and his goons at the European Patent Office's top-level management



  14. The European Spam Office (EPO)

    EPO budget at 'work', days after doing copy-paste jobs and also working overtime in the weekend for an extravagant and needless/purposeless event (except for Battistelli's own pride)



  15. Not Just Benoît Battistelli and Willy Minnoye (EPO): Željko Topić Too Thinks He is Above the Law, Avoids the Judges and Courts

    The latest developments regarding some of the criminal complaints and civil lawsuits against Topić, who is now a Vice-President at the European Patent Office (EPO)



  16. Nefarious Forces for Patent Abuse and Software Patents in the United States, Australia, India, Korea, and Europe

    A roundup of news from the weekend and today, with emphasis on the elements inside the system (or the media) which push for regressive policies that benefit them financially at the expense of everybody else



  17. [ES] El Sistema de Patentes de los EE.UU: Donde Uno Desperdicia Años en Corte y Gasta $8,000,000 en Honorarios de Abogados Peleándo una Patente Falsa

    un sumario de noticias acerca de las patentes de software en los EE.UU. Y ha lo que han llevado, debido en gran manera al decline en calidad de las patentes por parte de la USPTO (dejando que otros se las arreglen limpiando el desórden)



  18. [ES] La Oficina Europea de Patentes Todavía Sigilósamente Abusiva, Pagará $15,000 en Compensasió a Trabajadora Tras un Tardío Fallo de la ILO

    La Organización Internacional del Trabajo (ILO) emite un fallo en un caso de abuso de la EPO y nota “la excesiva duración de los procedimienteos internos de apelación.”



  19. Links 2/5/2016: Linux 4.6 RC6, DragonBox Pyra

    Links for the day



  20. Links 1/5/2016: Wine 1.9.9, Devuan Jessie 1.0 Beta

    Links for the day



  21. The US Patent System: Where One Wastes Years in Court and Spends $8,000,000 in Lawyers' Fees Fighting a Bogus Patent

    A roundup of news about software patents in the US and what they have led to, owing in part to the USPTO's declining patent quality (leaving others to clean up its mess)



  22. The European Patent Office Still Silently Abusive, Will Pay $15,000 in Compensation to Female Worker After Belated ILO Judgment

    The International Labour Organisation (ILO) issues a judgment on a case of abuse by the EPO and notes "excessive length of the internal appeal proceedings."



  23. [ES] Alice Continúa Quebrando Patentes de Software Asi Que los Abogados de Patentes, Cabilderos de los Monopolistas, Etc. Ahora Atacan a la Corte Suprema por Hacer Esto

    los cabilderos Corpórativos y abogados de patentes están tratándo de poner a Alicia en la tumba, por su impacto en las patentes de software que es muy profundo y así hasta ahora casi indetenible



  24. [ES] ¿Cómo Salvar la Reputación de la EPO?: Crear Más Jurados de Apelaciónes en Europa y Abolir la Malgíada/Malintencionada Fantasía de la UPC

    Una crítica evaluación de lo que ocurre en la Oficina Europea de Patentes (EPO), la que rápidamente se está yendo para abajo (y degradando sobre todo) a el nivel de los sistemas Chinos, en conjuntamente con corrupción, los abusos, y la bajísima calidad de las patentes



  25. [ES] La Corte de Apelaciónes del Circuito Federal (CAFC) Acaba de Ponerse a Favor de los Trolles de Patentes

    la tristémente célebre CAFC, que manifestó las patentes de software en los EE.UU, acaba de dar un regalo a los trolles de patentes quienes típicamente usan las patentes de software para extorsión enc complicidad con los jueces del Este de Texas



  26. [ES] Análisis de los Últimos Datos de Lex Machina Acerca de la Litigación de Patentes Muestra Como está Declinándo

    el Professor Mark Lemley de Lex Machina resalta las tendencias en litigation al colectar y analizar datos relacionados con patente y concerniéntes a monopolios intelectuales en general; actualmente muestra una sequía de litigaciones (muestran que ha disminuído)



  27. [ES] La India Está Teniendo Otra Prueba de los Peligros de las Patentes Occidentales, Debe Aprender a Rechazar Completamente las Patentes de Software en Medio de Gran Presión

    El gigante de software que es la India continua enfrentándos ea la cruel y agresivo cabildeo de Occidente, haciéndo que este controle a la India por patentes que no deberían de existir en primer lugar



  28. [ES] Microsoft Dice que Continuará Extorsiónando a Compañías Que Distribuyan Linux, Usando Patentes de Software Usuallmente

    La guerra de Microsoft contra Linux, una guerra que es peleada usando patentes de software patents (por ganancias y/o por chantáje con arreglos empaquetados), todavía continúa a pesar de todas las tácticas de relaciónes públicas de Microsoft y sus sócios



  29. Alice Continues to Smash Software Patents So Patent Lawyers, Monopolists' Lobbyists Etc. Now Attack the Supreme Court for Doing This

    Corporate lobbyists and patent lawyers are trying to put Alice in the grave, for its impact on software patents is very profound and thus far almost unstoppable



  30. How to Salvage the EPO's Reputation: Create More Boards of Appeal in Europe and Abolish the Misguided UPC Fantasy

    A critical evaluation of what goes on at the European Patent Office (EPO), which is quickly descending down (and overall degrading) to the level of Chinese systems, along with the corruption, the abuses, and the low quality of patents


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