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Alex Brown, Miguel de Icaza, and Full-time Microsoft Employee Smear ODF Again

Posted in Formats, Free/Libre Software, GNOME, GNU/Linux, ISO, Microsoft, Novell, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument at 11:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: More of the usual gameplay from people who have made a career out of helping Microsoft expand its circles of influence/dominance

MICROSOFT’S “Insider Friend, ‘the Fox’” Alex Brown [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21] is “Looking at the pubic review text of #ODF 1.2 pt 1″ and saying that “some bits still very ropey”

What an unsurprising statement coming from the man who essentially conspired to help Microsoft corrupt ISO’s integrity while he marketed OOXML around the UK.

“ISO is dead for software standards. Do you need an official funeral?”

Benjamin Henrion, FFII

Moreover, just very recently Alex Brown was seen defending Microsoft’s deviation from ODF [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] — a deviation which is only fragmenting and complicating everything.

Brown is joined by Microsoft MVP Miguel de Icaza. They are acting like Microsoft reps, to whom Simon Phipps (Oracle) replies with: “My view is that ODF should now just transclude the OOXML formula spec, but that’s probably controversial”

“To an outsider, it would probably seem clear that de Icaza is a Microsoft employee or partner who wishes that ODF just went away.”De Icaza seems very eager to keep smearing ODF, which is a threat to the top cash cow of the company whose board he serves (CodePlex Foundation board). A little conflict of interests there, no? Anyway, he is linking to his colleague Morten Welinder, who is dissing ODF and closing comments, possibly in order to prevent rebuttals from being posted. Rob Weir responded to de Icaza by saying: “The spec that vendors are implementing is linked to from the ODF TC’s homepage. Novell is on the TC. You know this.”

Maybe he’s playing dumb. After all, he also has loyalties to Microsoft, not just Novell. And guess who else is linking to de Icaza and his colleague (the ODF smear)? That’s right, it’s more noise which feeds those at Microsoft who participated in the corruption of ISO and various standards bodies around the world. They quote de Icaza as though he’s their special buddy (which he is, as he even helped bug resolution in OOXML). To an outsider, it would probably seem clear that de Icaza is a Microsoft employee or partner who wishes that ODF just went away. Why are other Microsoft agents like Microsoft MVP Miguel de Icaza linking to that same post, which is damaging to ODF and not even factual? It’s stuff like this, which makes the question rhetorical.

Miguel de Icaza writes in response to the call-out: “Another Rob Weir swing from Bombastic troll when discussing OOXML to nuanced and apologetic when it comes to ODF”

He’s starting to sound just like another one of those Microsoft employees who are smearing Weir (sometimes by creating smear blogs or calling for resignation).

Weir responds with: “ISO approval is not my success metric for ODF, but rather adopters, users and implementors. By those measure I’m pleased.”

“[I]t seems that Morten isn’t following the ODF development at all.”
      –Jomar Silva
Addressing the actual source of the FUD, Morten Welinder criticises formula handling in ODF even though a lot of office suites (excluding Microsoft Office) successfully implemented ODF support for formulas that are also interoperable. Weir showed this using a table and several sample files about a year ago.

It is worth adding that the ODF smear comes from the same group (Gnumeric) that was helping OOXML get past ISO. We wrote about this at the time [1, 2], specifically when there were complaints about GNOME engaging or in general terms helping Microsoft in that regard (Jody Goldberg from Novell got actively involved for example).

Jomar Silva, who is a key person in ODF, says that “it seems that Morten isn’t following the ODF development at all. Simply pathetic !”

Let’s remember what these people are pushing for at ODF’s expense. OOXML is utterly flawed and it annoys so many users of Microsoft Office, based on this new analysis at INC.com: [via Bob Sutor]

For those using older versions of Microsoft Word, or other non-Microsoft word processing software, the new .docx format can be a real pain. It has caused dissension in some workplaces. How to cope with conflicting Microsoft Office formats.

It’s a funny article to read. Microsoft’s own customers loathe OOXML.

ODF is also important because it offers “equal opportunities”, as advogato.org put it:

It is possible to get people to listen if you want to instil Free Software principles, but they have to have a “handle” against which they are forced to act, within the organisation that they work. Or, if they agree with you in principle, but are otherwise hog-tied, they need that “handle” with which to justify their actions to their superiors.

Using the words “Discrimination” and “Equal Opportunities” in the same sentence seems to do the trick.

Jan Wildeboer says that “The ODF TC peeps should really read this gem,” which accurately dissects some of the deception from Microsoft and its promoters. Here is Miguel de Icaza hugging Jeff Atwood from Microsoft. The photo below (from Marcus Griep) is a very recent one and the description of de Icaza’s talk at this event (filled with Microsoft employees and content) goes as follows:

Miguel also showcased MonoTouch, building a simple program in MonoDevelop on Mac OSX, and demonstrating it in the iPhone simulator. Including lots of pro-Linux banter and some pokes at Richard Stallman, Miguel kept the audience interested and amused, which is exactly what the last presentation in an 8-hour day needs.

Yes, it’s the same guy we have come to know ever since he compared Stallman to George Bush. What does that make it his darling Microsoft? Either way, it’s nice of him to ridicule Stallman in front of an apparently Microsoft-dominated audience. It must be a new and entertaining pastime for them.

From Marcus Griep

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Pages that cross-reference this one


  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    February 14, 2010 at 6:27 am


    “ISO is dead for software standards. Do you need an official funeral?”
    –Benjamin Henrion, FFII

    Discrediting ISO is one of the two goals Microsofters had going into the OOXML scandal. We really do need a global, vendor-independant standards body. It will be easier to preserve ISO than to start from scratch and build a new one. Besides if people are so darn naive, the new one will get squashed before it is built.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Microsoft did the same thing to OSI (ISO in reverse).

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