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

02.24.10

How Microsoft Boosters Are Still Harming ODF in the News

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice at 2:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Microsoft implemented ODF with all the grace of a 6 year old asked to tidy up their room”

Jeremy Allison, LCA 2010

Summary: How boosters of Microsoft have covered the insulting “support” of ODF in Microsoft Office

IN THE previous post we explained that Microsoft pretends to be a friend when it’s obviously not. It’s a lulling technique against critics.

Microsoft is attacking ODF — at least indirectly if one pays attention — in all sorts of ways while pretending to have embraced it (which would make no business sense). We have given so many examples over the past year. One vector of attack has been Microsoft’s bribed [1, 2, 3] and sometimes just loyal ‘reporters’ (loyal to Microsoft). We are seeing examples of it even this week. Here is Microsoft’s booster Gavin Clarke attacking ODF with a headline that says “ODF’s doomed mission to break into Microsoft Office”

There are the following two criticisms being mentioned:

Free-Software-Foundation president Richard Stallman has told Neowin that the Office ballot screen is designed to actually deter potential users from using ODF. Stallman concludes Microsoft is simply going through a pretense – to be able to say it offers ODF support.

ODF managing director Marino Marcich pointed to a bigger issue, saying a ballot screen is meaningful only if the ODF implementation is “complete, current, and interoperable with other ODF applications.”

Clarke is ending with his Microsoft party line: “Would it take fresh regulatory pressure on Microsoft this time? Possibly. Microsoft is within its rights to support ODF as much – or a little – as it wants in Office.”

That’s not true. Microsoft’s strategy of “embrace and extend” was at times ruled illegal and had Microsoft penalised. Microsoft is still doing this to ODF [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] because it wants to get rid of ODF by making it look bad and thus discourage its use. Other Microsoft boosters did the same thing. The Microsoft-boosting site called Neowin got its hands on a screenshot that we mentioned a few days ago. It’s like those fake “leaks” [1, 2] that are actually controlled — leaks where they are setting the tone for all followup articles (breaking the news artificially). Neowin’s biased coverage has fed other Microsoft boosters like Marius Oiaga who cites Neowin and Mary-Jo Foley (whom Microsoft contacted based on the statement which says “the Redmond company confirmed officially to Mary-Jo Foley, after Neowin published a story accompanied by the file format screen which is apparently being served to users of the Release Candidate version of Office 2010″). Even sites that are not in Microsoft’s pocket had to rely on biased coverage from Neowin, which fortunately they took with a barrel of salt.

As for Office, Neowin has revealed Microsoft will use a similar ballot screen to prompt users about which file format they would prefer to use: Office Open XML (OOXML) or OpenDocument (ODF) document formats. OOXML is the suite’s default format, but Canadian software company i4i filed a patent dispute over the way Word uses these XML files. In December Microsoft surprisingly lost an appeal against i4i’s sales injunction and has had to act quickly.

So can these matters now be drawn to a close? Highly unlikely…

Should Microsoft add to the dialogue some warning about deliberate patent violations in OOXML [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12]? And if not, then why not? It’s actually unfortunate that the i4i case is currently being used to promote software patents:

Mark Kenrick, a partner at patent and trademark attorneys Marks & Clerk, explores the recent Microsoft injunction, prohibiting sales of its flagship Word program. How did it come to pass that David beat Goliath in this fiercely contested patent dispute, and what does this mean for the software industry at large?

Another Microsoft booster admits that competitors are not satisfied with what Microsoft did. He quotes ODF Alliance’s director:

Update: Marino Marcich, managing director of the ODF Alliance, had this to say via email this morning:

The ballot screen, although it may at first look like it gives users a fair choice between OOXML and ODF, doesn’t give ODF a fair shake, and it isn’t likely to have much impact. Not only does the ballot offer OOXML as the first option, but more significantly, it provides what is essentially a warning — OOXML is designated to support “all the features” of the software, while ODF is explained to enable “many features,” but “some content or editability may be lost.”

At the end of the day, the key issue here is the level of ODF support and functionality. A ballot is no substitute for a quality implementation of the format. In this case, a ballot that offers the user the choice of ODF in MS Office is only significant if the ODF support in MS Office is complete, current, and interoperable with other ODF applications. Previous attempts, in Office 2007 SP2 fell far short of this. We have not yet evaluated the level of ODF support in Office 2010.”

Here is an update on where Google stands when it comes to document standards.

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

2 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    February 24, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Gravatar

    During Steve Job’s absences Apple has really sucked at ODF support. From time to time Apple has made great moves forward with FOSS and open standards. It lost a rather large contract with the Norwegian government because even the latest versions of iWork fail to support the office format.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    During Steve Job’s absences Apple has really sucked at ODF support.

    Apple still sucks at ODF support. Its customers complain.

What Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, December 14, 2019

    IRC logs for Saturday, December 14, 2019



  2. Links 15/12/2019: Wine 5.0 RC1 Released, KDE Frameworks 5.65.0, Qubes OS 4.0.2 RC3

    Links for the day



  3. It Matters a Lot What You Call the System

    Why the best name for the best operating system would be "GNU", not "Linux" (media has twisted the words so as to marginalise GNU and its politics/philosophy)



  4. Only the EPO Goes as Far as Bribing Publishers (the Media) to Promote Software Patents and Publish Fictional Stories

    The world’s patent offices are growing tired of granting software patents which courts later toss out (because these patents are not valid); not only does the EPO advocate such patents — typically using a bundle of buzzwords — it’s also bribing the media to help



  5. EU Needs to Show That It Cares About SMEs and Not 'European Champions' That Are Actually Foreign Monopolies

    Judging by the EU’s nearly blind and unconditional support for the management of the EPO — no matter how abusive and corrupt it has gotten — one has to wonder if the ex-EU official in charge of the EPO reveals a profound democracy deficit as well as growing dangers to Europe’s businesses — the productive firms to which patent maximalism often represents far more risk than opportunity



  6. Guest Article: The Free Software Movement Should Come Out From the Box

    "From now onwards we have to think from a user’s rights perspective and mobilise users of Free software. They should know what rights they ought to get."



  7. IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 13, 2019

    IRC logs for Friday, December 13, 2019



  8. Links 13/12/2019: QEMU 4.2.0, GNU Guile 2.9.7

    Links for the day



  9. Links 13/12/2019: Zorin OS 15.1, Vim 8.2

    Links for the day



  10. Linux Foundation Has Outsourced All the Licence Compliance Stuff to Microsoft, a Serial GPL Violator

    OpenChain Specification/OpenChain Project and Automated Compliance Tooling (ACT) are yet more examples -- the latest of many -- of the Linux Foundation being outsourced to Microsoft, not only for code but also documentation and hosting



  11. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 12, 2019

    IRC logs for Thursday, December 12, 2019



  12. Copyleft: Keeping Code Free

    Now that news about "Linux" is dominated by promotion of proprietary software we ought to remember what perpetrators of such a strategy seek to eliminate



  13. Plans That Worked, Plans That Failed

    "I am still looking for good news, but the more good I try to find, the more nastiness I uncover. This is by far, Free software's worst year ever. 2019 Sucks!"



  14. Links 12/12/2019: KDE Applications 19.12, Qt Creator 4.11, New VirtualBox

    Links for the day



  15. Brand Dilution in Action

    Microsoft's proprietary software which spies on people and businesses is getting a "free ride" on the "Linux" brand; and nobody seems to care, nobody seems to notice how perverse that it



  16. At the EPO Money -- Not Quality -- is King

    Financiers are ruining quality



  17. The EPO's Strategic Failure 2023

    Potemkin social dialogue



  18. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 11, 2019

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 11, 2019



  19. EPO Promoting Software Patents in Countries Where These Are Illegal

    The EPO's vision of 'unitary' software patents (patents on algorithms in countries that disallow such patents, as per their national laws) won't materialise, but in the meantime a lot of Invalid Patents (IPs) are granted in the form of European Patents (EPs) and this is wrong



  20. We Support GNU and the FSF But Remain Sceptical and Occasionally Worry About an RMS-less FSF

    Richard Stallman (RMS) is not in charge of the FSF anymore (it's Stallman who created the FSF) and there's risk the decisions will be made by people who don't share Stallman's ethics or the FSF's spirit



  21. Links 11/12/2019: Huawei Lobbied by Microsoft (Because of GNU/Linux) and Microsoft Still Googlebombs Linux to Promote 'Teams'

    Links for the day



  22. Links 11/12/2019: Edge Native Working Group, CrossOver 19.0 Released

    Links for the day



  23. Instead of Fixing Bug #1 Canonical/Ubuntu Contributes to Making the Bug Even More Severe (WSL/EEE)

    Following one seminal report about Canonical financially contributing to Microsoft's EEE efforts — celebrated openly by GNU/Linux opponentsclosing bug #1 Ubuntu basically decided not that it was fixed but that it would no longer attempt to fix it (“wontfix”)



  24. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, December 10, 2019

    IRC logs for Tuesday, December 10, 2019



  25. Today's Example of Microsoft's Faked 'Love'

    “On 7 September 2017, users began noticing a message that stated “Skype for Business is now Microsoft Teams”. This was confirmed on 25 September 2017, at Microsoft’s annual Ignite conference,” according to Wikipedia



  26. Links 10/12/2019: Kubernetes 1.17, Debian Init Systems GR

    Links for the day



  27. 'Cancel Culture' as 'Thoughtpolice' Creep

    Richard Stallman spoke about an important aspect of censorship more than 2 decades ago (before “Open Source” even existed); it was published in Datamation (“Censoring My Software”) 23 years before a campaign of defamation on the Internet was used to remove him from MIT and FSF (censoring or ‘canceling’ Stallman himself)



  28. Microsoft Still Hates GNU/Linux and Mark Shuttleworth Knows It (But He is Desperate for Money)

    We're supposed to believe that a PR or image management (reputation laundering) campaign alone can turn Microsoft from GNU/Linux foe into friend/ally



  29. Actions Against EPO Corruption and Unitary Patent (UPC) Injustice/Lobbying

    The EPO is apparently going on strike again and an action against the UPC is scheduled for later this week (protest in Brussels)



  30. “The Fifth Freedom as a Meme”

    The issue with systemd (or SystemD) has provoked or at least stimulated discussions about the limits of the famous Four Freedoms


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