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

04.22.10

Facebook Joins Microsoft’s War on ODF

Posted in Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Oracle at 11:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Facebook

Summary: An announcement from Mark Zuckerberg reveals his true colours and long known connections with Microsoft; Oracle’s bizarre decision regarding the ODF plug-in for Office is debated further

A WEEK AGO we wrote about Microsoft dumping "to suppress OpenOffice.org adoption (and thus development)" and yesterday we wrote about Oracle's idiotic move which is likely to harm ODF. On previous occasions we also emphasised that Facebook’s Zuckerberg is in bed with Microsoft (he has been in it for years [1, 2]) and even its extortionate patent trolls . It therefore does not surprise us that Facebook is joining Microsoft’s attack on rival office suites, based on the following news:

Docs.com: Facebook and Microsoft Go After Google Docs

During today’s F8 keynote, Mark Zuckerberg announced a number of new products and features for Facebook, including a new collaboration with Microsoft. With Docs.com, Microsoft’s FUSE labs just launched an online document editor and viewer that connects directly to Facebook and uses all of the new social features for third-party sites that Facebook announced today.

Getting back to Oracle’s apparent neglect of ODF for Office users (it is not too likely that many companies will pay when they already have fake ‘support’ from Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]), Andy Updegrove emphasises that $9,000 — not $90 — is the cost of this package (it comes in larger units).

Moreover, it’s not just $90 you’ll need to fork over – the plug-in is only available in packages of 100.

Before you ask: (a) yes, an Office 2007 service pack released some time back by Microsoft allows users of that version of Office (and also of Office 2000, 2003 and XP) to work with documents using ODF 1.0, but not the most current version of ODF, which is version 1.2; and (2) no, unlike OpenOffice, the plug-in was never made available by Sun as open source software.

For me, this raises three important questions:

1. What is Oracle trying to accomplish?

2. Is it likely to work?

3. Given that Oracle controls OpenOffice.org, developer of the most widely used desktop direct implementation of ODF, what does this indicate for the future of that software?

[...]

Conclusion: While the existence of OpenOffice was essential to ODF in the first few years after Peter Quinn’s quixotic decision to support the rebel standard, ODF is now past the point where it’s future is dependent on it. And in point of fact, Sun was always at best a flawed steward for the poster child implementation of ODF, keeping too close control over it to attract the kind of broad individual and enterprise support that flocked to contribute to Linux and Apache, for example.

Overall, though, I think that Oracle has probably made a reasonable decision insofar as its own self interest is concerned. It does leave open one tantalizing question though, that’s harder to read: does the decision to charge for the plug-in indicate that Oracle is taking its ODF-compliant office suite unit seriously as a money maker, and plans to put serious resources behind it, or that it is simply imposing a bean-counter’s discipline on the unit to make money?

If it’s the former, than that’s good news for the ODF community, because OpenOffice still has the most dedicated users, and the most credibility, of all the alternatives. And if the paid version gets traction, there will be more third party software developers, like those that create crucial software, such as document management tools, that will take the time to integrate with it. This is essential to creating a true proprietary as well as an open source competitor to Office.

One news outlet says that “Oracle Wants to Charge $9,000 for ‘Free’ Download” and Rob Weir is trying to identify the positives, but he is biased because his current career depends on ODF. He writes:

At the risk of pouring oil on the fire, let me say that I think this is an exciting development for ODF. We have three solutions for providing ODF support in MS Office:

1. Oracle’s Plugin
2. CleverAge Add-in
3. Microsoft’s native ODF support

These three solutions have always varied in terms of quality of conversion, versions of MS Office supported, versions of ODF supported, level of integration into MS Office, etc. And now they vary based on price. This is a good thing. It is called “competition”. I like it.

Here is an opinion from someone who commented in Weir’s blog:

It seems entirely likely that this will allow ORCL to say “We gave it a fair shot, but there’s just no demand for it.” With that, Oracle could abandon the ODF-translation field, leaving it to the Microsoft-sponsored Clever Age plugins project and the not-so-interoperable built-in functionality in recent updates to MS Office.

As an aside, is it likely that something like this is coming to MySQL soon?

What does this say for the OpenOffice.org project? Obviously, no one knows yet. At least, no one outside of Oracle knows.

Regardless of Oracle’s plans, there are many other companies which are involved in ODF, so the standard ought to thrive. Here are two new reports, one from Document Freedom Day in Slovenia and another from the ODF Plugfest in Granada.

The first Document Freedom Day in Slovenia has passed and it went pretty good.

I know that for the biggest impact I should have reported about it the very same day or at least the next one, but a) I was too tired b) I had to much other important tasks to do and c) I wanted to gather everything so I can submit a nicely rounded off report. Warning: longer post ahead.

 

Rob Weir of IBM summed up the status of the next version of the standard. ODF 1.2, which is almost done, will be divided in three parts: one for the core schema, one for the container and one for OpenFormula (do you remember that the first generation of ODF compliant spreadsheet suites lacked formula compatibility? This should fix that problem for good). New features will include digital signatures, support for RDF capabilities (see below) and native tables in presentation slides. An Interoperability demonstration of ODF 1.2 will take place at the OOoCon Conference in Budapest next September. Rob also mentioned that everybody can send in suggestions for the next version of the standard, that should include things like modularization, web profiles, enhanced SVG support and Xform integration. You can either answer OASIS calls for public comments, join the OASIS ODF TC or implement ODF 1.2 and send feedback.

OOXML is a one-company format that no company has implemented (Microsoft says it might implement it within several years), whereas ODF is here and it is properly supported by many companies, excluding Microsoft which is conveniently faking support.

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. Charles Oliver said,

    April 22, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Gravatar

    “As an aside, is it likely that something like this is coming to MySQL soon?

    What does this say for the OpenOffice.org project? Obviously, no one knows yet. At least, no one outside of Oracle knows.”

    That opinion from Weir’s blog seems to ignore the fact that the plugin was closed source but Mysql and Open Office are FLOSS. Could Oracle take the FLOSS base of MySQL, tack on extra features and close an extended version which would be sold at a price to compete with MSSQL Server? Certainly (they own the copyright) but they can’t stop a fork of the code in the state it’s in right now.

    I’m with Eben Mogwai (ok Moglen). Trust the GPL.

  2. Yuhong Bao said,

    April 24, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    Gravatar

    On this, here is an TechCrunch comment from a MS employee:
    http://eu.techcrunch.com/2010/04/23/privacy-issues-google-engineers-leaving-facebook-in-droves/#comment-351158

What Else is New


  1. Links 25/1/2015: Android Wear 5.0, Tizen in Bangladesh

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: January 11th, 2015 – January 24th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  3. Links 24/1/2015: Zenwalk Linux Reviewed, Netrunner 14.1 Released

    Links for the day



  4. The Latest 'Microsoft is Open Source' Propaganda a Parade of Lies

    Microsoft myth makers continue their assault on what is objectively true and try to tell the public that Microsoft is a friend of "Open Source"



  5. Apple -- Like Microsoft -- Not Interested in the Security of Its Operating Systems

    Apple neglected to patch known security flaws in Mac OS X for no less than three months and only did something about that vector of intrusion when the public found out about it



  6. As Battistelli Breaks the Rules and Topić Silences Staff, New European Parliament Petition for Tackling the EPO's Abuses is Needed

    The neglected (by EPO) Article 4a of the European Patent Convention (EPC) and the European Parliament petition/complaint against the EPO's crooked management



  7. Links 23/1/2015: Red Hat on IBM Power, Meizu Leaks With Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  8. Links 23/1/2015: Plasma 5.2, Manjaro 0.9-pre1

    Links for the day



  9. Microsoft is Dying Due to Free Software, Tries to Infect GNU/Linux With .NET and to Infect Moodle in Schools With Microsoft Office and OOXML Lock-in

    'Free' drugs (a proprietary software analogy) the new strategy of Microsoft in its latest battle against Free software, especially in schools where choice is a rarity (if not an impossibility), with the premeditated intention of forming dependency/addiction among young people



  10. Microsoft Symptoms of a Dying Company: More Boosters Depart, Back Doors Revealed, Microsoft's Outlook Cracked

    Bad news for Microsoft shortly before the marketing extravaganza served to cover much of it up



  11. The Collapse of European Patent Office Management Culminates With Resignations

    No blood is spilled, but even the management of the EPO is falling apart as the Director of Internal Communication is said to have just resigned



  12. New LCA Talk: Open Invention Network's Deb Nicholson on Software Patents and Patent Trolls

    Deb Nicholson's LCA talk is now publicly accessible



  13. Links 22/1/2015: GNU/Linux Sysadmin Opportunities, TraceFS Introduced

    Links for the day



  14. Links 21/1/2015: Andrew Tridgell, Torvalds Being Baited

    Links for the day



  15. Vesna Stilin Renews Her Fight for Justice in Željko Topić Case (EPO VP)

    Željko Topić's abuses continue to cloud the legitimacy of the European Patent Office, in which he is a Vice-President



  16. Failure of the EPO Can Derail the Trojan Horse of Software Patents and Patent Trolls

    Dazzled by his endless pursuit of infinite money and power, Battistelli pushes for expansion of patent scope (geographically too), but he won't have it without a challenge



  17. Links 20/1/2015: Linux 3.19 RC5, 30 Years of FSF

    Links for the day



  18. Translations of Member of the European Parliament Complaining About European Patent Office (EPO)

    French, German, Dutch, and English translations of the article from Dennis De Jong



  19. Microsoft, the Back Doors Company, is Gradually Dying and Trying to Embrace the Competition

    The world is leaving Microsoft's common carrier (Windows) behind, so Microsoft, which is shrinking, tries to conquer Free software and GNU/Linux



  20. Battistelli's Latest Propaganda War Tries to Convince EPO Staff That Željko Topić's Many Criminal Charges Don't Exist

    Battistelli's right-hand man, Željko Topić, is now facing real danger of prosecution and possibly arrest in his home country, so Battistelli rushes to defend this thug's reputation



  21. Links 18/1/2015: Sailfish OS RoadMap, ownCloud Turns 5

    Links for the day



  22. Strategy of Litigation With Patents Has Collapsed Since SCOTUS Ruling in Alice v. CLS Bank

    The latest figures from Lex Machina show a massive decrease (-18%) in patent litigation last month; lawyers look for ways to spin the data in their favour



  23. Patent Lawyers Can't Help Rewriting Alice v. CLS Bank History

    The league of patent lawyers -- people who profit at the expense of software producers -- keeps brainwashing the public about the patentability of software (both the rationale and the potential)



  24. Myths and Hype About Patents

    Distortion of history and fabricated reports about patents in the corporate media leave many people confused and ultimately unable to make rational judgment



  25. Large Corporations, Including Microsoft Allies, Call for Abolition of Software Patents

    The calls for ending all patents on software are getting louder and patents as a whole are de-emphasised as a business strategy



  26. Links 17/1/2015: Lennart Poettering in Headlines, Mageia 5 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  27. Links 16/1/2015: Chapeau 21, Tails 1.2.3

    Links for the day



  28. Links 15/1/2015: KDE Releases, Ubuntu Phone Delays

    Links for the day



  29. Links 15/1/2015: KDE Plasma 5.2 Beta, Elive 2.5.2 Beta

    Links for the day



  30. Google Has Eliminated Microsoft's Dominance in Operating Systems, Microsoft Resorts to Propaganda, Child Exploitation, and EEE

    As Linux becomes the dominant kernel at Windows' expense Microsoft pulls old tricks including media manipulation, AstroTurfing, co-opting schools (making Windows obligatory for future generations), and EEE (embrace, extend, and extinguish)


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