07.27.10

How Microsoft Belittles ODF, Using the “Choice”-Themed Lies (and Why Google Should Offer ODF as a Choice)

Posted in Formats, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 4:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“If thought can corrupt language, then language can also corrupt thought.”

George Orwell

Summary: Microsoft and its proponents/minions are still pushing an old propaganda line by claiming that Windows and OOXML will bring “choice”

THE NEWS is aflood with reports that IBM comes under scrutiny in the EU. Little is being said about the fact that IBM is being attacked SCO-style by Microsoft and its “satellite proxies” (IBM's words). We care about this because IBM’s mainframes run GNU/Linux — a fact that people like Florian Müller could not care less about (and this matters because “FlorianMueller” is the one who also pushed the news into Slashdot with his own convictions and bias). See the conversation in the previous post where Müller admits using Vista 7 (he seems like a permanent Windows user) and does not care so much if his stance is helping Microsoft. He’s apathetic to it. He also spins/subverts the word "choice" in the same way Microsoft does (same with the word “openness”*). It’s done just as Microsoft Malaysia did it to ODF and other branches of the company do under all sorts of situations. It’s a language game. Standards are about limiting choice at some level of granularity in order to ensure that different implementations work well with one another. Microsoft’s hypnosis strives to confuse people about choice; it’s about office suites, not formats.

Rob Weir has just informed his peers and supporters of ODF that Microsoft is restricting choice (abolishing and harming ODF’s status) using language games.

Microsoft’s talking points go something like this:

If you adopt ODF instead of OOXML then you “restrict choice”. Why would you want to do that? You’re in favor of openness and competition, right? So naturally, you should favor choice.

You can see a hundreds of variations on this theme, in Microsoft press releases, whitepapers, in press articles and blogged by astroturfers by searching Google for “ODF restrict choice“.

This argument is quite effective, since it is plausible at first glance, and takes more than 15 seconds to refute. But the argument in the end fails by taking a very superficial view of “choice”, relying merely on the positive allure of its name, essentially using it as a talisman. But “choice” is more than just a pretty word. It means something. And if we dig a little deeper, at what the value of choice really is, the Microsoft argument falls apart.

So let’s make an attempt to show how can one be in favor of choice, but also be in favor of eliminating choice. Let’s resolve the paradox. Personally I think this argument is too long, but maybe it will prompt someone to formulate it in a briefer form.

Glyn Moody remarks on this post by calling it a “nice debunking of a sneaky Microsoft trope about choice” and he also shares this word of warning about a new Google Docs “format”.

“I’m having trouble searching for just ODF formats, Did Google remove the ability?”
      –Anonymous
I asked Weir about it and he said that he “Can’t tell much from the screenshot. Not clear that it is a format. Maybe Punch is an app? Or internal test system?”

As a reminder, Google officially opposed OOXML when Microsoft was corrupting standards bodies all over the world, but Google never showed much active support for ODF, either. Google has been mostly passive and there are recent examples where Google exlcuded ODF support and was criticised for it (although not in a major way).

One person has just mailed us to say: “I’m having trouble searching for just ODF formats, Did Google remove the ability?”

“In general I’m losing it for Google,” said this person to us, “they support OS [open source] only when it suits them. They [are] really not our friends.”

Google Docs is of course proprietary.
_____
* When Microsoft says “openness” it never means “Open Source”. In cases where Microsoft is excluded or chooses to be excluded it advocates “choice” as means/route to depart from standards and embrace proprietary offerings instead.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2010/07/27/choice-as-old-propaganda-line/

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

A Single Comment

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    July 28, 2010 at 3:52 am

    Gravatar

    Yes. If it is not there, then Google removed that capability because it was present before. Like Apple, Google does have Softers on the inside throwing glass shards on the road of progress, They also have pressure high up, externally.

    The battle for the last 7 years has not been about office suites, it has been about office suite formats. Rob Weir was one of many that did a survey of what is in Google. Rob’s 2007 Google survey showed already many tens of thousands of indexed documents in OpenDocument Format. There are more out there now, but Google appears not to be indexing them or to at least not indexing them properly. Certainly the search results for those file types are buggered.

    It looks like Google is not really indexing these file type any more. A search for filetype: of the three main ODF file types shows:

    ODT ~ 94,900
    ODP ~ 16,300
    ODS ~ 10,800

What Else is New


  1. Richard Stallman Vilified by Those Who Don't Know Him, Says Sylvia Paull

    Republished "In Support of Richard Stallman"



  2. [Meme] Linux Foundation Can't Use Linux

    Two examples from yesterday, highlighting what a bunch of hypocrites run the marketing operation now disguised as ‘research’; Jason Perlow from Microsoft signed/published this newsletter highlight from the failing “Linux” Foundation — a foundation that calls itself “Linux” while its newsletter is still hosted by Microsoft Windows+proprietary IIS and this latest report is made with proprietary software on a Mac



  3. [Meme] Haters Gonna Hate, Don't Apologise to a Libelling Mob

    As was already pointed out before, you cannot appease a mob by talking back to it, certainly not by issuing an apology (putting oneself in a position of weakness)



  4. What the EPO Has 'Normalised' in Europe...

    Under the cover of 'new normal', Europe's second-largest institution crushes the law and crushes its own staff



  5. Lots of Information in Sight, But Minimal Distraction

    How I keep focused on reading and writing whilst at the same time keeping an eye on important incidents, such as DDOS attacks and urgent messages coming in



  6. IRC Proceedings: Friday, April 16, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, April 16, 2021



  7. Hate Letter Against FSF (Concern Trolls): 1415 Committers, Letter in Support of FSF (With Its Founder Back): 5116

    Taking into account people who asked for their names to be removed from the defamatory hate letter (inciting people, based on falsehoods), it's not impossible that the support letter really triples or quadruples it in terms of number of signatures



  8. Richard Stallman: Sharing is Good... We Need to Legalise It

    Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation's founder, explains his take on copyright and the artificial restriction being used against sharing



  9. Nadine Strossen and Hannah Wolfman-Jones Rebut Accusations Against Stallman and Choose Him as Coauthor

    "Here are her thoughts and the response she received from Nadine, extracted verbatim with their permission from the original article"



  10. Links 17/4/2021: GNOME 40 in Tumbleweed, Devuan 4.0 Alpha, Kate Editor Makes a Leap

    Links for the day



  11. EPO Staff Union Takes the EPO 'to Court' (the ILO's Tribunal, as the EPO Cannot be Taken to a Proper Court)

    The Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) Committees are preparing a legal battle over unlawful and unjust measures taken collectively against hard-working (overworked during pandemic) members of staff; the European public should support them



  12. The Latest Anti-RMS Coup Attempt Targets the GNU Project (Because the FSF Coup Has Clearly Failed) by Infringing and Disregarding Trademark Conventions

    A fake "GNU" (not the original GNU, just riding the coattails of the name "GNU") is trying to find/gain traction and we must oppose it because it's an extension of the very same coup attempt (same plotters) that manufactured a whole bunch of libel to incite people and blackmail the Free Software Foundation (FSF)



  13. Links 16/4/2021: Mozilla Dumping FTP, Corporations Still Concern-Trolling FSF

    Links for the day



  14. The EFF Attacks Software Freedom and Promotes Fake Privacy Linked to Microsoft

    Only weeks after attacking Software Freedom (the ad hominem way, which is easier) the EFF endorses a Microsoft-linked privacy abuse, misframing it as some sort of privacy champion



  15. Richard Stallman on How Corporate Media Limits What People Are Allowed to Think and Say (Updated)

    What the founder of the FSF told yours truly a number of years ago about the behaviour of corporate (funded and controlled by corporations) media



  16. Exposing Hard Truths is the First Step or the Path Towards Justice

    A reflection and a moment taken to set aside tribalism (shallow differences based on allegiances of personal comfort), for we need look back at actual facts — however inconvenient at times — and consider the reality of the situation



  17. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, April 15, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, April 15, 2021



  18. [Meme] Laundering Bribes as 'Cooperation Money'

    Germany has financial interest in ensuring that EPO abuses carry on and nobody holds the EPO accountable



  19. Articles in Support of Richard Stallman

    Reproduced with permission



  20. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 20: Taking Stock

    Benoît Battistelli's legacy at the EPO is a legacy of corruption and cover-up; we take stock of how illegality was defended and persists to this day



  21. Links 15/4/2021: Zorin OS 16 Beta and Pushing Linux to GitHub- and Microsoft-Connected Rust

    Links for the day



  22. [Meme] Enemies With Common Interests

    The Software Freedom Movement (or Free Software Movement) has many enemies; some of them just hide in the shadows or speak out through shadowy front groups/NGOs that they semi-officially sponsor



  23. [Meme] Germany's Red Cash Cow

    EPO brings a lot of money to the German state. But at what cost to citizens and Germany’s public image?



  24. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 19: The Deafening Silence of the Media

    "There has been speculation that Maas might have had his own political interest in protecting Battistelli and the Balkan Express because of certain allegations about financial irregularities involving the German Patents and Trademark Office (DPMA) which were doing the rounds at the time."



  25. The Indirection Game

    How to attack institutions and concepts by personifying them, then proceeding to character assassination based on lies and deliberate distortions



  26. Links 15/4/2021: LXQt 0.17, Proxmox Backup Server 1.1

    Links for the day



  27. The Patent Battles in Europe Are Connected to the War on GNU/Linux (as a Community-Led Effort)

    Monoplisers of GNU and Linux want us to think that OIN is the solution while they actively lobby for software patents in Europe and the people in charge of Europe’s second-largest institution and Europe’s largest patent office help them; this long video contains thoughts about news from the past couple of days



  28. Richard Stallman: Freedom is the Goal (Updated)

    What Richard Stallman (RMS) told me in person on his trip here



  29. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, April 14, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, April 14, 2021



  30. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 18: Zero Tolerance for “Lawless Zones”?

    "It comes as no surprise that Maas appeared as a guest of honour at the European Inventor of the Year Boondoggle in Berlin in 2014 where he was seen on stage clapping along with the EPO President."


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