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

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 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

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. Large Corporations Call the Shots in US Patent Reform

    A reminder of where we stand on the issue of patent 'reform' in the US and who is controlling or shaping it



  2. Microsoft Puts Proprietary Windows and Hyper-V Inside the Free Software-Centric OpenStack

    OpenStack, which celebrates rapid growth in this month's event in Canada, is facing a proprietarisation threat from Microsoft



  3. Microsoft's Secret Lobbying, Bullying, and the Long History of Blackmailing Politicians Around the World

    British media covers Microsoft's abuse in the UK, but there are many similar incidents, and not just in the UK



  4. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Benoît Battistelli and Four EPO Suicides

    German press article from April 2015 (with translations)



  5. Links 24/5/2015: CrossOver 14.1.3, NTFS-3G Vulnerability

    Links for the day



  6. Links 23/5/2015: Fedora 22 to May 26th, Netflix in SteamOS

    Links for the day



  7. The Patents Production 'Industry' (Patent Lawyers) Still Fights Hard to Salvage Software Patents

    A review of recent writings about software patents and patents on business methods in the United States, demonstrating that patent lawyers have gotten very vocal and sneaky (trying to evade the rules)



  8. Patents as a Marketing Strategy: USPTO Now Part of the Advertising Industry

    The existence of publicity patents, or patents whose sole purpose is to advertise some products, serves to discredit the US patent office, which was originally set up to promote science and technology



  9. Microsoft Blackmails and Extorts British Politicians Over Open Standards and Free Software-Leaning Policies

    Microsoft's digital imperialism in the UK getting defended using blackmail, reminding a lot of Brits that Microsoft is just as evil as ever before



  10. Microsoft Gives Another Bug a Name, This Time Logjam™

    The Microsoft crowd is good only at marketing, even when it comes to small bugs in software



  11. Links 22/5/2015: Fedora 22 Final Release is Near, Canonical IPO Considered

    Links for the day



  12. More Utter Shame Unveiled at Battistelli's EPO: Intimidation Tactics With Help From 'Control Risks'

    The unaccountable thugs who run the EPO have hired London-based spooks to help silence their opposition and their critics



  13. GNU/Linux Still Under Attack From Apple and Microsoft, Patents Remain the Weapon of Choice

    A timely reminder of the importance of patent matters, for they are being used to eliminate the zero-cost advantage of Free/libre software and make it more proprietary, privacy-infringing, and user-hostile (as a result of blackmail)



  14. Gartner Group and NASSCOM: Will Lie for FUD, on Behalf of Microsoft and Proprietary Software

    Some of the latest arguments against Free/libre software turn out to be arriving from couriers of Microsoft and its agenda



  15. Windows is a Franchise in Demise, Don't Believe the Hype

    Ongoing propaganda about Vista 10, 'cloud', and other buzzwords or brands are put in perspective



  16. Links 21/5/2015: Fedora 22 RC2, CERN Chooses OpenStack

    Links for the day



  17. Microsoft is Again Showing Its Hatred of Free/Open Source Software by Lobbying the Indian Government to Drop a Rational National Policy

    Microsoft decides to attack Free/Open Source software (FOSS) in India, where the corporate media is very much complicit in misleading the public



  18. Links 20/5/2015: Containers, OpenStack, and EXT4 Corruption

    Links for the day



  19. The PATENT Act, Distraction of Trolls, and Lobbying for Software Patents by Protectionists

    Only large corporations and their lawyers are able to formally change the US patent system through public officials and politicians, despite recent rulings from very high courts



  20. Corporate Media and Friends of Microsoft Are Still Lying About the Cost of Vista 10

    In a desperate effort to beat operating systems that are Free (libre) and free (gratis), such as GNU/Linux or Android, Microsoft shores up the illusion of 'free' (gratis) Windows



  21. Links 19/5/2015: Linux 4.1 RC4, Thunderbird 31.7.0, OpenStack Event

    Links for the day



  22. Links 18/5/2015: Russia Chooses Jolla, Many New Distro Releases, Meizu Devices

    Links for the day



  23. Even Converting an Image to Greyscale is Now a Patent

    Simple mathematics becoming patented as Fujifilm claims 'ownership' of photographic conversion to greyscale



  24. Grooming of the World's Biggest Patent Troll, Nathan Myhrvold of Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures

    UCLA and Microsoft-linked media are framing big thugs as heroes, doing a great disservice to both academia and journalism



  25. The EPO's Fight to Bring Software Patents Into Europe is One Step Closer to a 'Victory' (for Multinationals)

    Opposition to the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is being crushed and Italy is one of the latest actors to have fallen in the battle



  26. Microsoft's 'Former' Staff Continues With His Anti-Google Rhetoric at CBS

    A Microsoft intern, who has moved on to journalism, is still showing his affinity for Microsoft with apologetics and spin



  27. More of Microsoft's False Claims About Cost of Vista 10 and More Layoffs

    Vista 10 is still being marketed using lies and Microsoft may be going down the same route as Nokia



  28. Microsoft Remotely Bricks -- Intentionally -- Xbox One

    Microsoft is showing off its kill switches, kills consoles of people whom it doesn't like



  29. IRC Proceedings: May 3rd - May 16th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  30. Links 17/5/2015: NuTyX Saravane 15.05, Panasonic and Firefox OS

    Links for the day


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