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

08.28.10

Mark Ballard Shows Why British Government Must Move to ODF as Doorway to Software Freedom

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument at 10:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

UK flag with Tux

Summary: Calls from within the United Kingdom to facilitate a promised migration to Free software, via international standards such as ODF

IN RECENT weeks we wrote a great deal about Free software in the UK public sector (lack thereof rather). A few days ago we showed that the government would save an enormous amount of money by moving to ODF. The following new article agrees to a certain degree and it was researched by the same person who helped expose misconduct in Newham (Microsoft moles [1, 2, 3]):

  • Tory council’s open source plans stymied as government considers policy

    A leading Tory council has been delayed in its attempt to replace Microsoft with open source software because the government is yet to fulfil an election pledge to introduce open standards.

    The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, one of the four “vanguard” councils testing the government’s Big Society project, also came to the attention of Microsoft after its IT strategy promised in April to “move away from the Microsoft Office platform and replace it with an open source or cloud alternative”.

    The council’s IT strategy proposed open source and open standards would cut its IT costs by a third. But Liam Maxwell, councillor responsible for IT policy at the borough, said the initiative depended on central government mandating the use of open standards in office software.

    “We are trying out open source. The problem is that Open Document Format (ODF) has not been adopted by the government yet,” said Maxwell, who helped draught Conservative technology policy before the election. “Why hasn’t ODF been adopted by government?” he said, calling for it to be done.

A migration to Free software in the British government is not far fetched at all. A lot of Europe is already doing it and even Data.gov.uk makes some commendable moves. From several days ago we have:

  • Data.gov.uk releases Open Source code

    As part of the government’s ongoing work around transparency, today we are releasing some of the custom software code we’ve developed – a CKAN module for Drupal. This is available for anyone to review, use, or modify. We’re excited to see how developers and colleagues across the world put this work to good use in their own applications and projects.

A short while ago we retold the story of France and OpenOffice.org, showing the role of Microsoft's office suite in stifling rapid migrations to GNU/Linux. A move to ODF is very crucial because of that. As for OOXML, it is a scam and as the i4i case helps show, it is probably not legal, either. Reuters tells the story of i4i at this moment:

“Microsoft sat in meetings with us where we explained how it works and we believed if you’ve got a patent, a patent is full disclosure and in return you guys have to respect that and that is the law,” said i4i co-founder Michel Vulpe, whose software patent was approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in 1998.

In 2004 Vulpe became suspicious that the software giant was using their technology, without permission, in its popular Word software. In 2007, when Microsoft began touting its XML capabilities, i4i got serious and launched their patent infringement lawsuit.

At the time, Vulpe said the reaction from friends was a mixture of laughter and horror.

With ‘partners’ like these, who needs rivals?

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,

    August 29, 2010 at 12:57 am

    Gravatar

    So, then, are projects like OpenOffice.org and Koffice putting their resources into working together on ODF support or wasting resources to pollute the code pool with undocumented OOXML cruft which should have died before reaching the standards bodies?

What Else is New


  1. Ruling Against 'Abstract' Software Patents is Already Derailing Patent Attacks on Linux and Free Software

    Patent litigation against Android/Linux impeded by the introduction of arguments that cite the Supreme Court



  2. Links 30/7/2014: Chris Beard as CEO of Mozilla

    Links for the day



  3. New Optimism in the Age of Doubt Over Software Patents

    As the tide turns against software patents, even in their country of origin, their opponents come out of the woodwork to celebrate



  4. Links 28/7/2014: New Linux RC, Plasma 5 Live in Kubuntu

    Links for the day



  5. Links 27/7/2014: KDE 4.14 Beta 3, KDE 4.14 Beta 3 Released

    Links for the day



  6. Apple and Microsoft Are Proprietary Software Companies and the Media Should Stop Openwashing Them

    New examples where proprietary software giants are characterised as FOSS-embracing and FOSS-friendly by gullible or dishonest 'journalists'



  7. Bloomberg's Microsoft Propaganda

    Bloomberg delivers 'damage control' and PR ahead of the layoffs announcement; Microsoft uses Nokia to hide it and Bloomberg helps Microsoft by radically modifying headlines



  8. Frequency of Browser Back Doors in Microsoft Windows is Doubling

    The vulnerabilities which Microsoft tells the NSA about (before these are patched) are significantly growing in terms of their numbers



  9. FUD Entities Entering the FOSS World

    Symantec enters the AllSeen Alliance and Sonatype is once again trying to claim great insecurity in FOSS due to software licensing



  10. Groklaw Back in the Wake of ODF in the UK?





  11. Links 26/7/2014: New Wine, Chromebooks Strong Sales

    Links for the day



  12. Links 25/7/2014: GOG With GNU/Linux, Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS

    Links for the day



  13. Links 24/7/2014: Oracle Linux 7; Fedora Delays

    Links for the day



  14. Valerie Strauss Explains Why Gates Foundation's Lobbying for 'Common Core' (Privatisation) is a Swindle That Makes Microsoft Richer

    Continued criticism of the Gates Foundation's lobbying and masquerading, with more journalists brave enough to highlight the corruption



  15. USPTO Officially Sets New Guidelines to Limit Scope of Software Patents in the United States

    Even patent lawyers finally acknowledge that the incentive to file software patent applications has been reduced, as the scope of patents on software has been noticeably narrowed and they are harder to acquire, let alone enforce in a courtroom



  16. UK Government Adopts OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Microsoft Already Attacks the Government Over It, Showing Absolutely No Commitment to Open Standards

    Only "Microsoft as the standard" is the 'standard' Microsoft is willing to accept, as its response to the Cabinet Office's judgment reveals



  17. Microsoft Layoffs of 2014

    Another quick look at Microsoft's horrible state of affairs and why it has virtually nothing to do with Nokia



  18. Links 22/7/2014: Linux 3.16 RC 6, New UberStudent

    Links for the day



  19. Links 20/7/2014: Jolla in India, Mega Censored in Italy

    Links for the day



  20. Longtime Mono Booster Joins Microsoft-linked Xamarin

    Jo Shields almost joins Microsoft, settling instead for its proxy, Xamarin



  21. Linux Foundation Welcomes Patent Aggressor Red Bend Software

    The Linux Foundation's AllSeen Alliance welcomes as a member a company that uses software patents to sue Free/Open Source software



  22. Matt Levy From Patent Progress (and CCIA) Does Not Really Want Patent Progress

    Matthew ('Matt') Levy moved into a foe of patent progress last year, but he still runs a site calls Patent Progress, in which he diverts all attention to patent trolls (as large corporations such as Microsoft like to do)



  23. Attacking FOSS by Ignoring/Overlooking Issues With Proprietary Software

    The biasing strategy which continues to be used to demonise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) along with some new examples



  24. Links 19/7/2014: CRUX 3.1 is Out, CyanogenMod Competes With Google Now

    Links for the day



  25. Microsoft's Massive Layoffs Go Far Beyond Nokia; Nokia's Android Phones Axed by Microsoft's Elop

    Microsoft's rapid demise and permanent exit from Nokia's last remaining Linux platform (after Microsoft had killed two more)



  26. Patents on Software Already Being Invalidated in Courts Owing to SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Patents

    The Federal Circuit Appeals Court has just "invalidated a software patent for being overly abstract," says a patents expert



  27. OpenSUSE 'Community' is Crumbling, AttachMSFT Killed SUSE's Potential (Except as Microsoft Tax)

    Not much too see in the land of SUSE and Attachmate, or formerly the company known as Novell



  28. Links 18/7/2014: Slackware Turns 21, Spotify Switches to Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  29. Links 16/7/2014: Manjaro 0.8.10 Third Update, SIA Migrates to Red Hat

    Links for the day



  30. Microsoft's Latest Round of Massive/Bulk/Large-scale Layoffs

    Microsoft boosters are preparing 'damage control' pieces ahead of massive layoffs at Microsoft


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