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. Links 20/5/2019: Linux 5.2 RC1, LibreOffice 6.3 Alpha, DXVK 1.2.1, Bison 3.4 Released

    Links for the day



  2. South Korea's Government Will Show If Microsoft Loves Linux or Just Attacks It Very Viciously Like It Did in Munich

    Microsoft's hatred of all things GNU/Linux is always put to the test when someone 'dares' use it outside Microsoft's control and cash cows (e.g. Azure and Vista 10/WSL); will Microsoft combat its longstanding urge to corrupt or oust officials with the courage to say "no" to Microsoft?



  3. Links 19/5/2019: KDE Applications 19.04.1 in FlatHub and GNU/Linux Adoption

    Links for the day



  4. The War on Patent Quality

    A look at the EPO's reluctance to admit errors and resistance to the EPC, which is its very founding document



  5. Watchtroll, Composed by Patent Trolls, Calls the American Patent System “Corrupt”

    Another very fine piece from Watchtroll comes from very fine patent trolls who cheer for Donald Trump as if he's the one who tackles corruption rather than spreading it



  6. Unified Patent Court Won't Happen Just Because the Litigation Microcosm Wants It

    Unified Patent Court (UPC) hopefuls are quote-mining and cherry-picking to manufacture the false impression that the UPC is just around the corner when in reality the UPC is pretty much dead (but not buried yet)



  7. Links 17/5/2019: South Korea's GNU/Linux Pivot, Linux 5.1.3

    Links for the day



  8. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 4: Happy Birthday to the Kötter Group?

    This year the Kötter Group commemorates the 85th anniversary of its existence. But is it really a cause for celebration or would a less self-congratulatory approach be more fitting? And does it create the risk that a routine tendering exercise at the EPO will turn into Operation Charlie Foxtrot?



  9. Links 16/5/2019: Cockpit 194, VMware Acquires Bitnami, Another Wine Announcement and Krita 4.2.0 Beta

    Links for the day



  10. The EPO's Key Function -- Like the UPC's Vision -- Has Virtually Collapsed

    The EPO no longer issues good patents and staff is extremely unhappy; but the Office tries to create an alternate (false) reality and issues intentionally misleading statements



  11. Stanford's NPE Litigation Database Makes a Nice Addition in the Fight Against Software Patent Trolls

    As the United States of America becomes less trolls- and software patents-friendly (often conflated with plaintiff (un)friendliness) it's important to have accurate data which documents the numbers and motivates better policy; The NPE (troll) Litigation Database is a move towards that and it's free to access/use



  12. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 3: “Ein kritikwürdiges Unternehmen”

    A brief account of some further controversies in which the Kötter Group has been involved and its strained relations with German trade unions such as Verdi



  13. EPO Had a Leakage Problem and Privacy of Stakeholders Was Compromised, Affecting at Least 100 Cases

    The confidentiality principle was compromised at the EPO and stakeholders weren't told about it (there was a coverup)



  14. Links 15/5/2019: More Linux Patches and More Known Intel Bugs

    Links for the day



  15. False Hope for Patent Maximalists and Litigation Zealots

    Patent litigation predators in the United States, along with Team UPC in Europe, are trying to manufacture optimistic predictions; a quick and rather shallow critical analysis reveals their lies and distortions



  16. The Race to the Bottom of Patent Quality at the EPO

    The EPO has become more like a rubber-stamper than a patent office — a fact that worries senior staff who witnessed this gradual and troublesome transition (from quality to raw quantity)



  17. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 2: Meet the Kötters

    An introduction to the Kötter Group, the private security conglomerate which is lined up for the award of a juicy EUR 30 million contract for the provision of security services at the EPO



  18. Links 14/5/2019: Red Hat Satellite 6.5, NVIDIA 430.14 Linux Driver and New Security Bug (MDS)

    Links for the day



  19. Links 14/5/2019: GNU/Linux in Kerala, DXVK 1.2, KDE Frameworks 5.58.0 Released

    Links for the day



  20. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 1: Urgent Shitstorm Alert

    Experts at the European Patent Office's (EPO) weather observation station have just issued an urgent alert warning about a major shitstorm looming on the horizon



  21. Patents That Were Gleefully Granted by the EPO Continue to Perish in Courts

    The decreasing quality of granted European Patents already becomes a growing problem if not a crisis of uncertainty



  22. Links 13/5/2019: ExTiX 19.5 and GNU Radio Conference 2019

    Links for the day



  23. The Microsoft Guide to the Open Source Galaxy

    Thou shalt not...



  24. Microsoft Would Kill the Goose for Money

    Microsoft is just 'monetising' Open Source by using it as 'bait' for Microsoft's proprietary software; those who we might expect to antagonise this have effectively been bribed by Microsoft



  25. Links 13/5/2019: Nanonote 1.2.0, OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 RC, and GNUnet 0.11.4

    Links for the day



  26. Professionally Incompetent EPO Management

    The EPO remains an awful employer, with top-level management largely responsible for the loss of talent and even money



  27. Links 12/5/2019: Linux 5.1.1, GDB 8.3, KStars 3.2.2 Released

    Links for the day



  28. Did Battistelli 'Steal' ~$100,000,000 Euros From the EPO?

    While enjoying diplomatic immunity the thug from CEIPI (who is back at the EPO as a jurist) passed millions if not billions (over the long run) in liabilities; this was done with total and inexcusable impunity, no effective oversight



  29. The Biased EPO Does Not Want to Hear From Anyone Except Those Who Pay the EPO

    The EPO's corruption and violations of the law are a threat to everyone in the world; the EPO only ever listens to those who pay for "access" or those who embrace the "religion" of the EPO



  30. Team UPC Has Run Out of Arguments, So Now It's Just Writing Anti-Brexit Rants With Testicles in the Headlines

    Nothing has worked for firms that crafted and lobbied hard for the Unified Patent Court (UPC); after necrophilia a new low is being reached


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