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

12.21.10

Groklaw Lashes Out at Novell for Promoting OOXML (With Lock-in and Patent/RAND Traps)

Posted in ISO, Microsoft, Novell, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, RAND, Standard at 5:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

New year promise

Summary: Novell is slammed by a longtime stickler for helping promote Microsoft’s proprietary rival to ODF, which is the international standard for documents

PEOPLE have begun leaving for their vacation, but earlier on Groklaw decided to speak about Novell’s massive betrayal (translation to Spanish), which is not exactly news at all. Novell’s betrayal has been clear to us for over 4 years and we wrote thousands of posts on the subject.

Groklaw turns to Comes exhibits, specifically IBM exhibits. Rob from IBM has just posted this chart which shows what an utter mess Microsoft Office can be for ODF (pretty much by design [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]) and Groklaw links this to what Novell did with Microsoft and what Microsoft did to IBM a couple of decades ago. To quote some parts:

First quietly create incompatibilities to make sure that Microsoft applications wouldn’t run right on OS/2. Then tell the world that they shouldn’t buy OS/2 because Microsoft applications wouldn’t run right on OS/2.

But 1991 is a long time ago, I hear some of you say, and there is a new Microsoft. Oh? Let’s see if that’s so by highlighting one of the recent Novell filings with the SEC, its work agreement with Microsoft titled “Improving Microsoft-Novell Interoperability through Open XML” and dated March of this very year.

It’s regarding work Microsoft was willing to pay Novell to do to make Microsoft’s cynically misnamed Open XML seem like it allows interoperability. Novell has been at work since March to make Novell’s version of OpenOffice.org interoperate, sort of, but as you will see not completely with Microsoft Office 2010 so that it would at least look like Open XML works and that somebody is implementing it.

What a role for Novell to agree to play. We’ve had our suspicions for years, since Microsoft and Novell entered into its patent peace agreement and technical work agreement, and now we know that everything we suspected Novell was doing with its version of OpenOffice.org, it was. It is. This is the smoking gun. And the work agreement runs through November of 2011, so this story isn’t over yet.

[...]

Remember that one of the big objections to OOXML becoming a standard in the first place was that it allowed for proprietary extensions, which it was pointed out would make it difficult and indeed impossible for anyone but Microsoft and any chosen pals to interoperate with the “standard”. And here you see it in real life. Under criticism, Microsoft hires Novell to be a Microsoft pal and to try to figure out a way to make Microsoft Office look like it interoperates with OpenOffice.org up to a point, not any version of it, but just Novell’s version of OpenOffice.

You are not supposed to have to hire people to figure out a private way to be compatible with a true standard.

[...]

Oh, Novell. What were you thinking? Why would you agree to this? I can read these words, so why couldn’t you? They say you are being used to prop up the reputation of Open XML, while not really making it compatible in the end. What kind of goals are these? For a *standard*? For a company selling GNU/Linux?

[...]

Irony is dead. Here you have a so-called standard being used for exclusivity, so Microsoft and Novell have special interoperability that others can’t enjoy.

And as for Novell’s awful role, obviously, Novell executives never grasped the essence of Linux or FOSS. That explains a lot, including the company’s downfall in the end, don’t you think? Selling out the community in secret does not a long-term business plan make. And to everyone who pushed for or accepted Novell’s version of OpenOffice.org, what’s the plan now? Seriously. Time to really make a plan. Microsoft does. How about the community? How stupid are we?

Groklaw also appends the exhibit (we will hopefully have its Spanish translation soon, courtesy of Eduardo Landaveri) and Microsoft’s booster/insider Alex Brown gets slammed for his role in this whole process (he is a Microsoft “mercenary” as Landaveri would probably call him). He is criticised severely not just for his abuse as OOXML convenor but also as a Microsoft booster after all these incidents. Brown also threatened me after I had leaked OOXML, for all the misconduct associated with it (even corruption like bribes). That’s the type of crowd Microsoft surrounds itself with, in order to defend itself from prosecution for crimes.

For those who can recall the debate from 2008, OOXML is filled with RAND traps although it’s not the only issue with this proprietary format. The news about EIFv2 [1, 2, 3] (also in Spanish) suggests that Europe will not exclude OOXML for its unacceptable RAND terms and there is a new analysis (supposedly impartial) of what EIFv2 will mean to Europe:

Whether or not by indirect reaction to some of these developments, Red Hat has this week issued a blog post outlining the European Interoperability Framework (EIF), which has been set out by the European Commission. The commission recognizes that open technologies are key to achieving interoperability and therefore recommends that public administrations should aim for openness at all times.

If the European Commission is right to back this initiative with its emphasis being on “open specifications” and open standards being implemented in practice, then it may help the wider cause of free and open source software application development (in the public sector at least) from the following perspectives:

* The promotion and support the delivery of public services by fostering cross-border and cross-sectoral interoperability;
* To guide public administrations in their work to provide public services to businesses and citizens; and
* To complement and tie together the various National Interoperability Frameworks (NIFs) where they exist.

Although this model is confined to Europe under the auspices of the European commission, if effective it may prove telling for procedural adoption in other developed countries of the Western world from the United States and beyond.

The EIF is more than just a typical paper from another government committee. It is the result of a multi-year, multi-stakeholder effort that sets out to shift the paradigm for IT deployment in the public sector. Indeed, in the words of the EIF, it… “should be taken into account when [governments are] making decisions on public services that support the implementation of policy initiatives… [and] should also be considered when establishing public services that in the future may be reused as part of public services.”

OOXML was never supposed to get anywhere near ISO, but Novell helped it along the way, in order to appease Microsoft which had paid Novell hundreds of millions of dollars. Boyott Novell and whatever comes after it (AttachMSFT is buying Novell, so the name of the target will change).

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

What Else is New


  1. The Whitewashing of the EPO Under António Campinos

    The charm offensive of the 'new and improved' EPO President seems to mostly boil down to a PR campaign, as we expected all along



  2. Links 22/1/2019: Kodachi 5.8, LibreOffice 6.2 Finished

    Links for the day



  3. Software Patents Are a Dying Breed, So Marks & Clerk and Other Legal Monoliths Promote the EPO's Buzzwords (Loopholes)

    Patents that courts would almost certainly reject (and invalidate) are routinely promoted as "AI", "SDV" and similar acronyms and buzzwords, either misleading or intentionally misplaced (nowadays "AI" is often just a synonym for "machine" or "algorithm")



  4. A Fortnight After His Diplomatic Immunity Ends Outgoing EPO Vice-President Željko Topić is in Court in Zagreb, Croatia

    Court minutes for a Željko Topić case heard 5 days ago



  5. Links 20/1/2019: Exo 0.12.4 and Libhandy 0.0.7 Released

    Links for the day



  6. JUVE Creates English Site, Promotes Unified Patent Court (UPC)

    The generally good press outlet has taken a turn for the worse; it looks like it's doing more lobbying than reporting nowadays



  7. The Indian Ministry of Commerce Tries to Bend Patent Law in Favour of Foreign Monopolies

    There's an attempt to tilt patent law against the interests of India; but vigilant few are observing and reporting it, even in English



  8. The EFF Must Return That 'Internship' Money to Google or It Would Disgrace the Patent Reform Movement (by Association)

    Whether real or perceived, the EFF’s alleged bias is at stake now that Google money — not just money from a billionaire (Cuban) — lands on its lap; it can, by extension or association, serve to discredit patent reformers



  9. EPO Defying Patent Restrictions/Limits From the European Parliament, the European Commission and the European Countries It Claims to Represent

    The departure from the EPC (and from the rule of law) at the EPO still means that patents are being granted on things that, as per the constitutions, should never have been patentable



  10. The UPC is Dead. But Bristows is Now Fully Engaged in Necrophilia.

    In an effort to float a dead project the deceiving folks from Team UPC pretend that everything is ready to go (commence) because they've managed to find some gowns and robes



  11. Links 19/1/2019: Wikipedia Cofounder Moves to GNU/Linux, Wine 4.0 RC7 Released, Godot 3.1 Beta 2, NomadBSD 1.2 RC1

    Links for the day



  12. Links 18/1/2019: Mesa 18.3.2, Rust 1.32.0

    Links for the day



  13. Links 17/1/2019: ZFS Debate Returns, AWS Pains Free Software

    Links for the day



  14. US Patent Lawyers Will Need to Change Profession or End up Becoming Abundantly Redundant, Unemployed

    In the age of Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) and 35 U.S.C. § 101 it’s too risky to sue with dodgy patents; moreover, the Federal Circuit‘s growing adoption of Alice means that no recent cases have given hope to patent maximalists and litigation frequency has fallen again (at double-digit rates)



  15. Links 16/1/2019: Deepin 15.9 Released and Mozilla Fenix

    Links for the day



  16. Brexit Has Failed, But So Has the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    Even though all signs indicate that the Unified Patent Court (UPC) will never become a reality spin is to be expected from Team UPC, still looking to profit from more litigation and expanded scope



  17. IBM, Which Will Soon be Buying Red Hat, is Promoting Software Patents in Europe

    Even days apart/within confirmation of IBM's takeover of Red Hat IBM makes it clear that it's very strongly in favour of software patents, not only in the US but also in Europe



  18. Team UPC on Dead UPC: Choosing Gowns for Corpses

    The campaign of lies, long waged by Team UPC in order to manipulate politicians and courts, hasn’t stopped even in 2019 (IAM threw in the towel, but some of Team UPC is still ‘embalming’ UPCA)



  19. Links 15/1/2019: MX Linux MX-18 Continuum Reviewed, Mageia 7 Artwork Voting

    Links for the day



  20. Council of Europe (CoE) Recognises There's No Justice at the EPO

    It’s now the Council of Europe‘s turn to speak out about the grave state of international organisations that exist in Europe but aren’t subjected to European law (which they routinely violate with impunity)



  21. Dominion Harbor -- Armed by Microsoft's Biggest Patent Troll -- Goes After the World's Biggest Android OEMs, Huawei and Samsung

    Dominion Harbor, the patent troll that gets bucketloads of patents from Intellectual Ventures (a patent troll strongly connected to Microsoft and Bill Gates), is still suing using shell entities



  22. Links 14/1/2019: Linux 5.0 RC2 and DXVK 0.95 Released

    Links for the day



  23. Only the Higher Courts -- Not Trump's 'Poster Child' -- Can Bring Back Software Patents

    Software patents are not making a "comeback" as some like to claim; in fact, the latest court cases and notably their outcomes suggest that nothing has changed



  24. “Uniloc is a Lawsuit Factory”

    Apple is a very secretive company, so it is hard to know what goes on with the patent troll Uniloc



  25. European Patent Office a Textbook Example of Lawless, Rogue Institutions

    The tyrannical nature of the EPO is still being demonstrated by the sad fate of Patrick Corcoran; technical judges at the EPO are feeling intimidated by nontechnical politicians and bankers



  26. No, Software Patents Are Not Poised to Make a Comeback Under New US Patent Office Rules

    Poor understanding of the difference between patent courts and patent offices is to blame for widely-spread misinformation from Ars Technica (part of Condé Nast)



  27. IP Kat Has Turned From EPO Critic (to the Point of Being Blocked by the EPO) to EPO Whitewasher That Gags EPO Whistleblowers

    The EPO tried to forcibly gag (block) IP Kat like it blocks Techrights (since 2014); failing that, the EPO got the blog to just act as a whitewashing operation for Team Campinos (more or less the same as Team Battistelli)



  28. Linspire 'Reborn' is Still Working for Microsoft and Facilitating Surveillance on GNU/Linux Users

    GNU/Linux spyware scandals may be back (and it's not about Canonical and Amazon but Linspire and Microsoft); Microsoft is meanwhile exposing innocent kids to pedophiles and it refuses to explain or defend this



  29. Links 12/1/2019: Wine 4.0 RC6, X-Plane 11.30, SuperTuxKart 0.10 Beta, LibreOffice 6.2 RC2

    Links for the day



  30. The EPO's Low Patent Quality Can Kill the European Software Industry and Kill People Too

    The patents granted by the EPO are often invalid as per courts' decisions, which means that fake/illegitimate European Patents saturate the market and discourage development (e.g. of software and life-saving drugs)


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