02.14.15

Microsoft’s Latest Lock-in Strategy in Detail, Now Exploiting the Public Sector and Free Software

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 5:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft’s ‘free lunch’

Green chillies

Summary: Parasitical plot and subversive acts that strive to make people inadvertently dependent on proprietary software/spyware from Microsoft are now piggybacking taxpayers-funded institutions and Free software

SEVERAL YEARS ago many in the UK were up in arms over the BBC’s exclusion of GNU/Linux and promotion of Microsoft lock-in. It happened after many employees from Microsoft UK had occupied key positions in the BBC.

According to this new report from the British media: “The BBC’s Audio Factory goes live today, bringing with it the end of streaming audio over Windows Media.

“The broadcaster flagged the demise of Windows Media last year, when it also announced Audio Factory, a streaming tool delivering audio in the AAC codec over http. Audio Factory aims to standardise Auntie’s audio delivery practices and infrastructure.

“As of today, the Beeb says Audio Factory will carry “11 national services, six Nations services and 40 local radio stations”.”

Citing our analysis of Microsoft entryism in the BBC, Soylent News wrote: “As Roy Schestowitz has pointed out repeatedly at TechRights, there has been an incestuous revolving door thing going on between the Beeb and Microsoft, so this is a noteworthy step.”

But there is also some bad news. It turns out that in the mean time Microsoft lock-in infects national records in the US. As Mr. Updegrove put it, “Library of Congress “Opens Up” with (wait for it…) OOXML”. Talk about making data obsolete!

Last week, the Library of Congress announced that it will “open up with OOXML.” Nine new OOXML format descriptions will be added to the LoC Format Sustainability Website.

Last July, the U.K. Cabinet Office formally adopted ODF, the OpenDocument Format developed by OASIS and adopted by ISO/IEC, as an approved open format for editable public documents. It did not give the same approval to OOXML, another XML-based document format that was based on a contribution from Microsoft to ECMA, another standards organization. OOXML was also in due course adopted by ISO/IEC. The Cabinet Office decision came ten years after the largest standards war of the decade was launched by a similar, but later reversed, decision by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

As that war heated up, both sides (ODF was supported by IBM, Oracle, Motorola, Google and others) recruited as many allies as they could. One of those recruited by Microsoft was the U.S. Library of Congress.

Not too long ago Microsoft was trying to get people ‘hooked’ on Microsoft surveillance search, but this surely failed. As a new report puts it, “Microsoft is effectively killing off the Windows with Bing notebook market less than a year after it was created.”

It sure looks like Microsoft is now relying on sticking its lock-in right inside Android, but it’s likely to be done via Samsung, Cyanogen, Nokia, Facebook, or even Amazon (where many Microsoft executives moved to). Microsoft also tries to make Free software dependent or tied to OOXML.

Microsoft has not changed. If may have only morphed into more of a mole, embedded itself more deeply into the fabric of its competition.

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