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10.04.20

If They Call You a “User” (or “Customer”), They Might be Drug Dealers and Lords of Narcotics (Digital or Otherwise)

Posted in Bill Gates, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument at 6:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”

Bill Gates

A media overload

Summary: Preying on so-called ‘users’ is the nature of proprietary software, which puts digital shackles on people and then starts manipulating them

THE simple fact is that many of today’s interfaces are designed to be “addictive”, especially on the Web where the ‘currency’ is screen time (opportunity to spy on people and foist ads onto them). This is certainly true about Facebook (with admissions from the company) and Twitter is hardly better with its infinite scrolling, suggestive (yet cryptic) “trending” clickbait and so on.

“…if many ‘addicts’ get together, they can fork the implementation to better suit their needs and distribute the fork free of charge.”It wasn’t too long ago that Richard Stallman asked geeks to submit to him examples of interfaces that had been designed to be addictive.

In the case of ‘traditional’ and native software, formats that are secret and proprietary software with lock-in mechanisms have long been used to force people to ‘upgrade’ (pay for the same thing over and over again). The network effect, or peer pressure by format incompatibility, is an issue long documented (for decades; it helped rationalise the vendor-neutral OpenDocument Format).

Man all drunkIt’s time to communicate these issues using the jargon or slang of narcotics. The term “users” is heavily used in that context because of the helplessness of the addicts, who are reduced to mere zombies that consume and cannot think clearly.

Free software addresses some but not all of these issues; there’s no guarantee that addiction elements will be entirely obliterated just by virtue of some piece of software being free (to study, modify, share as well as run without restrictions). One can easily get addicted to Free (as in freedom) computer games. But the leverage the developer gains over individual people or large groups of people (even entire nations) is clearly limited; if many ‘addicts’ get together, they can fork the implementation to better suit their needs and distribute the fork free of charge. That’s very much unlike what a certain Bill Gates (nowadays a vaccine profiteer) sought to achieve with Microsoft products. It’s all about power, unjust power and coercion. It’s not about technical excellence; technology here is merely the means by which to gain power (political, not technical) over a lot of people while amassing endless wealth, controlling the lives of so many without democratic oversight.

08.23.20

Leak: An Unreported Rift Inside The Document Foundation (TDF)

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, Office Suites, OpenDocument, OpenOffice at 10:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

LibreItalia tweet

Summary: The Document Foundation (TDF) is a very important supporter of OpenDocument Format (ODF) as well as Free software (notably LibreOffice), but there’s a story about LibreItalia (“Italian home of LibreOffice”) very few people know about

Italo Vignoli is well known in the Free software world, both inside and outside Italy, both inside and outside the realms of LibreOffice. He’s connected to the likes of Simon Phipps and Paolo Vecchi. I, personally, have much respect for him. For those who never heard of him before, his introduction to himself in the OSI’s site (for this year’s election) can be found here (it’s very detailed and includes his LibreOffice/ODF/TDF work/credentials). There’s more in the comments.

He won a seat as a Director seated by affiliates (term until 2023) and the Board’s page now describes him as follows: “Italo Vignoli has been involved in FOSS projects since 2004, when he joined the OpenOffice community as a user, to contribute to marketing and communication activities. In 2010, he was one of the founders of the LibreOffice project and has been involved in marketing and community development activities since then. He has also launched Associazione LibreItalia, representing LibreOffice users in Italy, and the ODF Advocacy Open Project at OASIS, and has contributed to large migration projects to LibreOffice in Europe. He co-leads LibreOffice marketing, PR and media relations, co-chairs the certification program, and is a spokesman for the project. He has contributed to large migration projects to LibreOffice in Italy, and is a LibreOffice certified migrator and trainer. Italo is Managing Partner of Hideas, a marketing and communications agency retained by The Document Foundation and by other companies active in the networking and healthcare industries.”

A few years ago he had an altercation inside LibreItalia, the “Italian home of LibreOffice” (@libreitalia). It was more specifically an argument with Sonia Montegiove, President of the LibreItalia association who calls herself a “journalist out of passion”; there are reasonable posts from her (in English) and in Italian. Vignoli and her weren’t always in disagreement; she wrote about him half a decade prior on at least 4 occasions in the LibreItalia blog. The blog became inactive the following year or maybe moved elsewhere. They’re both mentioned in “Italy’s Ministry of Defense to Drop Microsoft Office in Favor of LibreOffice”.

The following message was written by Alessandro Rubini, aged 70 (half a decade older than Vignoli). He’s a very, very technical person (books include Linux Device Drivers and others) and he says “Free Software” rather than “Open Source”. This one particular bio of his says he “installed Linux 0.99.14 soon after getting his degree as electronic engineer. He then received a Ph.D. in computer science at the University of Pavia despite his aversion toward modern technology. He left the University after getting his Ph.D. because he didn’t want to write articles. He now works as a free lance writing device drivers and, um…articles. He used to be a young hacker before his babies were born; he’s now an old advocate of Free Software who developed a bias for non-PC computer platforms.”

He has associates like Cristiana Larizza, Tullio Facchinetti, Greg Kroah-Hartman amongst other drivers folks and his homepage mentions GNU, then says: “I am an independent consultant specialized in the Linux kernel, device drivers, real time, embedded systems, low-level networking.”

How many people are aware of the following incident?

Subject: problem in TDF
From: Alessandro Rubini <rubini@gnudd.com>
Date: 20/08/2017, 13:07
To: ga@fsfeurope.org

A quick note to let youknow that italo vignoli left libreitalia, after serious arguing w/ sonia montegiove about management in general and organization of the LO conference in particular.

The thing escalated from italy to TDF, where another italian board member is siding w/ sonia and trying to shed bad light on italo.

I talked with both, in different days, and I still have to make completely up my mind. One of the side effects is that italo will likely ask for membership in fsfe.

I’m all for it, actually i suggested to invite both him and sonia. Now clearly the thing is a little hot, and timing is suboptimal.

I’ll call again sonia in a few days, after italo’s final move is official, w/ reference to official documents.

All of this is very bad, pr-wise, for FS in italy and europe.

/alessandro on the train, no keyboard

Publishing this isn’t expected to cause a rift (which didn’t exist already). Italy has long been a success story for ODF (especially in the public sector), so let’s hope relations can be amended.

07.06.20

LibreOffice ‘Personal Edition’ Seems Like a Marketing and Communication Fluke

Posted in FUD, OpenDocument, OpenOffice at 9:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Don’t panic

LibreOffice 'Personal Edition'

Summary: Had LibreOffice developers (and the Document Foundation) communicated these changes more openly, they would have averted/avoided some of the FUD

OVER the weekend, in the “Planet” of LibreOffice, one contributor complained [1] (links below) about what was addressed a day later (Monday) by the Document Foundation [2]. Some sites took notes of the clarification [3], some did click-bait nonsense [4] and others said that it had “raised some alarms since it implies that businesses, governments, schools, or other institutions might need a different license to use LibreOffice in the future.”

“From what we can gather, there’s nothing nefarious and/or sinister here. It was an honest mistake.”Transparency is very important. Had the Document Foundation negotiated this language prior to implementing the changes (in “dev” build), a lot of negative publicity and rumours would be spared. From what we can gather, there’s nothing nefarious and/or sinister here. It was an honest mistake. It served to highlight the need for participation at all levels. To avoid unnecessary misunderstandings always work in the open.

References

  1. Will LibreOffice 7.0 be only Personal Edition for individual use???

    Look at LibreOffice logo with “Personal Edition” phrase, look at sidebar in Start Center with the same phrase and note to “The Personal edition is supported by volunteers and intended for individual use.”
    And what is mean? Where is any public announcement? They say it was in marketing mail list. How many people read that mail list? Five?
    It means that I can’t install LibreOffice 7.0 in any organization in Russia, because our controlling people will be see very simple to legality in this case: open the About dialog -> read that “intended for individual use” and LibreOffice logo with “Personal Edition” -> you can’t use LibreOffice here! Nobody will check what say MPL 2.0 license about it or why TDF made it, they just point a finger at it and they will be right!
    It will close for LibreOffice any education organizations like schools or colleges or universities.
    I wont popularize LibreOffice for young people because they will never see LibreOffice in them schools.
    I against these changes. Please revoke it!

  2. Board statement on the LibreOffice 7.0 RC “Personal Edition” label

    Thanks to the hard work put in by many individual and ecosystem contributors, working together as a team in different fields, such as development, QA, design, marketing, localisation, release engineering, infrastructure, just to mention some, in a few weeks’ time we will be welcoming our LibreOffice 7.0 milestone.

    At the same time, we are discussing our vision for the next five years, with a starting point being marketing and branding. See our marketing and board-discuss mailing lists.

    Due to draft and development work in the area of branding and product naming, some speculation, in particular related to the “Personal Edition” tag shown in a LibreOffice 7.0 RC (Release Candidate), has started on several communication channels. So let us, as The Document Foundation’s Board of Directors, please provide further clarifications:

    1. None of the changes being evaluated will affect the license, the availability, the permitted uses and/or the functionality. LibreOffice will always be free software and nothing is changing for end users, developers and Community members.

    2. Due to the short time frame we are working with, the tagline appeared on the RC and we apologise if this caused some of you to think we unilaterally implemented the change. Rest assured that the consultation with the Community is still ongoing.

  3. The Document Foundation Clarifies LibreOffice 7.0′s “Personal Edition” Branding

    Yes, it’s true the LibreOffice builds in recent days — including the new LibreOffice 7.0 RC1 — have “Personal Edition” branding for the open-source builds. But given user concerns, The Document Foundation board has issued some clarifications to try to ease any immediate rumors, etc.

    The LibreOffice builds provided are indeed marked now as “LibreOffice Personal Edition” as part of planned but not yet finalized marketing changes for LibreOffice. These builds of the open-source office suite remain free and available to anyone without restrictions.

  4. Linux users might find themselves paying money to use LibreOffice one day

    If you are a Linux nerd or Windows user without much money, you probably use LibreOffice. That free software is actually quite good, although Microsoft’s Office is far superior. Regardless of how you feel about the Windows-maker, its office suite of software is second to none. If you use Windows or Mac and can afford it, I always recommend using “real” Word and Excel over knockoffs, such as the aforementioned LibreOffice’s Writer or Calc. Sadly, other than the web version, Microsoft Office is not available for Linux. With that said, as a Linux user, I appreciate LibreOffice’s existence and use it regularly.

    But what if LibreOffice wasn’t free? Would people still use it if it cost money? Some folks became very worried about that exactly, as the release candidate of LibreOffice 7.0 labeled itself as “Personal Edition.” To some, it was a sign that a paid version of LibreOffice was on the horizon. Well, guess what? They weren’t totally wrong. In the future, you might find yourself paying money to use LibreOffice software. According to a new blog post from The Document Foundation Board aimed at quelling fears, however, there is no need to panic.

  5. Lilbits 7-06-2020: LibreOffice Personal Edition?

    LibreOffice is a suite of office applications for creating, editing, and viewing text documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and databases, among other things. LibreOffice is free and open source software. Anyone can download it, use it, and even examine and modify the source code.

    But with version 7.0 set to launch next month, some users have been noticing unusual language in pre-release builds suggesting that LibreOffice “Personal edition” is “intended for individual use.

    That’s raised some alarms since it implies that businesses, governments, schools, or other institutions might need a different license to use LibreOffice in the future.

11.16.19

USPTO Rewards Microsoft for Corruption at ISO by Teaching People Proprietary OOXML and Promoting Its Use

Posted in America, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Patents at 10:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

USPTO locked in

USPTO locked in

Summary: The world’s most important patent office promotes Microsoft lock-in, revealing not only corporate bias but also highlighting ways in which Microsoft crimes continue to pay off

THE U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) seems to be working for famous criminals like Bill Gates et al while ‘dissing’ actual judges (e.g. looking for tricks to overcome 35 U.S.C. § 101 caselaw). It’s starting to remind us of what happens in Europe, where Microsoft bribed a lot of people to rig ISO in Switzerland.

“So the USPTO isn’t just looking to penalise people who aren’t Microsoft customers; now it’s actively advertising OOXML instead of something FOSS-friendly such as OpenDocument Format (ODF) or even PDF.”As we noted here before, the USPTO now considers penalising people for not using Microsoft products/formats. It’s almost as if the Office works for Microsoft to reward it for corruption and it’s no laughing matter. Dennis Crouch has quoted the USPTO: “Join us for a seminar on filing DOCX, which is structured text. The DOCX Information Sessions will start Wednesday, November 13 from 2-3 p.m. ET. We will discuss DOCX as an efficient way to file a patent application electronically. You’ll learn what the DOCX format is, how you can use it to file nonprovisional utility applications, and the benefits it provides to you and your patent applications.”

Donald Zuhn has also just mentioned that: “In a Patent Alert e-mail distributed today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced that it will be offering several seminars on how to use DOCX for EFS-Web filings and on PAIR. The DOCX Information Sessions will focus on the advantages of filing patent applications using structured text (DOCX).”

So the USPTO isn’t just looking to penalise people who aren’t Microsoft customers; now it’s actively advertising OOXML instead of something FOSS-friendly such as OpenDocument Format (ODF) or even PDF. This is an ongoing problem which we will likely revisit if (or when) the USPTO makes these penalties official.

07.15.19

Microsoft Office 360 Banned

Posted in Microsoft, Office Suites, OpenDocument, Standard at 2:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Microsoft implemented ODF with all the grace of a 6 year old asked to tidy up their room”

Jeremy Allison, LCA 2010

Summary: OpenDocument Format (ODF, a real standard everyone can implement) and Free/libre software should be taught in schools; it’s not supposed to be just a matter of privacy

Days ago we included in our daily links some early reports about Microsoft Office 360 getting banned in German schools. CBS (ZDNet) is helping Microsoft spin all this with a bunch of lies [1], but this development must worry Microsoft as it can inspire other countries and even non-schools to do the same. We’ve meanwhile noticed (hours ago) that some “Linux sites” promote proprietary software with “ribbons” and OOXML [2] (because there are binaries for Ubuntu). Why not Free/libre software? Are bloggers really this clueless? What does one gain by swapping one piece of proprietary software with another? Or one surveillance form (Microsoft) with another (Google)?

Software Freedom needs to be stressed more and more for such poor advocacy to be discouraged. Choosing something like Google or Apple instead of Microsoft isn’t swapping digital slavery with freedom but instead just swapping ‘masters’.

Update: For the second time in just hours [3] that same “Linux site” promotes yet another piece of proprietary software as a “replacement” for Microsoft Office.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Microsoft Office 365: Banned in German schools over privacy fears
  2. FreeOffice July Update Adds MS Office 2019 Support, Classic Interface Option

    A major update to FreeOffice by SoftMaker, a gratis set of productivity apps modelled after Microsoft Office, is now available to download.

    Dubbed the “anniversary update”, the latest version of this office suite intros compatibility with the latest Microsoft Office file formats.

    All three apps in the family, TextMaker, PlanMaker and Presentations, are said to be fully compatible with the latest Microsoft Office file formats, allowing users to open, edit and save in native Office formats like .docx.

    The suite now lets users choose an interface layout, with the standard “Ribbon” interface mode and a more traditional menu-based UI available.

  3. Microsoft Office Clone ‘SoftMaker Office 2018’ Sees Summer Update

    Do keep in mind that SoftMaker Office 2018 is not free software so you will need to buy a subscription or make a one-off purchase to use it longterm.

12.01.18

Patent Offices Reward Microsoft for Corruption

Posted in America, Europe, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 5:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

No-OOXML

Summary: The EPO and Britain’s UKIPO join the USPTO in making Microsoft’s proprietary format the ‘standard’ in filing; this merely perpetuates the negative publicity associated with patent offices

THIS IS not an unfamiliar topic. A decade ago (or more) we wrote hundreds of articles about Microsoft’s OOXML-related abuses. Corrupt European Patent Office (EPO) officials now help the abusers from Microsoft by advancing their fake ‘standard’ that they bribed and corrupted ISO for. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) does too, but the latter is based in the US (where Microsoft is based, unlike ISO, which is Europe-centric).

“We suppose they’re perfectly OK being agents of Microsoft, rewarding the company for its corruption instead of embracing open standards anyone can use (not just clients of Microsoft).”As IP Kat put it two days ago: “The EPO and UKIPO are teaming up to make online filing easier to understand. In the EPO and UKIPO online services workshop you will learn about the EPO’s web-based online filing system and the second phase of the DOCX filing pilot. Witness a live demonstration of Mailbox and hear an overview of best practice interaction with the EPO.”

No ODF pilot? Why not? We suppose they’re perfectly OK being agents of Microsoft, rewarding the company for its corruption instead of embracing open standards anyone can use (not just clients of Microsoft).

03.13.17

Ten Years Later, Microsoft Admission on Dirty Tricks and Borderline Corruption Which It Uses to This Day in Order to Suppress GNU/Linux Adoption in Desktops

Posted in Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument at 7:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Munich, pay attention

“I have decided that we should not publish these extensions. We should wait until we have a way to do a high level of integration that will be harder for the likes of Notes, Wordperfect to achieve, and which will give Office a real advantage.”

Bill Gates [PDF]

Summary: Remarkable new admission from the former head of Microsoft Office development, who makes it no secret that the war over file formats (trying to pass off proprietary formats as a ‘standard’) was “a critical competitive moat” (denying the competition access to the desktop)

Microsoft is a very corrupt company. I should know. I wrote many thousands of articles about it, including nearly 1,000 articles about the OOXML saga (almost as many as the EPO saga that makes the US counterpart look like an angel).

I’ve noticed something over the past few years, and I cannot understand if it’s due to erosion of collective memory or due to young people joining in, with little or no understanding of Microsoft’s past (which mostly continues to present, just better veiled or misleadingly marketed). Reddit actually censored a link to this article of ours about Microsoft's ongoing attacks on Free software proponents. It was deleted from the Linux subreddit. Is this like a new thing? Cannot criticise Microsoft even in Linux-centric forums? It had a lot of upvotes and comments. It was on topic and widely appreciated by most. We have been hearing similar things over the past two weeks in relation to other forums, but were unable to verify with strong enough evidence that this was a conscious decision to gag members who had criticised Microsoft. Is the “Microsoft loves Linux” charm offensive targeting enough gullible people to actually be effective?

“Is the “Microsoft loves Linux” charm offensive targeting enough gullible people to actually be effective?”Anyway, this new article was brought up yesterday in the Linux subreddit. It is not directly about GNU/Linux, but as the title put it, “Former head of Microsoft Office development brags that file formats were “a critical competitive moat””

So now they admit this so openly. Having infected so many infrastructures with OOXML lock-in, which typically limits or prevents access by Free software users. Or has developers wasting a lot of time chasing a bogus ‘standard’ that even Microsoft cannot implement or conform to.

“Gates spoke about breaking compatibility on numerous occasions (that we caught him in antitrust exhibits). The above is just one example among several which we covered here before.”This head of Microsoft Office development wrote: “This is probably already way too long but I also wanted to just touch on the ongoing discussions we had with Bill Gates over my entire career at Microsoft that directly related to these perspectives on complexity.”

Gates spoke about breaking compatibility on numerous occasions (that we caught him in antitrust exhibits). The above is just one example among several which we covered here before.

The thugs from Microsoft, for those who cannot recall articles from one decade ago, bribed, colluded and did even worse things for OOXML. The whole thing was a culmination of desperate need to counter fair competition through ODF. Microsoft was put under investigations, but just like Battistelli at the EPO it always managed to get away with it. It never got punished for it. It was absolutely extraordinary and it demonstrated what a large corporation can get away with. It was a good example of when crime pays off, and one manages to stay out of jail “because well-connected” or “that’s just business” or “we deny the allegations.”

“Well, the only ‘standard’ Microsoft accepts and embraces is Microsoft.”In Reddit, a lot of people commented about this issue. One person said: “I’ve said before that even Microsoft couldn’t re-implement MS Office file formats in another product with perfect compatibility, and here they admit it!’

They almost admitted it before and we quoted them on it. Nobody ever implemented OOXML, not even Microsoft. It was just a mirage ‘standard’ — or the mere pretense that Microsoft and its proprietary software adhere to industry standards. Well, the only ‘standard’ Microsoft accepts and embraces is Microsoft. None of that has changed. All other embraces are “embrace, extend, extinguish” (EEE). Right now it’s trying to interject such bogus 'standards' into Free/Open source software.

06.12.15

The World is Already Leaving Microsoft Windows Behind, in Favour of ODF, Free Software, and GNU/Linux (Usually in Turn)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Office Suites, OpenDocument, Standard, Windows at 6:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Windows too old and long in the tooth

Windows

Summary: The ongoing migration of various governments to Free/libre software contributes to the demise of Microsoft’s monopoly and common carrier

“REPORTS suggest Windows phone users are jumping ship with sales in rapid decline,” said the British media earlier this week (title is “Microsoft has a very big problem”). Linux and Android are certainly still gaining. When one switches completely to GNU/Linux, embrace of OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Free/libre software is often implied. It’s virtually imperative. It’s like the ultimate and most complete switch, whereas embrace of open standards or Free software alone tends to be ‘softer’ or rather restrained, staged, and at times hesitant. There is lobbying against each at varying (depending on perceived risk or severity) levels of granularity.

“Someone inside GE recently told me that GE was quietly dumping Windows for Linux in its lucrative CT scanners business.”Microsoft is in trouble and there is no denying that.

According to British media, Vista 8 continues to be a disaster technically and in some nations, unsurprisingly, GNU/Linux has greater market share than the latest Vista (Windows 8.1). The desktop monopoly too is in jeopardy, especially where governments made it their policy to embrace Free/libre software (Uruguay and Venezuela in this case).

Here in the UK the National Health Service (NHS), longtime prisoner of Microsoft, is putting up resistance and considering Free software in a growing number of operations. Making the huge mistake of putting Microsoft Windows in medical devices or facilities is not forgivable. Someone inside GE recently told me that GE was quietly dumping Windows for Linux in its lucrative CT scanners business. According to this new report, X-ray scanners (causing cancer) are behaving badly because of Windows. To quote: “the device proved an easy target. TrapX’s team was able to use an exploit for a known weakness in the Windows 2000 operating system to establish what TrapX refers to as a “pivot” – or point of control- on their test network from which they could attack other systems. After creating a backdoor into the device, TrapX researchers added a new user to the system and decrypted the local user password. The company was then able to extract the database files that would contain medical information.”

“In due course, having removed the Office barrier/hurdle, HMRC can move to GNU/Linux because Google is purely Web-based.”This can become ground for many lawsuits from patients or families of dead patients. This is the sort of scandal that ought to push all British government departments which still use Windows XP immediately to GNU/Linux. No version of Windows is secure; the underlying encryption (proprietary) tends to have back doors. Every piece of proprietary software must be assumed insecure until proven otherwise (by becoming Free software and standards-compliant). There are moves in this direction, namely of standards, in Sweden [1] and in Holland [2,3], with calls growing for the NHS to embrace openness [4]. There is an increasing push towards Free/libre software, not just open standards (which relate to one another). The governments in Europe should move to Free software like LibreOffice, where interoperability becomes trivial, to borrow Andy Updegrove’s latest arguments [5], but alas, as we noted the other day (alluding to the UK, Sweden, and India), HMRC is moving from one proprietary office suite to another. Here is the ‘damage control’ from Microsoft, which is trying to avoid the impression of being dumped. To quote the British press, “MICROSOFT HAS HIT BACK at claims that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has dumped the firm in favour of Google’s cloud apps.

“The move, first reported at The Register, will see 70,000 HMRC employees switching from Microsoft’s productivity offering to Google’s cloud-based apps services.”

Google will emphasise ODF support (open standards), but it is not Free/libre software. In due course, having removed the Office barrier/hurdle, HMRC can move to GNU/Linux because Google is purely Web-based. HMRC’s footsteps are likely to be followed by other British government departments (owing to ODF as a national requirement for editable document), taking away some of Microsoft’s most lucrative contracts (British government) and showing other governments across the world that they too can dump Microsoft and proprietary software, not just Windows. Office is the cash cow, Windows is the common carrier. The demise of one leads to the demise of the other.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Sweden refines specifications of open standards

    Sweden’s governmental procurement specialists at Statens inköpscentral are fine-tuning the list of ICT standards that public authorities may use as mandatory requirements when procuring software and ICT services. The procurement agency is working with standardisation specialists at the University of Skövde, to check which ICT standards are truly open.

  2. Dutch MP wants sanctions to enforce open standards

    Public administrations that continue to ignore the policy to implement open standards in their ICT solutions should be fined, says Dutch MP Astrid Oosenbrug. “Public administrations should come to grips with open data, open standards and open source. With all their talk about regaining the trust of their citizens and creating a participatory society, public administrations should take a cue from open source communities.”

  3. Dutch government agency switches core services to open source

    Public administrations that switch to open source regain financial scalability, says Jan-Taeke Schuilenga, IT architect at DUO, the Dutch government agency managing the financing of the country’s educational institutions. “We had reached the limit of proprietary licence possibilities. Switching to open source gave us freedom of choice.”

  4. Open data could save the NHS hundreds of millions, says top UK scientist

    The UK government must open up and highlight the power of more basic data sets to improve patient care in the NHS and save hundreds of millions of pounds a year, Nigel Shadbolt, chairman of the Open Data Institute (ODI) has urged.

  5. Licensing Standards that Include Code: Heads or Tails?

    Once upon a time, standards were standards and open source software was open source software (OSS), and the only thing people worried about was whether the copyright and patent rules relating to the standards would prevent them from being implemented in OSS. Actually, that was complicated enough, but it seems simple in comparison now that OSS is being included in the standards themselves. Now what?

    If this sounds unusual and exotic, it isn’t. In fact, code has been creeping into standards for years, often without the keepers of the intellectual property rights (IPR) Policies governing the standards even being aware of it.

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