Bonum Certa Men Certa

More Media Manipulation -- Shills Promote Document Format Lockin

If you can't earn support, then buy support

Here we go again. In the latest among a long series of deceitful moves, Microsoft pulls another trick in order to encourage acceptance of its lockin (formats monopoly).

At this point, we have three deals with Linux vendors that are in Microsoft's pocket as far as document formats are concerned. Xandros, Novell, and Linspire seem committed to their binding contract. Corel could be considered here as well. It's not about the quality of the format. Instead, it's all about the money flow. Format monoculture is in fact a major part of these deals, which helps protect and strengthen Microsoft's grip on the office suites market.

Here, however, is the latest. Now we have another Microsoft 'pal' making an appearance in the media. Nowhere does it say anything about affiliation. There is no disclosure. The discussion is at times warped from a technical one into a political one (we have seen that before), e.g.:

Finally, he said that many people were worsening the situation by confusing the ISO's health and safety standards, which are often enforced by member countries as law, and technical specifications such as Open XML.


That's the guy whom Microsoft paid to edit Wikipedia in Microsoft's favour. He attends Microsoft's events and drinks the kool-aid. He is essentially a Microsoft consultant and therefore not an "Open Standards advocate" as the article suggests. This could be yet another media manoeuvre, which is similar to many others that we regularly find.

It goes beyond the media however. Consider the fact that Microsoft employees are voting on behalf of Microsoft at the ISO. Isn't 'democracy' a wonderful thing? We thought that Microsoft had "voted for choice", according to its own press releases. Let's just suppose Microsoft mind who it is that votes.

You might still recall the latest endeavour to get ODF support in the United States. People set their eyes on New York, but as it turns out Microsoft is now taking over the the NYS legislature, setting rules that are hostile toward open source.

Microsoft’s proposed change to state law would effectively render our current requirements for escrow and the ability for independent review of source code in the event of disputes completely meaningless - and with it the protections the public fought so hard for.


This makes you wonder what will happen to ODF proposals there. Microsoft is above the law. It's not a compliment, but a strong criticism. Will companies learn to say "no"? Will governments finally intervene?

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