Bonum Certa Men Certa

Why ISO and Microsoft Will Share a Bad Headache Until June

Under investigation, under great pressure, scrutiny

Our recent coverage of the situation at ISO was almost excessively critical [1, 2, 3], but we are by no means alone. Glyn Moody has just taken a look at the latest FAQ to judge it for himself and he was equally appalled by what he found. Among his observations:

This is amazing: since when did proprietary lock-in represent “additional functionality”? That's a bit like saying handcuffs offer “additional functionality” to boring old handcuff-less freedom. Proprietary lock-in - even when dignified with the euphemistic moniker of "legacy documents" - is what open standards are supposed to avoid; touting it as an “extra” is a simple betrayal of the fundamental underlying idea.

[...]

In other words, ISO's FAQ, designed to quell the storm, ends up confirming many of the very issues its critics have raised, and feeding it. Well, I suppose that's a kind of progress.


How did ISO end up sidling with a single company that went face to face against an entire industry? ISO will probably blame ECMA and Microsoft will surely give credit to ECMA, but at the end of the day it is clear that this system of (mis)trust is utterly broken and it needs to be fixed very quickly, before other proprietary technologies like XPS are passed as 'standards' on the Fast Track.

Remember that XPS can be made reliant on modules of OOXML, which itself, as we already know, is rather horrific. Under the "it's already an ISO standard" excuse, this sordid mess can be further complicated with dependencies that bring a whole chain that makes a proprietary stack. How long before Windows is made a standard a la POSIX? (the sarcasm of desperation should be noted here)

IBM, which is merely one among hundreds of ODF supporters, has just published the following article about OpenDocument Format for those who intend to read a primer.

The OASIS Open Document Format for Office Applications (ODF) is an XML standard that lets you store and exchange office application documents, including word-processor, spreadsheet, and presentation files. Whether you try to perform special tasks on files saved from such applications or work on applications to process such files, you should become familiar with this important format. Learn about the two possible forms of OpenDocument files, as multipart packages and as single XML documents, and learn how to structure text and tabular information in OpenDocument.


There is something else which is worth highlighting today. In the Indian press, the following headline has just turned up: "Microsoft never opposed ODF". Why not implement it then? Why duplicate? Why literally go against the entire industry? Why run a smear campaign against ODF? Why steal Document Freedom Day?

Here in this article you have Microsoft even admitting that OOXML is deficient.

It is almost impossible to resolve 100% of issues, as you are resolving some issues which you have identified like software codes, someone would come with 2-3 new issues.

And that is why standards go into maintenance, and maintenance is of two kinds - to fix any flaws that had been identified or may get identified or to add any new capabilities to the standard. If there are issues that could be resolved later on, then members take this to the standards body as it was out of the hands of the Microsoft. So, this vote kind of reflects that sentiment.


In other words, Microsoft shoved a buggy set of specifications, which Office will never have implemented by the way, down ISO's threat. It's left for ISO to choke on.

On the brighter side of things, the abuses for an ISO (and inside ISO) are being studies by the European Commission (EC) which is yet to report back. It has almost two months left, during which OOXML as an ISO standard can be retracted and ISO left very embarrassed, humiliated and even publicly shamed using the EC's findings. In the mean time, having gathered initial evidence that Microsoft has not changed its ways, Europe will continue to evaluate its migration to GNU/Linux as well as a Microsoft embargo (at a a high level, namely government tier). There are several newer articles that cover these developments, including:



The Commission, which has not responded yet, is allowed a few weeks to reply.




A European MP has called for the EU to stop doing business with Microsoft until it complies with an order to open up to competition.


Recall that recent video which shows Neelie Kroes as she speaks about the price of fleeting [sic] the rules. This could be expensive for Microsoft. It is a matter of contracts and reputation, not just heavy fines. For reasons that we highlighted before, the United States is unlikely to intervene as it should.

"I'm sorry that we have to have a Washington presence. We thrived during our first 16 years without any of this. I never made a political visit to Washington and we had no people here. It wasn't on our radar screen. We were just making great software."

--Bill Gates

Recent Techrights' Posts

[Meme] His Lips Moved
Here is your national "news" for today
statCounter: GNU/Linux Exceeded 6% in Asia Last Month (Compared to 4% Just 12 Months Earlier)
numbers may be biased
What the End of Journalism Looks Like
All on the same day
Links 01/03/2024: Microsoft 'Retiring' More Services and Raspberry Pi Celebrates 3rd Birthday (Launched on February 29th, 2012)
Links for the day
Women's Empowerment
Sponsored by Bill Gates
Gemini Links 01/03/2024: Speed Bumps and Analog Stuff
Links for the day
[Meme] Those Greedy EPO Examiners
Says the litigation industry, charging 300 euros an hour per attorney
EPO Discriminates Against Families of Its Own Workers, the Union Explains Legal Basis Upon Which It's Likely Illegal and Must be Challenged
To the Council, the EPO boasts about its wealth (seeking to impress by how much breaking the law "pays off")
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 29, 2024
IRC logs for Thursday, February 29, 2024
Links 01/03/2024: Misuse of Surveillance Against UK-Based Journalism, EPO Conflict Now in the Media
Links for the day
Taking a Break From Paid Promotion of the Illegal, Unconstitutional Kangaroo Court for Patents (UPC)
JUVE returns to its 'roots'?
FSFE admits losing funds from bequest by insulting and ignoring Fellowship representative
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Gemini Links 29/02/2024: Raspberry Pi Incus Cluster and Aya 0.5.0 Coming Soon
Links for the day
Links 29/02/2024: Layoffs at Apple, Expedia, and Electronic Arts
Links for the day
Gemini Links 29/02/2024: Web Enshittification and Firefox user-agents
Links for the day
Spiked Piece/Censoreed Piece: 'Microsoft Copilot is a gimmick', says top CIO
Issues relate to connectivity and cost
Enrico Zini, Mattia Rizzolo, Plagiarism & Debian
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
[Meme] Clergy of GNU/Linux (Corporations Like IBM)
Volunteers as powerless "followers" of companies that "harvest" their labour
There Will Be Lots More Apple Layoffs (Already Years in the Making)
The corporate media still tries to shape the narrative to prevent panic or delay market hysteria
Latest SUEPO (Staff Union of EPO) Report For The Hague Reveals EPO Does Not Obey Court Orders, Refuses to Allow Workers to Freely Talk to One Another
working in a place where communication itself is restricted
[Meme] The Oppression Will Continue Until EPO 'Quality' Improves
wonder why EPO morale is so low?
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 28, 2024
IRC logs for Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Outreachy, GSoC-mentors & Debian-Private may soon become public records in federal court
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Links 28/02/2024: Many War Updates and Censorship
Links for the day
Gemini Links 28/02/2024: Social Control Media Notifications and Gemini Protocol Extended
Links for the day
Links 28/02/2024: Microsoft the Plagiarist is Projecting, Food Sector Adopts Surge Pricing
Links for the day
Helping Microsoft 'Hijack' Developers (to Make Them Work for Microsoft, Not the Competition)
VS Code is proprietary spyware of Microsoft. Jack Wallen keeps promoting its use.
Gemini Links 28/02/2024: Groupthink and the 'Problem' With Linux
Links for the day
Android Rising (Windows Down to All-Time Lows, Internationally)
This month was a bloodbath for Microsoft
HexChat Looks for Successors to Keep IRC Growing
IRC is far from dead
[Meme] Just Make Him Happy
Y U no produce more monopolies?
End of a Long February
top 10 posts
[Meme] The EPO's Relationship With Patent Examiners
Nobody is "safe"
New Pension Scheme (NPS) at the European Patent Office Explained at the General Assembly
Investing in the future, or...
Donald Trump & FSFE Matthias Kirschner election denial
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 27, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, February 27, 2024