Bonum Certa Men Certa

Lunch with Microsoft to Talk About ODF, Which it is Attacking

Time to eat



Summary: ODF -- just like Java -- has Microsoft getting close to it only to break it

Microsoft, an ODF Slugfest



NOT much has changed since Microsoft bought dinner for ODF panels and even flew over journalists to nice places where they got brainwashed against ODF and in favour of OOXML. In general, this practice of pampering the press to control news coverage is particularly important when the products in question are simply terrible [1, 2]. Sponsorships, beer and bribes of some form are also common and those with impact are being stalked by Microsoft. It is part of its strategy to even keep dossiers on journalists.



It is with all that in mind that we found curious the following Microsoft encounter with David Worthington from the SD Times. He was having lunch with Microsoft and they told him lies. For example:

Paoli indirectly responded to recent criticism that Microsoft was engaged in a FUD campaign against ODF (I forgot what the criticism was exactly) by pointing out that Office 2007 adds support for the format, and that Microsoft has included ODF in its developers' tooling and plug fests.


This is a lie. Microsoft has been engaging in FUD against ODF all along [1, 2]. The examples are well documented and it continues to this date. Microsoft perhaps hopes that by having lunch with journalists it can rewrite history and make people less aware of its real motives.

Microsoft's editing of the Wikipedia article on ODF has not quite ended yet. Here is where one can find Alex Brown and Albert (HAl) telling people what to think about ODF. Also see:



Over at Twitter, the Microsoft partners/MVPs/others still mock IBM regarding ODF. They also mock ODF, thus showing how much Microsoft hates ODF. Microsoft gets close to ODF only to cause it damage while pretending to support it [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. Microsoft used the exact same tactics against Java.

ODF Plugfest



In more positive news, Rob Weir shares the ODF TC timeline, which he first presented at the ODF Plugfest. There is a lot of good coverage from the Plugfest, such as this from Heise.

The first ODF Plugfest has brought together both corporate and independent developers to test the interoperability of Open Document Format (ODF) documents. As Microsoft showed earlier this year, it is possible to comply with the ODF specification but not offer useful interoperability with other software that reads ODF. The Plugfest, held in the Hague, Netherlands, was initiated by the Dutch government which is promoting the "Three Os", Open Standards, Open Content and Open Source, and is pushing for the adoption of ODF as an open document format. The Plugfest opened with a speech from Frank Heemskerk, the Netherlands' Minister of Foreign Trade, who asked the attendees "to go beyond compliance and help achieve broad-based open standards".


There is also some coverage in German, not to mention the following article where a Dutch minister fails to see that ODF interoperability issues are mostly caused by Microsoft.

The Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade, Frank Heemskerk, wants Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, Google, Adobe and open source software developers to work together on interoperability in applications using the Open Document Format (ODF).

The minister's opened the ODF Interoperability Workshop that took place in the city of The Hague on Monday last week. "ODF applications must have the right degree of interoperability. We have to come up with a joint course of action for developing effective ODF support in each other's products."


The FSF's position is that "Microsoft Office tries to break ODF". Microsoft is indeed trying to break ODF (in French), so Frank Heemskerk should be notified.

Here is KDE's report from the event.

The first ODF Plugfest was held on the 15th and 16th of June 2009 in the Royal Library in the Netherlands. The meeting was initiated by the Dutch government and the OpenDoc Society. Jos van den Oever, brand new employee of KO GmbH and Sven Langkamp, proud developer, went on behalf of the KOffice team. With over forty organisations and a total of sixty representatives from businesses, public sector organizations, open source projects and research institutions, the meeting was an incredible success.


OpenOffice.org has meanwhile augmented language support [1, 2] and the OOo Ninja blog shows that Microsoft Office just keeps getting more and more bloated.

What's worse is this diagnostic took at least 20 minutes to finish on a nice dual-core with 2GB RAM.

[...]

OpenOffice.org isn't necessarily have a reptutation for being lean itself, but developers are pushing hard to make OpenOffice.org 3.2 the fastest version yet. Stay tuned for more.


Yet Microsoft insists that Office is a quality product. To ODF, Microsoft Office does more harm than good. It's in the interest of shareholders, not computer users.

“It’s a Simple Matter of [Microsoft’s] Commercial Interests!“

--Microsoft on OOXML



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