11.30.06

History’s Lesson: Microsoft May Use Novell to Kill OpenOffice, ODF

Posted in Antitrust, Deals, Deception, Formats, Microsoft, Novell, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Standard at 3:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Corel has just announced that it would support OpenDocument (ODF) format, as well as Microsoft’s competing format. OpenOffice, on the other hand, based on Novell’s Web site, will remain committed to OpenDocument format. And yet, the recent deal with Microsoft suggests that OpenOffice will also add Microsoft’s format, which is perceived as ODF-hostile. It gives Microsoft control over the standard and it is not supported by other office suites. This could soon eliminate interoperability. It not intended to happen; not before the deal with Microsoft anyway. I am reminded of the following chain of stories thanks to a friend of mine.

LinuxWorld: With the recent investment by Microsoft (in Corel), many people in the Linux community are concerned about your various Linux projects getting derailed. What effect will there be on your Linux ambitions?

Rene Schmidt: Essentially, with Linux, we are very committed to it. And with Microsoft is not anti-Linux or anything. It is really about .Net. It is really about the Web…. [Linux is] not really any different than any other platform, whether it is a Macintosh platform or a Windows platform that provides services through the application. So from our point of view it is not something that hampers what we are doing on Linux. In fact, it provides new opportunities in Linux.

LinuxWorld So your next release of Corel Linux will come out on schedule and as planned?

Rene Schmidt: Yes. We are working on a server edition and we are also working on an enhanced version of the desktop and the server combined together to provide enterprise solutions. They are slated for next year.

Now, have a look at this: Microsoft Faces New Antitrust Probe Over Corel Deal

Government lawyers want to know more about a deal in which Microsoft gave Corel, perhaps best known for its WordPerfect program, $135 million in exchange for 24 million shares of Corel stock last October.

After the investment, Corel announced it would retreat from developing software designed to run on the Linux operating system, which competes with Microsoft’s Windows operating system. Linux is favored by some in the high-tech industry because it opens up a blueprint of its code to the public, in an “open source” model.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said yesterday that he and a coalition of 17 other states and the District of Columbia that have sued Microsoft for other antitrust violations plan to look into the Corel investment as well. “We’re particularly concerned about any adverse effect on Linux,” Miller said.

Another case of acquiring your competitors to elbow rivals out of the way, eh? Novell is Microsoft’s weapon against the Linux community. I strongly advise you to boycott Novell before it’s too late.

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