09.20.07

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Russia Hops on the OpenDocument Bandwagon As Well

Posted in Asia, Formats, OpenDocument, Standard at 3:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Only a day after Holland had confirmed its choice of OpenDocument format, Russia was confirmed to have done the same, or at least approached a similar policy.

The stated rationale for this legislation is that “open standards will contribute to an increased number of bidders for government contracts and will increase opportunities for Russian software developers… [and] the problem of interoperability will be addressed as will the ability to access information into the future.”

This does not surprise all that much because The Register dropped some clues almost a month ago.

The Russian Government has taken a step towards endorsing ODF through an e-government program that would mandate use of software that conforms to “widely used standards” in all government contracts.

According to the Russian Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications “within the project to form an e-government concept in the Russian Federation, support of ISO/IEC 26300: 2006 is planned.”

The move has been welcomed by the Open Document Format Alliance, which said in a statement that Russia is “sending a message worldwide that software should be affordable, innovative and accessible, now and for the foreseeable future.”

Meanwhile, all schools in a very large region of Russia are moving to GNU/Linux. This was reported by the press just a couple of days ago. It followed a successful pilot project.

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4 Comments

  1. Sam Hiser said,

    September 20, 2007 at 6:35 pm

    Gravatar

    Given that the EU ruling was so strong, and it addresses the business practices that are askew in so many other areas — including OOXML — I wonder, Roy, if we’ll see ODF adoptions accelerating on the premise that Microsoft can be controlled?

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 20, 2007 at 7:47 pm

    Gravatar

    I don’t believe it’s just Microsoft and OOXML. You could look further at other companies and other areas where there is monopoly abuse. Given the value of the Microsoft case which becomes a precedence, it is unsurprising to see some aggressive reaction, e.g.:

    Kroes slams US criticism of EU Microsoft ruling

    Kroes said that it was “unacceptable” that a representative of the US judiciary should criticise a court of law outside his jurisdiction.

    “It is absolutely not done,” she told journalists on Wednesday.

    “The European commission does not pass judgement on US rulings and we should expect the same from the US.”

    And yes, I know you discussed this much further in your blog. I read that. Here’s one which is a day younger:

    Microsoft sets spinners on court verdict

    Microsoft may have lost in court, but it quickly tried to win the war of media reaction via organisations like CompTIA, the Computing Technology Industry Association and ACT (the Association for Competitive Technology) which both intervened in court on its side.

    Don’t we already know ACT and CompTIA, which did the Microsoft spin on OOXML and GPLv3 as well? They are both Microsoft lobbying arm. There are a few more I am aware of and there are many examples that show their vile behavior.

    A couple of weeks ago I caught this one (just one among a long series of mandatory disclosures):

    Microsoft Paid Lobbyist $160,000

    Microsoft Paid Paid Bingham McCutchen $160,000 to Lobby Federal Gov’t in First Half of 2007

    There were many more a month ago. What we perceived as a democracy isn’t quite so, apparently.

    Just for fun, here are a few more that I can pull off my (digital) sleeve:

    US politicians go to bat for Microsoft

    Report Says Nonprofits Sold Influence to Abramoff

    E-mails released by the committee show that Abramoff, often with the knowledge of the groups’ leaders, exploited the tax-exempt status and leveraged the stature of the organizations to build support among conservatives for legislation or government action sought by clients including Microsoft Corp., mutual fund company DH2 Inc., Primedia Inc.’s Channel One Network, and Brown-Forman, maker of Jack Daniel’s whiskey.

    Politicians in Microsoft’s Pocket

    Continuing on the theme of which politicians are receiving money from who. Here is a list of candidates who took money from MSFT.

    Politics and tech companies: follow the money

    Microsoft took first place with $651,100 given out, while Hewlett-Packard gave only $185,550, and Gateway gave a paltry $2,000. Microsoft’s donations certainly illustrate well the true size of the company and the extent of its political concerns.

    Microsoft Finds Legal Defender in Justice Dept.

    Nearly a decade after the government began its landmark effort to break up Microsoft, the Bush administration has sharply changed course by repeatedly defending the company both in the United States and abroad against accusations of anticompetitive conduct, including the recent rejection of a complaint by Google.

    [...]

    In the most striking recent example of the policy shift, the top antitrust official at the Justice Department last month urged state prosecutors to reject a confidential antitrust complaint filed by Google that is tied to a consent decree that monitors Microsoft’s behavior. Google has accused Microsoft of designing its latest operating system, Vista, to discourage the use of Google’s desktop search program, lawyers involved in the case said.

    Lessig: Required Reading: the next 10 years

    Yet governments continue to push ahead with this idiot idea — both Britain and Japan for example are considering extending existing terms. Why?

    The answer is a kind of corruption of the political process. Or better, a “corruption” of the political process. I don’t mean corruption in the simple sense of bribery. I mean “corruption” in the sense that the system is so queered by the influence of money that it can’t even get an issue as simple and clear as term extension right.

  3. John Drinkwater said,

    September 21, 2007 at 6:39 am

    Gravatar

    I’m confused; didn’t Russia just vote approval for OOXML? I know it’s not mutually exclusive, but it doesn’t seem very sensible. Maybe it was a case of left-hand/right-hand – with one hand getting a monkey ;)

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 21, 2007 at 9:52 am

    Gravatar

    Russia voted blindly on OOXML.

    http://boycottnovell.com/2007/09/17/ooxml-russia/

    Maybe there are those who think and those who are manipulated (or paid to ‘think’). It sounds like Russia’s vote on OOXML was just a case of sloppiness.

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