07.20.08

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ODF More Widely Adopted; Microsoft Wants to Destroy It, Kindly

Posted in Deception, ECMA, Formats, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 5:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“That would be because we believe in Free Software and doing the right thing (a practice you appear to have given up on). Maybe it is time the term ‘open source’ also did the decent thing and died out with you.”

Alan Cox to Eric Raymond

M

icrosoft and Openness is like the opening of a bank account. To Microsoft, what’s known as “Openness” (not Freedom) is just a business model, designed to ensure increase or at least maintenance of precious revenue streams. It’s hardly about permitting fair competition; rather, it’s a case of marketing, as Tim Bray recently emphasised.

As we showed yesterday, Microsoft is stuffing while Alex brown is bluffing for a good reason or two. The following brilliant analysis from Groklaw adds some more possible motives:

Bottom line to me? I think Microsoft sees a way to make some money with ODF, but it wants to change it to suit its own needs better. It didn’t participate in the ODF process, although it was free to suggest anything it wanted. Now, when it looks like the world really does want ODF instead of OOXML, surrogates are sending a dual message — first, that ODF has won, so OOXML isn’t worth fighting any more (and anyone who does is an “extremist” anti-Microsoft whiner), and two, that OASIS isn’t able to do a good job with ODF, so the same folks who brought you OOXML should take it over.

[...]

Because Microsoft’s not done until ODF won’t run? By that I mean, run as it does. They are not meeting for nothing, in my opinion. It’s not busywork. There is an agenda, no longer quite so hidden. It’s the opening part of the effort to take over ODF control, I think, so Microsoft can make it less open, probably, so as to make buckets of money from it, without Microsoft having to actually be open. On that page on What is Rick Smoking?, you’ll find a list of who was to go to the meeting of this advisory group, and a commenter says, “So a quick tally shows that there will be 25 participants, of which 12 are Ecma TC45 members (as listed) or Microsoft employees (Brett Roberts, Dave Welsh, Jasper Bojsen, Kimmo Bergius, Shahzad Rana and Wemba Opota).”

Get the picture? Is that who you want in charge of ODF?

The denialists and revisionists from ISO have already tried to hide and rewrite what had happened. They potentially hope to repeat history and destroy ODF (or OASIS), too. They’ll face opposition, which they try to neutralise by being coy.

On a brighter note, Charles had this encouraging news to share: “Adobe’s sequel to Buzzword, the most elegant online word processor, is not just fully integrated into Adobe’s latest online services. It does export to ODF!”

Erwin has some more fantastic news. [via Bob Sutor]

Due to my past involvement in OpenOffice.org and ODF, I was curious to find out if and where the SAP products already support the ISO standard OpenDocument Format. I was happily surprised when I found out that ODF is already supported by the SAP List Viewer component (also known as the ABAP List Viewer or ALV), which is used many many times in all kinds of areas for displaying tabular data in a grid. The SAP List Viewer component allows exporting to ODF spreadsheet files in addition to Microsoft Excel files. This feature is available on systems with release numbers 6.40 and higher and works for all 3 members of the SAP GUI family including the SAP GUI for Java.

For what it’s worth, here is some good new analysis from Rex Ballard.


Message-ID: <d7f43565-1c2b-4b42-bdc9-ddea1d85c5f9@y21g2000hsf.googlegroups.com>
From: Rex Ballard <rex.ballard@gmail.com>
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
Subject: Re: [Rival] The Microsoft OOXML Circus and Manipulation in Details
Date: Sat, 19 Jul 2008 15:44:35 -0700 (PDT)

On Jul 20, 12:54 am, Roy Schestowitz <newsgro…@schestowitz.com>
wrote:


> ISO/IEC Recommendations on Appeals & Latest ODF News – Complete document as
> text
>
> ,—-[ Quote ]
> | Bottom line to me? I think Microsoft sees a way to make some money with ODF,
> | but it wants to change it to suit its own needs better. It didn’t participate
> | in the ODF process, although it was free to suggest anything it wanted. Now,
> | when it looks like the world really does want ODF instead of OOXML,
> | surrogates are sending a dual message — first, that ODF has won, so OOXML
> | isn’t worth fighting any more (and anyone who does is an “extremist”
> | anti-Microsoft whiner), and two, that OASIS isn’t able to do a good job with
> | ODF, so the same folks who brought you OOXML should take it over.

Put another way, you’ve one the battle, so let’s break out the whisky
and rum, and pretend that the enemy isn’t just across the valley ready
to attack us while we sleep off our drunken stupor.

Microsoft’s latest attempt to subvert the standards organizations and
corporate bans on Office 2007 and OpenXML has been to put out a
“patch” to OfficeXP which allows it to open OpenXML. Then, if you try
at save an openXML document as an OfficeXP document it gives you lots
of nasting warnings and threats about how you will lose critical data
if you don’t save in OOXML format.

It seems that now that OpenOffice, StarOffice, and Symphony have
become pretty good at decoding .doc, .xls, and .ppt documents and
converting them to odt, odc, and odp formats. Microsoft is making a
last desparate attempt to extend their monopoly yet one more time, by
trying to force everyone to save their documents in formats that these
competitors cannot decode.

And since the OOXML standard is incomplete, none of these applications
will be able to decode such documents, because the structures of the
“binaries” is still under strict nondisclosure, including terms which
forbid the development of decoders for OSS applications. Essentially,
Microsoft will get their pound of flesh no matter how much blood they
have to spill to get it.


> | [...]
> |
> | Because Microsoft’s not done until ODF won’t run? By that I mean, run as it
> | does. They are not meeting for nothing, in my opinion. It’s not busywork.

Sure, Microsoft wants to add some “extensions”, the same way that it
added “extensions” like VBScript, ActiveX, and extensions to
JavaScript that broke Netscape and Mozilla.

Eventually, Mozilla fought back, released FireFox, and today nearly
all vendors don’t want to risk turning away a well-funded customer
simply because they chose to use FireFox and refuse to use IE.


> | There is an agenda, no longer quite so hidden. It’s the opening part of the
> | effort to take over ODF control, I think, so Microsoft can make it less open,
> | probably, so as to make buckets of money from it, without Microsoft having to
> | actually be open.

They don’t even have to take Control. All they have to do is EMBRACE,
then EXTEND, and wait for the bones of the carcass to come out the
other end. EMBRACE the way an Anaconda embraces it’s prey, EXTEND
it’s jaws, even dislocating them slightly to be able to swallow the
crushed prey whole, then relax and let the digestive juices do their
work, allowing the crushed bones and remnants of fur to leave it’s
body as a ‘dropping’

> | On that page on What is Rick Smoking?, you’ll find a list
> | of who was to go to the meeting of this advisory group, and a commenter
> | says, “So a quick tally shows that there will be 25 participants, of which 12
> | are Ecma TC45 members (as listed) or Microsoft employees (Brett Roberts, Dave
> | Welsh, Jasper Bojsen, Kimmo Bergius, Shahzad Rana and Wemba Opota).”
> `—-
>
> Get the picture? Is that who you want in charge of ODF?

How do you think they got control of Caldera/SCO?

It’s those “midnight specials”, meetings held when the key opposition
and it’s leaders are away and can’t be reached, including an offer
that looks too good to be true, but must be accepted within a very
short time limit, before the opposition leadership can be contacted.

> http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20080718170044877
>
> Read the whole thing if you can. The Redmond filth are playing dirty, kindly
> smiling while they do it.

Same Stuff Different Day.
I’ve been pointing this type of behavior out in this group for what,
11 years?

Microsoft is not “Evil”, they are just like any other preditor. A
mouse should not trust a rattlesnake, no matter how “harmless” it
might seem at the moment, because the ultimate outcome is as
predictable as the sunrise. If the snake moves into the hole to avoid
the cold, when it warms up, if the mouse is still there, the snake
will strike.

How many times have we seen Microsoft snatch Linux/OSS defeat from the
jaws of victory. Just as we gain a huge advantage, Microsoft makes
it’s lethal blow, and Linux is relegated to Self-installation for
another 3-4 years.

> “We need to slaughter Novell before they get stronger….If you’re going to kill
> someone, there isn’t much reason to get all worked up about it and angry. You
> just pull the trigger. Any discussions beforehand are a waste of time. We need
> to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger.”

Which is what they have done, a few times. I’ve shared about the time
that Microsoft killed Novell by giving them “the deal” that if Novell
stayed off the desktop, Microsoft wouldn’t touch their server, then,
when all of the desktop team was fired, Microsoft announced that NT
would have a built-in file and print server (effectively killing
Novell’s growth potential).

Most recently, they seduced Novell into yet another deal, which
ultimately gave Citrix control over the commercial version of Xen, and
then Citrix killed the implementation where Linux was the host in
commercial versions of Xen, especially for the desktop.

> –Jim Allchin, Platform Group Vice President at Microsoft

It’s too bad we can’t get the court records of the original DOJ case
back into public records on a public internet site, including the
highlights of Mr Bill calling the Judge and the prosecutor an idiot
(the Judge’s very accurate observation).

Unfortunately, the new administration will barely have time to get a
new attorney general approved before the DOJ settlement expires. I
wonder if they will be able to effectively argue for an additional 5
year extension based on Microsoft’s blatant disregard for the portion
of the agreement that required Microsoft to stop interfering with OEM
efforts to distribute Linux (including along with Windows).

Perhaps when Apple has taken it’s place as the number one OEM by
dollar volume and unit volume, the OEMs will give Microsoft/Vista the
“heave ho” and let them come back with a more “flexible” offer.
Perhaps the new administration will push for quatas and other
restrictions on Microsoft’s business practices, as well as mandates to
permit Linux machines to be displayed in retail stores.

Maybe the FTC will just file fraud charges against Microsoft for about
200 of the activities that became public during the antitrust trial.

Or, maybe we should just let Microsoft collect the money directly
through our taxes, we’ll just be forced to pay 1 week’s pay to
Microsoft, whether we like their products or not.


Any additional thought are, as always, very welcome.

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