10.12.08

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ODF Keeps Winning; No Wonder Microsoft Went Corrupt Against It

Posted in Africa, America, Formats, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 10:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

OOXML protests in India
From the Campaign for Document Freedom

The previous post covered a rather disturbing development. It can probably be explained by the growing momentum of an industry standard, which harms one Microsoft’s few profitable products (and most profitable among them). The latest official adopter of OpenDocument is the Venezuelan government and it’s only one among many.

Venezuela joins a growing list of countries which have adopted the open format as a method for exchanging documents within government and with citizens. These countries include fellow South Americans Uruguay and Brazil, as well as Malaysia, South Africa and Belgium.

The ODF Alliance previously listed 14 national governments and eight provincial governments as having adopted the ODF standard, with Venezuela adding more South American weight to the list.

Here are some more interesting numbers:

Marino Marcich of the ODF Alliance pointed out that there are now organisations from 62 countries represented in his membership, and I’m left with the strong of impression of a growing global community of practice in governments of every kind, both politically and geographically. From small roots ODF has grown to both a global movement and a strong technology, spreading wherever fair-minded people are willing to take a stand. It’s been worth the trip.

ODF Olympid 2008 has also just been announced. It goes under the heading “Towards a Computer Literate Society,” which is symbiotic with the philosophy of a free standard that’s entirely supported by Free software.

We have already covered a lot of the abuse around OOXML. Developing countries suffered a lot from corruption and there are some disturbing testimonies from even professors in India. Some months ago we also wrote about what seemed like a possible bribery of Indian charities by Microsoft. Arnaud Le Hors rightly wonders what kind of people are willing to work for such a vicious company. He cites that story about India charities where he writes:

With all the things that have been reported around OOXML over the last year I’ve often wondered what it must be like to work for a company that appears to be willing to go beyond what most would find acceptable to win.

Why do some people insist that Microsoft has changed? This lie is penetrating social media sites through what Bruce Perens suspects to be marketing people whom he came across before.

“Microsoft corrupted many members of ISO in order to win approval for its phony ‘open’ document format, OOXML. This was so governments that keep their documents in a Microsoft-only format can pretend that they are using ‘open standards.’ The government of South Africa has filed an appeal against the decision, citing the irregularities in the process.”

Richard Stallman, June 2008

OOXML is fraud

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