09.12.09

Latest Wins for OpenDocument Format

Posted in America, IBM, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Standard, SUN at 4:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

OOXML protests in India
From the Campaign for Document Freedom

Summary: IBM dumps Microsoft Office; reports from ODF Workshop arrive; the Microsoft crowd still tries to capture ODF seats

IBM and Lotus

THE BIGGEST piece of news about OpenDocument Format (ODF) is probably IBM’s internal migration from the proprietary Microsoft Office to the proprietary Lotus Symphony. But it’s not exactly news; it seems like news that IBM occasionally re-announces to generate buzz. Either way, it is another “Big Win for ODF,” to use the summary of a Sun employee.

IBM asks all their employees to stop using Microsoft Office, and completely switch to Lotus Symphony – IBM’s office suite which is based on OpenOffice.org 1.1.

Here is the coverage from Heise:

American IT giant IBM plans to have its staff abandon Microsoft office software. According to a report in German daily Handelsblatt, the some 360,000 employees of the firm are to switch from the MS Office Suite to IBM’s own Lotus Symphony. The paper’s report (German link), is based on leaked internal IBM correspondence from upper management. IBM’s internal move away from Microsoft Office began in June 2008 with early pilots. By the end of the year, IBM documents are to be created in the ODF format, which is license-free for everyone.

There is also some coverage in IDG and in The Inquirer, which adds this for context:

IBM’s aggressive new campaign comes as Microsoft faces legal challenges over the lynchpin of its Office suite. Canadian software firm i4i has accused Microsoft of violating its patents on XML components within the word processing application. The case nearly halted sales of Word within the US.

Here is some coverage about the i4i case [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11].

ODF Workshop

The ODF Workshop in Brazil is something that we covered at the end of August. The ODF Alliance finally has a sort of summary covering this event.

The growing public-sector support for ODF was on display at the 3rd International ODF User Workshop, which concluded last week in Brasilia. The event—organized by the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, SERPRO (Federal Service for Data Processing – Ministry of Finance, Brazil) and Caixa Econômica Federal, in collaboration with the ODF Alliance—brought together representatives from governments around the world that have already made the move to ODF or are actively considering how best to utilize an open format to preserve access to documents and records, increase software choice, and save some money in the process. The first day of the event was held at the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Itamaraty Palace) and the second day at CONSEGI, the largest international free software and electronic government conference organized by the Brazilian Federal Government.

Jomar Silva, who organised this event (or helped in organising it), has his own summary too. Here is the English version:

After his presentation, the debate was basically done by a group that agrees that we need a stronger stance against proprietary technologies and the group that believes that we must continue addressing the issue more calmly … and we had almost two hours of debate, perhaps the most interesting I’ve ever attended.

Microsoft Interference

Microsoft Corporation, the company which is fragmenting ODF [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], has already attempted to bring ODF to its own turf; corrupting for OOXML was apparently not enough. A month ago we showed that Microsoft managed to bring SC34 into its own area of influence and now we find messages like this one: “packing for Seattle ISO SC 34 meeting #sc34 #odf #ooxml #microsoft”

“They try to get into panels where they can promote Microsoft without it seeming that way.”Yes, Seattle/Microsoft will be the place in which to discuss ODF. And meanwhile, Microsoft proponents Rick Jelliffe and Jesper Lund Stocholm are grilling Rob Weir over ODF in their continued battle to mock ODF (based on simple track record and business affiliations/payments).

Stocholm, for instance, is flirting with other ODF people like Jomar Silva, hoping to hide his agenda and mingle with those whose work he later abuses. Privately, we’ve heard similar stories about Microsoft proponent/partners who attend FOSS events across the world for the purpose of getting inside, understanding the people (reporting/ousting ‘troublemakers’ to Microsoft) and later affecting the agenda from the inside. That’s what Microsoft and its ecosystem do best. Here is Stocholm getting inside another panel. Very typical. They try to get into panels where they can promote Microsoft without it seeming that way.

Leftovers

Pia Waugh is seen promoting ODF, which is great news. “Current speaker has format compatibility issues,” she wrote. “Good lesson in importance of open standards. Everyone sh[oul]ld go ODF!” From the Customer Support Lead at Mozilla we learned a few days ago that this is “a day to remember…. as the day when @patrickfinch sent an ISO standard ODF document to the k-team!!”

Here is a warning that “iWork lacks ODF support”. We have already explained why Apple helps the duopoly with Microsoft.

“That particular meeting was followed by an anonymous smear campaign against one of the TC members. A letter was faxed to the organization of the TC member in question, accusing the TC member in question of helping politicize the issue (which is, of course, untrue). I too had the dubious pleasure of hearing first hand how Microsoft attempted to remove me from the TC (they did not succeed, thanks to integrity and cojones of the organization I am affiliated with).”

“If this unethical behaviour by Microsoft was not sufficiently despicable, they did the unthinkable by involving politics in what should have been a technical evaluation of the standard by writing to the head of the Malaysian standards organization and getting its business partners to engage in a negative letter writing campaign to indicate lack of support of ODF in the Malaysian market. Every single negative letter on ODF received by the Malaysian standards organization was written either by Microsoft, or a Microsoft business partner or a Microsoft affiliated organization (Initiative for Software Choice and IASA).

A Memo to Patrick Durusau

Nicholas Negroponte Blames “Giants Who View Children As a Market”

Posted in Microsoft, OLPC at 3:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”

Bill Gates

Summary: Project founder Nicholas Negroponte explains what is really harming the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative

THE former engineers of the OLPC project deny that GNU/Linux and Sugar were ever at fault. Instead, the real story has already been told in many posts and Nicholas Negroponte tells it like it is, also refuting a previous allegation that Sugar was to blame. He writes in response to a scathing piece:

I do not normally answer press and blogs, because we would spend all our time with words, not actions in the field But you are on a UN site and the UN is our partner. Check out Kofi Annan’s words — they have been fulfilled. Has it been harder than I expected? Yes. But do you know why? It is not due to what I had anticipated, things like corruption and logistics. It has been due to commercial interests and press, stories like yours.

As a small non-profit, humanitarian organization, it is hard to battle giants who view children as a market, not a mission, and have other agendas.

This is why the likes of Microsoft and proprietary software in general (even Adobe) need to be kept out of education [1, 2, 3]. They poison education by leveraging the system to make themselves young clients. Watch how Microsoft approached the OLPC project (confidential memo from Comes vs Microsoft litigation).

In other news about OLPC, some more units are being distributed right now.

Under this program, 1,250 laptop computers will be distributed to students in 13 schools.

Here is another new report from OLPC News.

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: September 11th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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To use your own IRC client, join channel #boycottnovell in FreeNode.

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