03.01.11

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Microsoft Still Uses the Word “Choice” to Lie to the Public

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Google, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument at 2:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: Microsoft uses dirty old tactics of spin, characterising itself as pro-choice and software freedom as against choice

Luke Hopewell from ZDNet.com.au helps Microsoft spread lots more propaganda this week (pushed through ZDNet, as usual). Microsoft Australia’s CTO is just given the platform to spout out a whole lot of nonsense such as:

“We believe in choice, and things should stand or fall by their own merits. Locking something in through denying interoperability is something that doesn’t promote that and that’s something we don’t support,” Stone said.

To lie with a straight face takes great courage. Suddenly they try to paint software freedom as “denying” “choice”. The hypocrisy knows no bounds and the ‘choice’ lie is a subject we explained here before [1, 2]. Using gymnastics in logic, Microsoft tries to make it seem like policies that favour free/open source software are impeding ‘choice’, just like Microsoft tried to cast the proprietary (Microsoft-only) OOXML as ‘choice’, where basically it relied on the confusion between standards and applications (it is desirable to have one standard with many applications implementing it, otherwise people cannot collaborate).

Over at IDG, the pro-Microsoft Nancy Gohring helps Microsoft spread ODF FUD [1, 2] right now:

Microsoft is also complaining about what it calls a lack of full support for the OpenDocument Format in Google Docs, which is used at least informally by some government agencies. When Google Docs renders documents created in ODF, it alters them by, for example, changing page numbers, said Curt Kolcun, vice president of Microsoft’s U.S. Public Sector group. Microsoft was subjected to intense pressure around the globe by government agencies that insisted it support the open document standards.

Watch how history is softened over time. When Gohring says “subjected to intense pressure” she actually refers to Microsoft corrupting (e.g. bribing), deceiving, buying votes, and bullying critics. And what for? To call its proprietary, monopolistic application “a standard” and then force governments (at taxpayers’ expense) to keep buying it, which in turn forces citizens to buy it (network effect). How malicious.

As for Google Docs, it’s not an example of good ODF support; as Carlo Piana recently put it, it turned his spreadsheet into spread s***. It’s a proprietary application, so it does not matter much and articles that paint it as “Google vs Microsoft” (rather than FOSS versus Office) are no better than those who talk about Mac vs PC/Apple vs Microsoft. It is a bogus, diversionary dilemma which excludes real contenders.

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