Bonum Certa Men Certa

Shouldn't Novell Just Drop Its Oh Oh XML Support Plans?

The OOXML Saga has a lot to do with Novell. Several months ago, Novell said it would support this jilted specification, which achieves nothing but protect Microsoft's cash cow and monopoly. OOXML represents a lockin that has been rewritten to fit an XML wrapper. Novell has shown obedience to its new pal by showing acceptance and giving its approval to this "monopoly enabler". We believe it is very damaging to the free market, which tries to build itself around equal grounds and a single unified standard.

Given the recent events, which seem harmful to OOXML's prospects, shouldn't Novell reconsider? Why implement something which is specified (in part, with caveats) by over 6,000 technical A4 pages if it is doomed to disappear? Here are some events and articles that show OOXML losing traction.

Microsoft's ooXML is on the ropes in Europe

Is ooXML, Microsoft's new documents standard on the ropes in Europe? Absolutely, according to one of IBM's prominent technology and intellectual property spokespersons. Like other areas that are starting to seriously bug Microsoft, open document standards go to the heart of eliminating the software company's proprietary lock-in.


Norwegian Standards Council Recommends Mandatory use of ODF and PDF

According to the press release, the recommendation will be the subject of open hearings, with opinions to be rendered to the Cabinet before August 20 this summer. The Cabinet would then make its own (and in this case binding) recommendation to the Norwegian government.


A new wave of pro-OOXML tricks (there was another massive one last week) has begun. Bob Sutor addresses it in his Web log:

The press release is a PR stunt, sorry to say. The real message is in the middle where Microsoft tries to advance the case for OOXML. That is, this is OOXML promotion using ODF as the vehicle. I think this is obvious.

I'm not a cynical person by nature and I tried to watch my tone here, but a stunt is a stunt. I had hoped for better.

Finally, it’s excellent news that ODF appears to be on the way to being an American National Standard!


It has become apparent that Microsoft will use Novell as a tool to sell OOXML, server protocols with royalties, and .NET technologies like Silverlight. Novell does nothing but harm industry attempts to establish vendor-neutral standards and protocols. For that, Novell should be perceived as a proprietary vendor which sidles with and defends other proprietary technologies from a convicted monopoly abuser.

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