Bonum Certa Men Certa

Europe Wants Disclosure, But Microsoft Opens Another So-called 'Interoperability Lab'

"'Innovation' is a convenient excuse and there is rarely any innovative value involved in deviation from standards."While at the airports, I managed to do some extensive reading on Microsoft's antitrust ruling in Europe and also on OpenDocument format. The texts said a lot more about how Microsoft never complied with standards. It showed that Microsoft was willing to take standard protocols and then make minor and pointless changes to them -- the way proprietary -- just to ensure interoperability would be broken. To Microsoft, proprietary protocols are whatever it wishes to call 'innovation', but in reality, Microsoft knows that proprietary protocols are just a lock-in method. 'Innovation' is a convenient excuse and there is rarely any innovative value involved in deviation from standards. The Commission's ruling exposed all of this.

Here we are today waiting for Europe's action to take effect. According to one of the latest articles on this matter:

It also upheld the EU executive's demands for the company to offer a version of its Windows software without its Media Player, and to share the software protocols or 'interoperability information' underpinning Windows for makers of rival products.


As we said several times in the past, with Novell's deal, which was 'bought', it is easier for Microsoft to argue that standards are not the way forwards. Instead, Microsoft wants companies to invest in and to purchase binary bridges. It turns out that Microsoft has just opened yet another establishment that it calls an interoperability lab (this time in India).

Microsoft has set up a lab in Bangalore where industry, government, and educational institutions can build test applications for their interoperability with open-source and other technologies.


Why can't Microsoft just embrace standards? This question was answered many times before, but never was the answer satisfactory. Novell used to fight for standards and openness along with the tiny Samba and FSFE. Then came the Microsoft money which had Novell change its mind. Novell sold out.

Sellout

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