Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft's History Against Standards Must Not Repeat Itself

"Number two is move Netscape out of the win32 client area."

--Paul Maritz, senior vice president Microsoft



IP-WATCH has a good article that sheds some more light on Microsoft's tactics against its competition, even once it has fallen under the European Commission's supervision. [via Glyn Moody]

Microsoft’s rival Sun Microsystems had complained to the Commission that the US software giant would not grant it data needed to ensure that Windows was interoperable.

“Microsoft’s defence was that the information was covered by intellectual property rights,” Hellstrom said. “This argument was never used when Sun asked for the information. It was only used in the eleventh hour. Microsoft showed one patent a day before we adopted our decision [in 2004].”

[...]

Rishab Aiyer Ghosh, a senior researcher with the United Nations University in Maastricht, Netherlands, noted that royalty-free standards are already being used in the computer industry. For example, the World Wide Web Consortium, a body dedicated to greater advancement of the Internet, promotes interoperable software.


Carlo Piana, whom we mentioned before [1, 2], is still very dissatisfied with the fact that Microsoft wants to knock out the existing international standard by replacing it with its own proprietary formats.

I will concentrate on one single, central issue, instead of starting a multi-threaded discussion. There cannot be two International Standards.

[...]

In all examples of partly overlapping International Standard (with maybe one or two exceptions), essentially they have profound differences and serve different purposes. One can think of the duality between TCP and UDP: theoretically, both can be used for most of the applications that the other is used, but they have trade-offs that make one better than others if you choose reliability over light-weight, or the reverse. Sometimes there are multiple standards for a single industry domain, like JPEG and JPEG2000. But these multiple standards reflect the evolution of technology, in this case from DCT coding to Wavelets, allowing for better representation in a specific field.


Microsoft pretends that it wants to accompany ODF, but it's very clear that the purpose of OOXML is to marginalise ODF to the point where it becomes irrelevant. This is a very aggressive move. There is a good new comment in Slashdot which explains the importance of this and mentions the reason why Microsoft is going this far.

How 'Firm' Would You Stand For 20 Billion A Year?



I believe Microsoft made 5 billion in revenue from having customers worldwide locked into their proprietary office document format.

The vendor lockin from Office makes up almost half the company's yearly revenue.

Microsoft would cease to exist as we know it if the office document lockin revenue went away to an open format.

Fight? LOL! This is the type of sh*t Microsoft execs live for.

Fake grassroots efforts. Standards body subversion. Paid for media shills. Shame studies. Mysterious compatibility problems with the competition.

All in a days work.


They want to kill an open standard have have it replaced by an application (Microsoft Office). We must not let this happen because without competition there will be digital suppression. Andy Updegrove is not keeping his hopes so high at this stage (the BRM in Geneva has already been pretty much corrupted [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]), but the truth needs to be heard.

Microsoft a  bad ride

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