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Microsoft 'Embraces' ODF: The Danger of an Inside Job Revisited

"Don’t encourage new, cross-platform Java classes, especially don’t help get great Win 32 implementations written/deployed. [...] Do encourage fragmentation of the Java classlib space."

--Ben Slivka, Microsoft



This is not our own assessment, so readers are encouraged to consider the findings separately and then judge for themselves. According to Groklaw, there are signs that 'Agent' Alex [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21] and 'Agent' Patrick [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] may be involved in increasing Microsoft's influence inside ODF (and yes, we have lost faith in both individuals, due to a pattern of deeds and not based on prejudice). We do not distance ourselves from this view, but we share what was found because it supports a previous assertion and warning (mind the latter part about ECMA's intervention).

The Embrace, Extend, Extinguish of ODF Begins?



[...]

If this is who is steering ODF in OASIS, I'm extremely worried. And if there is a secret working group rewriting the directives, while Microsoft and Alex Brown both say they want ODF transferred to ISO for ongoing maintenance, I'd say the Embrace, Extend, Extinguish of ODF has officially begun.


Something that was posted here a few days ago was also sent to GL, so consider the following, which closes another loop:

Oh, by the way. Remember how the Czech Republic supported OOXML with all its might and main, changing from Disapprove in September to Approve after the BRM?

[...]

Guess what just happened according to Dow Jones?
The Czech government and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) signed a cooperation accord Thursday on licensing and supply....

Deputy Interior Minister Zdenek Zajicek said the arrangement would save the government about EUR28 million.


Interesting, indeed. When we posted this here we pointed out very quickly that the government was willfully locking itself in to Microsoft.

Another side of the fence already dismisses criticism of Microsoft's moves and other such motives. [via Andy Updegrove]

Microsoft’s move to support ODF now leaves very little reasonable ground for such opponents: those who are determined will surely be forced further into extremity. Some residual shrieks that Microsoft is trying to “extend and embrace” may linger, or maybe there will be mutterings that Microsoft are “poisoning the well” – but in the end these will be tired mantras that count for little – whether Microsoft is playing fair with their formats will become a testable fact. Religious arguments will not survive in that arena.


From Microsoft's paid Wikipedia editor:

While I welcome the move [by Microsoft], my regular readers will know I that I think partisan participation in standards bodies (i.e. where one mob actively blocks the technical requirements of another mob on the grounds “I don’t want to advantage my competitors”) is untenable for a standards body. That there is a significant danger that this attitude will prevail can be seen from the response of (my fanboys) the ODF Alliance Marino Marcich with its talk of “governments will continue to adopt a ‘buyer beware’ attitude” and so on. It will be a challenge for companies who have made “open” a codeword for “anti-Microsoft” to figure out a new marketing position: but where you get “open” people running public conferences on openness under Chatham House secrecy rule and sending emails threatening legal consequences to committee experts if they dare not follow the corporate line, I don’t have high expectations. The word “openness” has become like the “war on terror”: don’t look at the details or what is actually being done too closely!


Actually, Microsoft is among the culprits. We noted this recently. Jason Matusow almost joked about how much the word "open" can be bent (slanted and abused).

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