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Novell Markets Its OpenOffice.org Fork Using Patents-Encumbered Microsoft Add-ons

Become a Novell customer, be 'safe'?

Novell's attempt to steal Sun Microsystems' thunder (OpenOffice.org charm) was previously covered in [1, 2]. It's a fork. It's there for everyone to see, even with some software patents on top of it. Well, Ubuntu's coming release will exclude OpenOffice.org 3.0, in part because of Novell's Microsoft-esque version of the software, which contains patent poison and helps the spreading of OOXML.



Finally, one of the headline features of OpenOffice.org 3.0 that many people have asked about is support for Microsoft Office 2007 documents. Thanks to our use of the Go-oo patch set, we already support this important feature with 2.4.1.


We encouraged GNU/Linux users to lobby against this. It's not the nature of the fork that makes it dangerous; it is the forker, a Microsoft ally, which makes this untrustworthy.

Had Novell been serious about Free software and open standards, it would not have sold out to Microsoft and OOXML back in 2006. In fact, some time next year, even Microsoft will have surrendered to ODF, thus confirming that the real international standard is growing dominant and never going away. The Register has this new article regarding Microsoft's time line.

In May Microsoft moved to appease its critics and reassure regulators by proclaiming that Office 2007 SP2 will support rival file format OpenDocument Format (ODF) 1.1 used by openistas such as IBM and Sun Microsystems.


As another side note worthy of a mention, Microsoft's accessibility smear against ODF is FUD that's growing thinner than ever before owing to this announcement: [via Glyn Moody]

Today I am more than pleased to share with you news of the AEGIS project, a €12.6m investment in accessibility, with the vast majority of it focused on open source solutions.

What is AEGIS?

AEGIS stands for "open Accessibility Everywhere: Groundwork, Infrastructure, Standards". It is a major research and development investment in building accessibility into future mainstream Information & Communication Technologies.


ODF comes complete with many of the necessary features, yet it is not based on a single reference implementation, which makes it elegant. Why again is Novell helping OOXML? Oh, that's right. Microsoft bribed paid Novell to do so.

Novell gets 'bribed'

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