Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Keeps Trying to Inject Software Patents Into ODF and Other Standards

[More Open Than Open]: “I am constantly amazed at the flexibility of this single word.”

--Jason Matusow, Microsoft (for background see [1, 2])



Summary: Behind the scenes, Microsoft is trying to promote RAND (for standards) while acquiring more XML patents

YESTERDAY we made the front page of Slashdot, which wrote about Microsoft's XML patents. Sadly, the editor did not link directly to any of our recent writings that specifically tackle the patent issue, e.g.:



Slashdot's summary was as follows:

"Embrace. Extend. Patent. On Tuesday, Microsoft was granted US Patent No. 7,571,169 for its 'invention' of the Word-processing document stored in a single XML file that may be manipulated by applications that understand XML. Presumably developers are protected by Microsoft's 'covenant not to sue,' so the biggest question raised by this patent is: How in the world was it granted in light of the 40-year history of document markup languages? Next thing you know, the USPTO will give Microsoft a patent for Providing Emergency Data in XML format. Oops, too late."


For those who think that Microsoft has no intention of using such patents, see this E-mail from Bill Gates.

Microsoft tries to redefine "open" (again) such that it's inclusive of RAND clauses, i.e. software patents and royalties. The latest attempt from Matusow has not escaped the attention of Glyn Moody, who dissected it and wrote:

The logic here seems to be that there would be an “imbalance” in open standards if it were insisted that patents were excluded – because balance obviously means having standards with and without patents. While it's true that creates a “balance”, it's a purely linguistic one; the fact is that patent-encumbered standards requiring licensing fees cannot, by definition, be open. That's because they do not create level playing fields: there is always one or more players who occupy a privileged position. So the balance is entirely specious.

[...]

Against that background of a standardisation process being bent to breaking point, complaints about the *balance* of open standards ring rather hollow.


Not to mention Microsoft's intimate relationship with ISO.

A few days ago we mentioned the fact that OOXML has over 800 pages of known defects. The <No>OOXML Web site has just located these for sharing publicly.

800 pages of defect for OOXML, here it is. ISO is such a transparent organisation that they are afraid of the web, and the public light of the blogosphere. Here is the leak for you.


Microsoft has resorted to a new methodology of justifying the existence of this highly-defective proprietary format. Apart from Microsoft spinners like Paul Thurrott, coverage came from IDG, which points out that:

Microsoft did not spell out how the file format "ballot" will appear to users, or what choices, other than ODF (Open Document Format), the open-source word processing, spreadsheet and presentation document standard, will be shown.


The above articles say absolutely nothing about Microsoft's ODF implementation being defective in the sense that it is not interoperable [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].

In better news (about ODF) we have:

ODF Plugfest: Working in Progress

These days a number of organizations and ODF implementors are working together to organize a second ODF Plugfest in parallel with the upcoming OpenOffice.org Con 2009, that will take place in Orvieto (Italy) in November.


Tables Sprint in Copenhagen

Casper also took the plunge on loading and quite quickly got stuff up and working, and with the commit he did right before I left his apartment, most of the features here should now be loading correctly from ODF.


Converting OpenOffice files to/from Microsoft Office files

Whatever your choice, there's a fair chance you'll be able to enjoy cross-office, cross-platform integration with a high level of accuracy, saving lots of time and trouble in getting the files to open and look the right way. Instead of working hard, you now have a set of tools that will toil for you.


Office Suites

So what options are available for UNIX/Linux systems? I have found there are six common office/productivity solutions for these platforms with which most of us are already familiar.


Fight The Empire With Open Source

I have recently been in touch with Novell, the Open Document Format Alliance (ODF Alliance), and some of our local Legislators to find out what kind of movement we have here in the state of Utah and if an Open Standard is possible because ideally I would like to see state agencies step away from the proprietary formats used by Microsoft and Corel and use open formats. Many of our state agencies have been restricted from funding for expensive Microsoft products in support of Open Office. I long for a change that will require State and Local Government to use Open standards, but I realize that a change of this magnitude will take time and patience.


Microsoft is still trying to slow down ODF, to the degree that it can get away with. Microsoft is not a friend of ODF.

“It’s a Simple Matter of [Microsoft’s] Commercial Interests!“

--Microsoft on OOXML

Recent Techrights' Posts

Martina Ferrari & Debian, DebConf room list: who sleeps with who?
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Europe Won't be Safe From Russia Until the Last Windows PC is Turned Off (or Switched to BSDs and GNU/Linux)
Lives are at stake
Links 23/04/2024: US Doubles Down on Patent Obviousness, North Korea Practices Nuclear Conflict
Links for the day
Stardust Nightclub Tragedy, Unlawful killing, Censorship & Debian Scapegoating
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
 
Microsoft is Shutting Down Offices and Studios (Microsoft Layoffs Every Month This Year, Media Barely Mentions These)
Microsoft shutting down more offices (there have been layoffs every month this year)
Balkan women & Debian sexism, WeBoob leaks
Reprinted with permission from disguised.work
Links 24/04/2024: Advances in TikTok Ban, Microsoft Lacks Security Incentives (It Profits From Breaches)
Links for the day
Gemini Links 24/04/2024: People Returning to Gemlogs, Stateless Workstations
Links for the day
Meike Reichle & Debian Dating
Reprinted with permission from disguised.work
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, April 23, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, April 23, 2024
[Meme] EPO: Breaking the Law as a Business Model
Total disregard for the EPO to sell more monopolies in Europe (to companies that are seldom European and in need of monopoly)
The EPO's Central Staff Committee (CSC) on New Ways of Working (NWoW) and “Bringing Teams Together” (BTT)
The latest publication from the Central Staff Committee (CSC)
Volunteers wanted: Unknown Suspects team
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Debian trademark: where does the value come from?
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Detecting suspicious transactions in the Wikimedia grants process
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Gunnar Wolf & Debian Modern Slavery punishments
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
On DebConf and Debian 'Bedroom Nepotism' (Connected to Canonical, Red Hat, and Google)
Why the public must know suppressed facts (which women themselves are voicing concerns about; some men muzzle them to save face)
Several Years After Vista 11 Came Out Few People in Africa Use It, Its Relative Share Declines (People Delete It and Move to BSD/GNU/Linux?)
These trends are worth discussing
Canonical, Ubuntu & Debian DebConf19 Diversity Girls email
Reprinted with permission from disguised.work
Links 23/04/2024: Escalations Around Poland, Microsoft Shares Dumped
Links for the day
Gemini Links 23/04/2024: Offline PSP Media Player and OpenBSD on ThinkPad
Links for the day
Amaya Rodrigo Sastre, Holger Levsen & Debian DebConf6 fight
Reprinted with permission from disguised.work
DebConf8: who slept with who? Rooming list leaked
Reprinted with permission from disguised.work
Bruce Perens & Debian: swiping the Open Source trademark
Reprinted with permission from disguised.work
Ean Schuessler & Debian SPI OSI trademark disputes
Reprinted with permission from disguised.work
Windows in Sudan: From 99.15% to 2.12%
With conflict in Sudan, plus the occasional escalation/s, buying a laptop with Vista 11 isn't a high priority
Anatomy of a Cancel Mob Campaign
how they go about
[Meme] The 'Cancel Culture' and Its 'Hit List'
organisers are being contacted by the 'cancel mob'
Richard Stallman's Next Public Talk is on Friday, 17:30 in Córdoba (Spain), FSF Cannot Mention It
Any attempt to marginalise founders isn't unprecedented as a strategy
IRC Proceedings: Monday, April 22, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, April 22, 2024
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
Don't trust me. Trust the voters.
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Chris Lamb & Debian demanded Ubuntu censor my blog
Reprinted with permission from disguised.work
Ean Schuessler, Branden Robinson & Debian SPI accounting crisis
Reprinted with permission from disguised.work
William Lee Irwin III, Michael Schultheiss & Debian, Oracle, Russian kernel scandal
Reprinted with permission from disguised.work
Microsoft's Windows Down to 8% in Afghanistan According to statCounter Data
in Vietnam Windows is at 8%, in Iraq 4.9%, Syria 3.7%, and Yemen 2.2%
[Meme] Only Criminals Would Want to Use Printers?
The EPO's war on paper
EPO: We and Microsoft Will Spy on Everything (No Physical Copies)
The letter is dated last Thursday
Links 22/04/2024: Windows Getting Worse, Oligarch-Owned Media Attacking Assange Again
Links for the day
Links 21/04/2024: LINUX Unplugged and 'Screen Time' as the New Tobacco
Links for the day
Gemini Links 22/04/2024: Health Issues and Online Documentation
Links for the day
What Fake News or Botspew From Microsoft Looks Like... (Also: Techrights to Invest 500 Billion in Datacentres by 2050!)
Sededin Dedovic (if that's a real name) does Microsoft stenography
Stefano Maffulli's (and Microsoft's) Openwashing Slant Initiative (OSI) Report Was Finalised a Few Months Ago, Revealing Only 3% of the Money Comes From Members/People
Microsoft's role remains prominent (for OSI to help the attack on the GPL and constantly engage in promotion of proprietary GitHub)
[Meme] Master Engineer, But Only They Can Say It
One can conclude that "inclusive language" is a community-hostile trolling campaign
[Meme] It Takes Three to Grant a Monopoly, Or... Injunction Against Staff Representatives
Quality control
[Video] EPO's "Heart of Staff Rep" Has a Heartless New Rant
The wordplay is just for fun
An Unfortunate Miscalculation Of Capital
Reprinted with permission from Andy Farnell
[Video] Online Brigade Demands That the Person Who Started GNU/Linux is Denied Public Speaking (and Why FSF Cannot Mention His Speeches)
So basically the attack on RMS did not stop; even when he's ill with cancer the cancel culture will try to cancel him, preventing him from talking (or be heard) about what he started in 1983
Online Brigade Demands That the Person Who Made Nix Leaves Nix for Not Censoring People 'Enough'
Trying to 'nix' the founder over alleged "safety" of so-called 'minorities'
[Video] Inauthentic Sites and Our Upcoming Publications
In the future, at least in the short term, we'll continue to highlight Debian issues
List of Debian Suicides & Accidents
Reprinted with permission from disguised.work
Jens Schmalzing & Debian: rooftop fall, inaccurately described as accident
Reprinted with permission from disguised.work
[Teaser] EPO Leaks About EPO Leaks
Yo dawg!
On Wednesday IBM Announces 'Results' (Partial; Bad Parts Offloaded Later) and Red Hat Has Layoffs Anniversary
There's still expectation that Red Hat will make more staff cuts
IBM: We Are No Longer Pro-Nazi (Not Anymore)
Historically, IBM has had a nazi problem
Bad faith: attacking a volunteer at a time of grief, disrespect for the sanctity of human life
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Bad faith: how many Debian Developers really committed suicide?
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, April 21, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, April 21, 2024
A History of Frivolous Filings and Heavy Drug Use
So the militant was psychotic due to copious amounts of marijuana
Bad faith: suicide, stigma and tarnishing
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
UDRP Legitimate interests: EU whistleblower directive, workplace health & safety concerns
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock