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Did Microsoft Pay Fraunhofer for Report on OOXML?

Fraunhofer



Summary: Developments and news on document formats and a ban on Microsoft Word

EARLIER in the year we showed that Fraunhofer was close to Microsoft and this was last mentioned yesterday because of a new report. The following portion suggests that this report on document formats gave acknowledgments to Microsoft. Linux Magazine believes that it may also imply funding:



The 90-page whitepaper is available as PDF after a short registration. The Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems (FOKUS) in Berlin is the author and publisher, with some acknowledgements to (and possible financial help from) Microsoft.


As Professor Knut Blind from Fraunhofer once put it, “The negative impact of standards for competition are mostly caused by a biased endowment with resources available for the standardization process itself. Therefore. even when the consensus rule is applied, dominant large companies are able to manipulate the outcome of the process, the specification of a standard, into a direction which leads to skewed distribution of benefits or costs in favor of their own interests.”

Martin Bryan, the former convenor of OOXML, felt similarly. He also wrote: "The disparity of rules for PAS, Fast-Track and ISO committee generated standards is fast making ISO a laughing stock in IT circles."

Microsoft essentially bought itself a rubber stamp from ISO and now it is using partners in industry to praise OOXML and market it.

Another important development revolves around the i4i case [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]. As Omar put it, "you will find an evidence on how Microsoft was truly intending to bury i4i and their products through stealing." Based on an E-mail message from one Microsoft developer, it is unambiguous. He wrote: "we saw [i4i’s products] some time ago and met its creators. Word 11 will make it obsolete."

“[Y]ou will find an evidence on how Microsoft was truly intending to bury i4i and their products through stealing.”
      --Omar
"What kind of competition is this," rhetorically asks Omar.

Microsoft is trying to prevent Word from being banned. Marti quotes the following: "according to Microsoft lawyers. Dell, HP, and lots of other ‘partners’ would feel this in their wallets. Not to mention the consumer (who now can go and discover other means of writing a letter).

"This is the responds to the court ruling that Microsoft offended a XML patent. The ruling states that Microsoft can’t sell MS-Word in its current form, so that means MS Office without its flagship Word."

"There you have it," says Marti, "the end of times, the Apocalypse and Armageddon, if the Vole looses one of its cash cows!"

For Microsoft, none of this was accidental. The whole thing was malicious from the start. Here are some more details:

Microsoft has attempted to block the court-ordered end to sales of Microsoft Word over a patent dispute. But court papers show that company officers were aware of the patent when they took the infringing action.


Groklaw has the following new posts:

i. Microsoft files notice of appeal against i4i ruling; stipulates waiver of bond, begs for stay

Microsoft has filed its notice of appeal in i4i v. Microsoft. And it and i4i have agreed on some terms. We find out from a Declaration of Albert Damon, attached to the stipulation, that Microsoft says it "has the financial wherewithal to satisfy the Judgment" and it will pay it within fifteen days "of all appeal and remand proceedings (including any proceedings before the Supreme Court of the United States), or within 15 (fifteen) days of the expiration of the times fr initiating such proceedings".


ii. Microsoft's Emergency Motion for a Stay Repeats Arguments Already Rejected by District Court

In Microsoft's Emergency Motion for a Stay of Injunction [PDF], it argues that it would be irreparably harmed without a stay, that it's in the public interest to avoid disruption to its business and its partners' businesses, and that while they expect to win on appeal, they'd then be out all the expense of implementing the injunction. However, they already asked the judge in the District Court for a stay on those exact grounds and were denied.


i4i will surely be able to tell others what an unethical company Microsoft really is. Microsoft has just been sued twice more for patent infringement.

EMG Technology has charged Microsoft with violating Patent 7020845, "Navigating internet content on a television using a simplified interface and a remote control," and Patent 7441196, "Apparatus and method of manipulating a region on a wireless device screen for viewing, zooming and scrolling internet content." Both patents have been infringed upon by Microsoft Windows CE, PocketPC and Windows Mobile, the suit charges.


Yesterday we wrote about how Microsoft polices discussion on the Web and ThistleWeb warned us that familiar AstroTurfers were on Slashdot "trying to blame East Texas for having a patent troll-friendly place [...] as the reason why Microsoft were the victims [...] no mention of Microsoft's bad patents or their patent racketeering [...] trying to claim that there's widespread hatred towards i4i over this, but the only hatred I see is coming from Microsoft's astroturfing army."

i4i is not a patent troll, though. The story is a lot more complicated than people are led to believe. Another type of spin that we covered before was the attempt to use i4i as FUD against ODF.

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