Bonum Certa Men Certa

Mark Ballard Shows Why British Government Must Move to ODF as Doorway to Software Freedom

UK flag with Tux



Summary: Calls from within the United Kingdom to facilitate a promised migration to Free software, via international standards such as ODF

IN RECENT weeks we wrote a great deal about Free software in the UK public sector (lack thereof rather). A few days ago we showed that the government would save an enormous amount of money by moving to ODF. The following new article agrees to a certain degree and it was researched by the same person who helped expose misconduct in Newham (Microsoft moles [1, 2, 3]):





A migration to Free software in the British government is not far fetched at all. A lot of Europe is already doing it and even Data.gov.uk makes some commendable moves. From several days ago we have:



A short while ago we retold the story of France and OpenOffice.org, showing the role of Microsoft's office suite in stifling rapid migrations to GNU/Linux. A move to ODF is very crucial because of that. As for OOXML, it is a scam and as the i4i case helps show, it is probably not legal, either. Reuters tells the story of i4i at this moment:

"Microsoft sat in meetings with us where we explained how it works and we believed if you've got a patent, a patent is full disclosure and in return you guys have to respect that and that is the law," said i4i co-founder Michel Vulpe, whose software patent was approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in 1998.

In 2004 Vulpe became suspicious that the software giant was using their technology, without permission, in its popular Word software. In 2007, when Microsoft began touting its XML capabilities, i4i got serious and launched their patent infringement lawsuit.

At the time, Vulpe said the reaction from friends was a mixture of laughter and horror.


With 'partners' like these, who needs rivals?

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