EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

08.07.07

Using OSI Endorsement and Linux Deals to Promote Lock-ins

Posted in Asia, ECMA, Formats, GNOME, GNU/Linux, GPL, IBM, ISO, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 10:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“We’re Novell and OSI pals, so how can’t we be ‘open’?”

Outside the United States, which Microsoft virtually owns, OOXML has a hard time finding acceptance. In spite of all the deception, including dishonest and incomplete press releases, technical panelists are able to interpret the reality. OOXML receives mockery. Here is the latest from China:

We are calling on the government to veto the OOXML format at the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).” The OOXML format is a file specification released by Microsoft in December last year for its Microsoft Office 2007 suite. It is currently in a fast track standardization process with the ISO and will be subject to voting next month. Unlike the current ISO digital document standard ODF (Open Document Format) and China’s national standard UDF (Unified Office Document Format), Microsoft’s OOXML format can only be run on a Windows platform.

It is also criticized for containing many proprietary technologies that can only be fully supported by Microsoft’s Office products.

Knowing how much control Microsoft has in China, heavy lobbying there is only a matter of time. We should keep our eyes open (and Bob might receive some anonymous comments). With so much resistance across the world, Microsoft resorts to changing the theme of the story and painting it all with the brush of “Open Source”.

Sam has explained — essentially by citing yet another OSI/Microsoft analysis — how Microsoft’s involvement in Linux companies and the Open Source community can be used as an illusion that Microsoft has itself become a big fan of openness, transparency, collaboration, and standards. But an illusion is just an illusion. You can put lipstick on a pig, wrap it up with a red dress and then take it out for dinner, but the pig is still a pig, not a girlfriend. Microsoft’s attempt to embrace ‘the other side’ is a destructive and self-serving one. By embracing those who sidle with openness they hope to destroy truly open rivals and promote their lock-ins instead. Watch Silverlight. Behold GNOME/Mono (.NET) entanglements, not just in Novell’s Linux. It will get only worse. In Sam’s own words:

Getting Microsoft software licenses OSI-approved and similarly getting Microsoft’s proprietary document formats approved at ISO are like painting an old Chevrolet.

[...]

This may be enough to satisfy the enterprise customer that he is achieving something different. Clearly, the substance is no different: it’s a lock-in in sheep’s clothing.

There is more on this serious issue over at Libervis. Microsoft bends the definition and value of “open source” and knowingly forgets all about cross-platform, freedom, and real standards, as opposed loose and expensive “interoperability” or even broken “translators”.

Of course, they are not [Shared Source licenses not open]. Other Shared Source licenses may very well be too restrictive to be considered Open Source. But, Microsoft may conveniently divert the attention from this little detail to the fact that *some* of Shared Source licenses are Open Source.

Remember that the whole thing is a shrewd publicity stunt. It is a shame that OSI board members such as Matt Asay are too blind to see this, let alone react responsibly.

Matt Asay has just blogged and responded to Groklaw’s criticisms. It is understandable that OSI must operate without discrimination (not even when Microsoft is involved). However, as we already know, Microsoft is good at exploiting loopholes and weaknesses in systems which assume that everyone is a gentleman, not an aggressive sociopath.

Microsoft abuses weak systems and it has it has no shame or guilt when doing so. It did this to the GPLv2 when it signed a deal with Novell. It also did this in ECMA, whose system appears to be broken by design (money and egocentric ambitions are its motor).

As Bob reminded us a couple of days ago (and Rob said last week, the context being Massachusetts), a reform is needed to prevent further and future abuse in the ISO.

What I predict we will see will be widespread re-evaluation of national standards body membership and voting rules. I think we’ll witness a normalization of procedures and all have a better idea of the point of those procedures. That is, we want the creation of high quality standards and not just more standards. Quality is more important than quantity.

In other news from the same blog, there is a great new opportunity for ODF. So let’s finish this item on a brighter note.

Wow, consider that, ODF possibly continuing to evolve to handle new project management requirements. Any estimates from readers as to when we’ll have an XML spec for project management from Microsoft show up on ECMA’s doorstep for standardization? Or, how about everyone just works together starting RIGHT NOW to extend ODF to handle this functionality?

Those who do it first cannot necessarily capitalise on de facto ‘standards’, but it is worth a shot.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

2 Comments

  1. emaname said,

    August 9, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    Gravatar

    I completely agree with your analysis. I also agree with the ‘sociopath’ descriptive. Microsoft, Walmart, oil companies, automotive companies and others like them are completely immoral, unethical organizations. The primary function of these organizations is to make obscenely wealthy people even more obscenely wealthy at the expense of the quality of life for everyone else. These organizations have single-handedly destroyed the concept and application of free enterprise and democracy. My impression is that now we live in a theocracy. Our god is wealth and you can guess who the high priests are.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 9, 2007 at 12:29 pm

    Gravatar

    I agree entirely with your assessment as well. Of course, many of these examples can be generalised and extended to to include similar activity outside the software industry.

What Else is New


  1. 9 Millionth US Patent Tells a Story of Failure and USPTO Misconduct

    The USPTO, much like FISA (notorious court for surveillance/espionage authorisation), has become a rubber-stamping operation rather than a patents examination centre, as new evidence and old evidence serve to show



  2. HBO Helps Shift Debate Over Patents to 'Trolls' (Scale), Not Scope

    More of that awkward shifting of the patent debate towards small actors who are misusing patents, not large conglomerates like Apple and Microsoft which use patents to destroy competitors, crush startups, drive up prices, and so on



  3. Software Patents Are Still Menacing to Free Software: OIN Expands Scope, HEVC Adds to MPEG-LA Burden/Tax, Google and Facebook Give in on Patents

    A look at recent news about software patents and especially Free/libre software, which is inherently incompatible with them



  4. The Latest Developments Around Microsoft's Clever Attack on Android/Linux

    Microsoft's campaign of destruction, extortion, etc. against the most widely used Linux-powered operating system is revisited in light of new reports



  5. The Microsoft 'Community' is Maligning the Free Software Community

    Dishonest generalisations and baseless deductions portray the Free/Open Source software communities as a nasty place that leads to poverty and despair



  6. Googlebombing 'Microsoft Open Source' Even When Microsoft Shuts Down Its 'Open Source' Proxy

    A massive failure by the press to cover the most basic news, which is Microsoft putting an end to a supposedly 'Open Source' effort



  7. Links 22/4/2015: Calculate Linux 14.16, SparkyLinux 4.0 RC KDE

    Links for the day



  8. Links 21/4/2015: Project Photon, Ubuntu Touch Buzz

    Links for the day



  9. Embrace, Extend, Extinguish: How Microsoft Plans to Get Rid of Linux/Android

    Microsoft's sheer abuse against Android is laying bare for everyone to see now that Microsoft has paralysed Google's legal department with potential antitrust action in Europe



  10. Yahoo's Current CEO (Mayer, Formerly of Google) is Trying to End Yahoo! Status as Microsoft Proxy

    There are signs of relinquishing Microsoft's control over Yahoo! after Marissa Mayer worked to end the company's suicidal/abusive relationship with Steve Ballmer's Microsoft



  11. Repeating Microsoft's Lies Without Any Journalistic Assessment

    Poor fact-checking by relatively large media/news sites results in Microsoft's patently false claims being repeated uncritically



  12. Links 19/4/2015: New KaOS (2015.04), Manjaro Linux 0.8.13 Pre1

    Links for the day



  13. Links 18/4/2015: ExTiX 15.2, RaspArch

    Links for the day



  14. Microsoft Tired of Pretending to be Nice to Free/Open Source Software (FOSS), Microsoft 'Open' Technologies Dumped

    Microsoft dumps its proxy (misleadingly named 'Open Tech') and other attacks on Free software persist from the inside, often through so-called 'experts' whose agenda is to sell proprietary software



  15. More Translations of French Article About the EPO

    German and Dutch translations of the Le Monde article are now available



  16. Links 17/4/2015: Wipro and the Netherlands Want FOSS

    Links for the day



  17. Microsoft's Multi-Dimensional Assault on Android/Linux: Extortion, Lobbying of Regulators, and Bribes

    Microsoft's vicious war on Linux (and Android in its current incarnation) takes more sophisticated -- albeit illegal (as per the RICO Act) -- forms



  18. Microsoft's Plot to Associate Windows with 'Open Source' is Proving Effective, Despite Being Just a Big Lie

    A look at the latest headlines which can lead to a false perception that Microsoft is now in bed with 'Open Source'



  19. Microsoft Windows Remotely Crashed, Remotely Hijacked, But Still No Logo and No Branding for the Bugs

    Windows maintains its reputation as a back doors haven, but the media is still not highlighting the severity of this issue, instead focusing on accidental bugs in Free software, even very old (and already fixed) bugs



  20. Black Duck's Latest Self-Promotional Propaganda (for Proprietary Software) Still Fools Journalists

    Under the traditionally misleading title "Future of Open Source" Black Duck expresses its desire for proprietary software sales, salivating over fearful managers who may get bamboozled into buying the patents-'protected' Black Duck 'product'



  21. Links 16/4/2015: Opera for 32-bit GNU/Linux, New Chromebook Site

    Links for the day



  22. Links 15/4/2015: Plasma 5.3 Beta, Docker's New Funding

    Links for the day



  23. Microsoft is Still Googlebombing the Term Open Source and Fooling Politicians Who Now Think Microsoft is Open Source

    Microsoft's attempt to assimilate (to confuse) bears some fruit and the Microsoft-linked media plays a considerable role in it



  24. Back Doors/Bug Doors in All Versions of Microsoft Windows Need a Name, a Logo, and Branding Too

    All versions of Microsoft Windows are found to have been insecure since 1997, but the bug responsible for this is not named as candidate for back door access, let alone named (with logo and marketing) like far less severe bugs in Free/libre software such as OpenSSL



  25. OnePlus (or OnePlus Customers) Should Wipe CyanogenMod From Existing Devices and Install Something Else

    A call for OnePlus to reconsider any future updates from Microsoft's Trojan horse, Cyanogen



  26. Links 14/4/2015: 3DR Dronecode, Z1/Z2 Tizen

    Links for the day



  27. Links 13/4/2015: Linux 4.0 Released; A Look at Antergos 2015.04.12

    Links for the day



  28. EFF Uses Alice v. CLS Bank Case to Pressure USPTO to Halt Software Patenting

    A look at recent patent policies and actions from the EFF, as well as increasing secrecy at the USPTO



  29. No, Panasonic Did Not Open-Source Anything (Another Example of Openwashing for PR)

    A dissection of media deception (or media being bamboozled) regarding the act of promising not to sue using patents, which in no way relates to Free/Open Source software



  30. Yes, Software Patents Are Dying, But Media Continues to Be Dominated by Those Denying it For a Salary

    The debate about software patents in this post-Alice era parallels the Net neutrality debate, where voices of people with vested interests contribute to confusion and meddle with largely-accepted views/consensus


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts