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

03.08.08

Now Comes the OOXML Patent Tax (Microsoft Lied)

Posted in Deception, Formats, Interoperability, Microsoft, Novell, Office Suites, OpenOffice, Patents, Standard, SUN at 12:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

When you pay Novell for semi-baked OOXML support, you actually pay Microsoft

Endlessly we kept insisting and showing that there are serious patent issues associated with OOXML (e.g. in [1, 2, 3, 4]). Unsurprisingly, Microsoft resorted to bald-faced lies. It needed the false perceptions in order to lure in innocent supporters. And now comes the real Microsoft. [mind highlight, which is ours]

Microsoft today launched an update of its OpenXML and ODF translator for its Excel and Powerpoint applications and pledged to keep churning out more documentation to enable interoperability — and more patents to protect that IP.

[...]

Microsoft would not disclose pricing for its protocol licensing but pledged today that going forward it will be offered at a “reasonable and non discriminatory” (RAND) manner. Late last month — just days after Microsoft launched its multi-faceted interoperability initiative –the European Union fined Microsoft $1.4 billion for allegedly failing to comply with a three-year-old order to supply server interoperability data for competitors. Some rivals, including Samba and other open source players, argued in the past that that the costs were too prohibitive for ISVs.

Here comes Joe Wilcox comparing such an ‘interoperability’ to a public relations stunt.

Microsoft’s idea of a Document Interoperability Initiative is to put together a bunch of businesses that profit from file format incompatibilities. And that is supposed to demonstrate—quoting from the press release—”Microsoft’s commitment to implement a set of strategic changes in its technology and business practices to expand interoperability through the implementation of its interoperability principles.”

With such tricks being played, it’s hardly surprising that Sun is already adopting the (L)GPLv3 for OpenOffice.org. We wrote about this yesterday and here comes a later observation about the timing of the announcement.

OpenOffice.org has announced that the project will be moving from its current LGPLv2 licensing to the LGPLv3 with a coming version 3.0 of the open source office software suite.

[...]

Interestingly, OpenOffice.org’s announcement comes on the same day Microsot has made another interoperability announcement, this time centered on document formats.

The main man of the Open Source Initiative is at the same time praising Sun’s Simon Phipps, who was the first to announce this adoption of (upgrade to) the LGPLv3.

I believed that no matter what the process, a standard should be judged by the product. Watching the fallout settle from the BRM in Geneva, I’m beginning to think that you were right and I was wrong.

What you got right is that when a process is allowed to go out of its way to exclude legitimate participation, we must withdraw from the presumption that the standard can be legitimate, even if the end product does not overly exclude the possibility of an open source implementation. This is what I have leared by reading the Groklaw report on the BRM.

To conclude, Microsoft’s OOXML is a case of charging competitors money. OOXML is not free. The next few posts will also show that OOXML support simply cannot be provided by anything other than Microsoft Office, one of the company’s last remaining cash cows. Microsoft wants to control a second ‘standard’ not in order to facilitate choice, but in order to make more money.

OOXML

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

5 Comments

  1. markus said,

    March 8, 2008 at 4:19 am

    Gravatar

    Nice article.

    However I must protest that the EU – their decision some months was actually _bad_. The EU said that all the patents that MS has still apply (!) which means that the EU has strengthened MS position directly. :(
    The patent law suits are just postponed to a later day, as you can see how quickly MS finds new allies, i.e. Novell.

    Also, the cost to gain documentation is not free, instead the EU has only capped it. This is outrageous, the EU started a law suit but in fact ended by strengthening MS position.

    This is exactly why MS thinks it can get away with their supposedly free OOXML standard. After they bought Novell and Novell buckled in favour of the money, what opposition would hold against MS if even the EU supports MS point of view?

    The law suit about interoperability started earlier, because of fear of the multimedia market. And now, did the EU change the market AT ALL?

    No. Nokia, Apple and Google had a MUCH bigger influence on the video market than the EU with all its useless laws and regulations.

    This is so sad… The EU does nothing seriously against de facto monopolies. They should rather encourage a network of smaller companies work together, or they should encourage grants which go to the general public instead of being held by pseudo-patents.

    Microsoft tries to prevent any competition on its monopoly. The XNA license explicitely forbids using it on i.e. Linux. OOXML is of course tied to MS products (but actually there are many reasons why OOXML should not be allowed to become an ISO standard. I have no illusion that it will, money is just too important.)

    What is left actually?
    Noone is really surprised that Microsoft speaks with a splitted tongue. Same old company tactic. Over time, Microsoft will shrink, simply because its products will slowly become less and less important. (Its just sad that Google plays a bigger role than Linux-Desktop …)

    But the one to blame here actually is Novell, because Novell sold their soul with the Microsoft deal.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 8, 2008 at 4:45 am

    Gravatar

    See what we wrote about this awful decision in Europe before [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11].

    As for Novell, it’s the one sellout which started an avalanche. It was the precedence Microsoft needed, just as myself and I predicted days after the deal had been signed. I was on the OpenSUSE mailing lists at the time.

  3. Philluminati said,

    March 8, 2008 at 8:12 am

    Gravatar

    It’s good that you are here doing this work and keeping your eye on Microsoft after other people have dismissed these concerns.

    You were and continue to be right to do so and this article proves it.

    Microsoft’s “high negative” is not merely a perception nor a natural result of having a popular product but the result of being a price-fixing, overcharging, unfair, over-restricting, anti-competitive, anti-compatible, poor-software-writing, user-needs-ignoring, tax-fiddling, compulsive-lying abuse monopolist!

    This site, the FOSS companies and the people closely involved are going to be the people that save the world from another generation of Microsoft Lock in, provided they continue to do such a good job to bring these issues into the foreground.

    Phillip Taylor :-)

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 8, 2008 at 8:21 am

    Gravatar

    Hey Philluminati,

    This is the first time I see your real name. Thanks for the compliments..I notice an oopise in my last comment. It should say “others and I”. I still remember the messages from that time. Andreas was dismissive and hopeless. We could not change a thing. He said the deal was irrevocable when we were still begging for it to be retracted, simply canceled. But that’s history anyway…

  5. CoolGuy said,

    March 9, 2008 at 10:17 am

    Gravatar

    Most of FOSS are not aware of the legal issues. We are developers and lest concerned about these shaddy deals. If it were not for this website I would have just used opensuse/mono/etc.

    Atleast the issues about novell/mono/ooxml are coming to light and as Roy had predicted about m$ – it has come true.

    I dont know what stand novell will take now. They are already a sunken ship the day they sold out to m$.

    But I think that this had happened for good – atleast the GPL3 is much more stronger now due to novell :P Everytime m$ tried to hurt GPL – it has come out more stronger than before and making m$ more weaker. Too bad novell and opensuse paid the price for it.

    I did dowload the opensuse live cd to try it out…liked it a bit, maybe had recommended it to few ppl. but now I stay away from such companies and recommend others to use fedora/ubuntu/debian.

What Else is New


  1. Links 25/10/2014: KDE Mockups, Update on GNOME Outreach Program for Women

    Links for the day



  2. After Infecting Unity -- Successfully -- Microsoft's Partner Xamarin Wants to Infect Unreal Engine With .NET

    Xamarin continues to spread dependence on Microsoft to more gaming frameworks, not just platforms such as GNU/Linux, Android, and even permanent-state devices



  3. Taking Microsoft Windows Off the Grid for Damage to Businesses, the Internet, and Banking Systems

    Microsoft's insecure-by-design software is causing massive damages ([cref 27802 possibly trillions] of [cref 13992 dollars in damages to date]) and yet the corporate press does not ask the right questions, let alone suggest a ban on Microsoft software



  4. City of Berlin Does Not Abandon Free Software, It's Only Tax Authorities

    A Softpedia report that says the City of Berlin is moving to Microsoft Office is flawed and may be based on a poor translation



  5. Nadella a Liar in Chief at Microsoft, Pretending That His Anti-Competitive Practices Are Unfortunately Imposed on Microsoft

    The nastiness of Microsoft knows no bounds as even its assault on GNU/Linux and dirty tricks against Free software adoption are characterised as the fault of 'pirates'



  6. Reuters Writes About the Demise of Software Patents, But Focuses on 'Trolls' and Quotes Lawyers

    How the corporate media chooses to cover the invalidity of many software patents and the effect of that



  7. Links 24/10/2014: Microsoft Tax Axed in Italy, Google's Linux (ChromeOS/Android) Leader Promoted

    Links for the day



  8. Links 24/10/2014: GNU/Linux History, Fedora Delay

    Links for the day



  9. Links 23/10/2014: New *buntu, Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  10. Links 22/10/2014: Chromebooks Surge, NSA Android Endorsement

    Links for the day



  11. Links 21/10/2014: Debian Fork Debate, New GNU IceCat

    Links for the day



  12. Criminal Microsoft is Censoring the Web and Breaks Laws to Do So; the Web Should Censor (Remove) Microsoft

    Microsoft is still breaking the Internet using completely bogus takedown requests (an abuse of DMCA) and why Microsoft Windows, which contains weaponised back doors (shared with the NSA), should be banned from the Internet, not just from the Web



  13. Microsoft 'Loving' GNU/Linux and Other Corporate Media Fiction

    Microsoft has bullied or cleverly bribed enough technology-centric media sites to have them characterise Microsoft as a friend of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) that also "loves Linux"



  14. India May be Taking Bill Gates to Court for Misusing His So-called 'Charity' to Conduct Clinical Trials Without Consent on Behalf of Companies He Invests in

    Bill Gates may finally be pulled into the courtroom again, having been identified for large-scale abuses that he commits in the name of profit (not "charity")



  15. The Problems With Legal Workarounds, Patent Scope, and Expansion of Patent Trolls to the East

    Patent trolls are in the news again and it's rather important, albeit for various different reasons, more relevant than the ones covered here in the past



  16. Links 20/10/2014: Cloudera and Red Hat, Debian 7.7, and Vivid Vervet

    Links for the day



  17. Links 20/10/2014: 10 Years Since First Ubuntu Release

    Links for the day



  18. How Patent Lawyers Analyze Alice v. CLS Bank

    Breaking down a patent lawyer's analysis of a Supreme Court's decision that seemingly invalidated hundreds of thousands of software patents



  19. Is It Google's Turn to Head the USPTO Corporation?

    The industry-led USPTO continues to be coordinated by some of its biggest clients, despite issues associated with conflicting interests



  20. The EPO's Public Relations Disaster Amid Distrust From Within (and EPO Communications Chief Leaves): Part VII

    Amid unrest and suspicion of misconduct in the EPO's management (ongoing for months if not years), Transparency International steps in, but the EPO's management completely ignores Transparency International, refusing to collaborate; the PR chief of the EPO is apparently being pushed out in the mean time



  21. Links 18/10/2014: Debian Plans for Init Systems, Tails 1.2

    Links for the day



  22. Links 18/10/2014: New ELive, Android Expansion

    Links for the day



  23. Another Fresh Blow to Software Patents (and With Them Patent Trolls)

    Another new development shows that more burden of proof is to be put on the litigant, thus discouraging the most infamous serial patent aggressors and reducing the incentive to settle with a payment out of court



  24. Links 16/10/2014: New Android, SSL 3.0 Flaw

    Links for the day



  25. How the Corporate Press Deceives and Sells Microsoft Agenda

    Various new examples of media propaganda that distorts or makes up the facts (bias/lies by omission/selection) and where this is all coming from



  26. Vista 10 is Still Vapourware, But We Already Know It Will Increase Surveillance on Its Users and Contain Malicious Back Doors

    The villainous company which makes insecure-by-design operating systems will continue to do so, but in the mean time the corporate press covers only bugs in FOSS, not back doors in proprietary software



  27. Links 15/10/2014: KDE Plasma 5.1 is Out, GOG Reaches 100-Title Mark

    Links for the day



  28. With .NET Foundation Affiliation Xamarin is Another Step Closer to Being Absorbed by Microsoft

    Xamarin is not even trying to pretend that separation exists between Microsoft and its work; yet another collaboration is announced



  29. The EPO's Protection Triangle of Battistelli, Kongstad, and Topić: Part VI

    Jesper Kongstad, Benoît Battistelli, and Zeljko Topić are uncomfortably close personally and professionally, so suspicions arise that nepotism and protectionism play a negative role that negatively affects the European public



  30. Corporate Media Confirms the Demise of Software Patents in the United States; Will India and Europe Follow?

    It has become increasingly official that software patents are being weakened in the United States' USPTO as well as the courts; will software leaders such as India and Europe stop trying to imitate the old USPTO?


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