Embrace, extend, and everyone knows the rest
SOME readers have sent a few pointers to us, so it’s probably time to comment on Microsoft’s latest step in a long, brutal pursuit where it threw people out of their jobs, bullied them, replaced them, bribed quite a few ballot-stuffers, blackmailed nations and even — on the face — bribed charities. To say that Microsoft engaged in criminal behaviour due to its strong ambitions of making Microsoft ‘the standard’ would be the understatement of this century (which heralds the beginning of another crackdown on massive corruption).
Microsoft doesn’t stop there. Ruining ISO was not enough because nations began ignoring ISO [1, 2, 3, 4]. Microsoft is finding new things to stomp on, as though it has some God-given right to restore its revenues at all costs, no matter the victims involved. Microsoft fought ODF like fire and now it’s pretending to be its friend. It wants to leverage its nightmare to its own advantage.
“Let’s Embrace ODF”
One Microsoft press release and an accompanying blog post turned old news into something that’s seemingly newsworthy. Microsoft funnels crime into embellishing prose like “foster” (in the headline of the press release). This Orwellian attitude must make George flip in his grave.
We covered this series of developments before:
- Beware the Vapourware (Microsoft to Save ODF Bunnies, End Global Warning)
- Taking Stock of Microsoft’s Vapourware Announcement
- What People Say About That Mythical Microsoft Service Pack
- Groklaw: Microsoft’s ODF Moves Vapourware, Possible Trojan Horse for Software Patents
- Old FUD Pattern Makes Epic Comeback
- Office and OOXML Under Pressure, So Microsoft Retaliates with ODF
- Document Formats Roundup: Why Microsoft Should Worry
- OOXML/ODF Roundup: ODF is Winning, BECTA Runs Back to Microsoft’s Bed
Someone has already composed a detailed response to Microsoft’s latest PR move, which is — by all means — a PR move. Oh! And a brand-new Web site (documentation is here). Starting at a few dollars for hosting, Microsoft loves creating these new domains to give the illusion of scale and grassroots support with 'independence' from Microsoft (e.g.
VoicesForInnovation.org, which is owned by Microsoft).
Some Web site called “Rush PR News” (yes, PR) has already published an interview with Microsoft’s Doug Mahugh. It showed up among the ODF news immediately after the announcement, as though it had been prepared or arranged in advance. The reality if far from this PR (public relations) stunt:
Now you have Microsoft’s bellydancing and basically declaring that they, who sell the “best office suite on the market” (I don’t make that claim) will offer poor support on ODF because of product limitations. Am I the only one here feeling that Redmond is trying -again-to play games? Any additional information would be welcome at this stage, of course, but the market should pay close attention to this issue.
I have hailed and declared myself positively satisfied the inclusion of Microsoft in the ODF committees at the OASIS consortium. I have read the contributions of its employees and they were useful and constructive. This being said, Doug’s blog leaves me with an odd taste in my mouth.
To be frank, I feel that Doug has been looking for a way to tell us that Microsoft’s support of ODF will be crappy and that it was intended to be that way. I realize I have no substantial evidence of what I’m asserting here, but since when does Microsoft speak of the new features of MS Office with a sorry tone?
From The Register:
Even the European Commission questioned Microsoft’s intentions. After all, it had been dogged by less-than-pretty grumbles from a range of opponents about the software giant’s campaign to get its contentious Office Open XML (OOXML) document format approved as an international standard at the second time of trying.
EC regulators said they would investigate whether that announcement really did mean “better interoperability”, allowing customers “to process and exchange their documents with the software product of their choice”.
This latter article also mentions Doug Mahugh without mentioning the disgraceful things he did. These things should not be surprising because he’s coming from the same company that committed white-collar crimes in its pursuits for an ISO rubber stamp. It’s part of a much longer history of crimes and they probably learned not to be ashamed of it. Many people forget the past and the OOXML fiasco too — they reckon and hope — will be a crime that seemingly ‘expired’ due to age. Revisionism began a long time ago.
“Let’s Extend OOXML”
Charles-H. Schulz wrote this humorous post which compares Microsoft's illegal occupation of ISO to the Iraqi invasion (watch the picture). No shoes were being thrown, but some people reportedly lost their jobs.
Those accomplices from ECMA are still raising a toast to celebrate the corruption they were involved in [1, 2, 3, 4]. They do this in a new press release about OOXML. Talk about mixed messages and double standards…
Who covered this thing? Well, we recently found some court documents where Microsoft’s special arrangements with InformationWeek were vividly depicted (Vista advertising back in 2006). As such, we’re never surprised to find this publication peddling Microsoft’s not-so-news, which this time is being pushed forward by J. Nicholas Hoover. In the same set of court documents we find the ugly truth about Microsoft and Rob Enderle, who writes for or contributes to TGDaily sometimes. Well, TGDaily was among those who covered this unimportant ‘news’ as well. The only surprising coverage that we found actually came from Heise, which is a German publication. Since the country as a whole is embracing ODF they went on with the more apprehensive headline, which is “Microsoft details their ODF 1.1 implementation.”
Let’s be very clear here. This whole charade is geared towards one single goal:
To sell more Microsoft Office based on some label that says “ODF” and helps the Microsoft lobbyists/boosters pressure governments against/away from Free software
There are many office suites that support ODF right now and they are hardly proprietary. Lotus Symphony is based on OpenOffice.org and it turns out that another office suite, called PlusOffice, is coming to Apple Macs.
PlusOffice Mac is open-source software, and it shares code with OpenOffice.org.
It features the same applications included with OpenOffice.org – Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Base and Math.
I often find it amusing when people pull out a very significant sounding, obviously committee-written definition of “interoperability.” If I didn’t know better, I would have thought that the definition was written and then delivered on a stone tablet. Is this necessary, or is interoperability one of those things that you know when you see it?
With cloud computing becoming more and more important, people are correctly asking questions about standards. My sense is that virtually none of the cloud environments are interchangeable and that interoperability among them is sketchy, at best. Unless one provider ends up being overwhelmingly dominant, interoperability will need to be improved.
The timing of this blog post is probably no coincidence. So IBM is not entirely happy with Microsoft’s move, either; it’s just careful in the way it approaches the subject.
Lastly, speaking of Novell and its followers, they seem not to care about ODF. Those inside OpenSUSE seem to say almost nothing about it because if one works for Novell (as many people of OpenSUSE do), then one can get fired for being too blunt. Microsoft is top partner of Novell now and as was last shown yesterday, Novell had been helping OOXML.
“ISO Extinguished, Next Target Please”
Microsoft did the damage which has helped it so much since. And having ruined ISO (with a eulogy for those who are more cynical about it), they are still working on ruining OSI (ISO in reverse) and ‘extending’ Python with .NET. They move on from raping/changing standards and apply the same tactics to “open source”. We saw more signs of such things only a fortnight ago.
A change in licence to the Microsoft Public Licence moves IronPython out of the Shared Source Initiative and under the remit of an Open Source Initiative approved licence.
Microsoft embraces Python like a python embraces a gazelle and here is another recent explanation. They hope that people will rely on their short memories and they are well aware of people’s weakness for witty use of words.
Meanwhile, the Gartner-Intel-Microsoft axis is pumping up ‘whitepapers’ onto popular Web sites. It would be ‘dangerous’ if people discovered the truth, as opposed to some marketing exercise called a ‘whitepaper’. Whitepapers are notorious as tools for rationalising poor decisions. █
Additional, new & related links of interest:
- The Address Labels and CD / DVD Labels
- 2009 Yearly Calendar Collection
- OOo Conference Videos (2008)
- This Town is ‘OPEN SOURCE’ con