Jamie McCracken (jamiemcc ) wrote,

Same old Microsoft



I have been watching the Odf vs OpenXML drama with some trepidation and wondering where the catch was with microsoft's apparent support for open standards.

I simply dont have the time to read the monstrously verbose OpenXml spec so I'm very grateful someone else has done the hard work and exposed the patent bombshells, the flaws, the omissions and the whole semi-propropriety nature of it (undisclosed blobs). The article in question can be found here and everyone who cares about open standards should read it.

What is most worrisome is the fact that no one other than Mirosoft could ever implement it in full. This means that open source software would never be used by companies who are risk adverse for office docs (the same reason said companies will not use OpenOffice for their doc/xls files as it cannot guarantee to read or open them 100% even though it currently does an excellent job)

Of course Micrsosft has been exploiting risk adverse enterprises for ages by spreading patent FUD against Linux and open source as it seems to be the only effective startegy they have. (its sadly an approach that works far too often as well). Nothing has changed...

The injection of patents into practically all microsoft standards is also the prime reason to avoid them especially now as it seems that smoke and mirrors are being used to hide them at first glance in the hope of snaring the unwary. Its quite cunning yes but then a leopard cant change its spots can it? Sigh - nothing has changed...

I agree whole heartedly that open standards must be vendor neutral and be controlled by representable committees and must never be in the exclusive hands of a callous convicted monopolist. Remember the Halloween memos where MS laid out their strategy of hampering OSS by creating new standards that they could not adopt or use? It seems nothing has changed...

As with any corporation, if the people at the top are evil (or utterly ruthless, selfish, psychotic and power mad if you object to the word evil) then so is the corporation. Again nothing has changed...
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