Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Microsoft IBM

Microsoft Believes IBM Masterminded Anti-OOXML Initiative 274

Posted by Zonk
from the may-have-been-some-structural-flaws dept.
mahuyar writes "Microsoft executives have accused IBM of leading the campaign against their initiative to have Office Open XML approved by the International Organization for Standardization. 'Nicos Tsilas, senior director of interoperability and IP policy at Microsoft, said that IBM and the likes of the Free Software Foundation have been lobbying governments to mandate the rival OpenDocument Format (ODF) standard to the exclusion of any other format. "They have made this a religious and highly political debate," Tsilas said. "They are doing this because it is advancing their business model. Over 50 percent of IBM's revenues come from consulting services."'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft Believes IBM Masterminded Anti-OOXML Initiative

Comments Filter:
  • Wait (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Adradis (1160201) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @04:46PM (#22238444)
    Is that the pot calling the kettle black? If Microsoft is pulling out all the stops to steamroll their way to the front, I find it incredibly hypocritical of them to call someone else out on a counter.
    • by alextheseal (653421) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @04:59PM (#22238626)
      There is only one company to blame and it's Microsoft. If it had been a decent spec and unencumbered people would have respected it despite the author. This spec though did not deserve the light of day.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        actually, I have it on good authority that google is behind a lot of these moves.
    • So wait...

      Microsoft is crying about this, this is not fair?

      Are they... losing this battle? Is this their last defence?

      I sure hope so!

       
    • Very Unprofessional (Score:5, Interesting)

      by kripkenstein (913150) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @05:19PM (#22238868) Homepage
      Ah, Microsoft isn't even speaking with one voice here:

      "Let's be very clear," Paoli [Microsoft senior director of XML technology] said. "It has been fostered by a single company -- IBM. If it was not for IBM, it would have been business as usual for this standard." [...] Nicos Tsilas, senior director of interoperability and IP policy at Microsoft, said that IBM and the likes of the Free Software Foundation have been lobbying governments to mandate the rival OpenDocument Format (ODF) standard to the exclusion of any other format.
      So which is it, 'IBM, and IBM alone', or 'IBM, the FSF, and a few others'? These two opinions just end up sounding like rants; this is what happens when everything isn't run through the company PR office (a surprising oversight here, actually - very unprofessional).

      Anyhow, not that it matters, but the truth seems to be the latter. Several groups and entities were opposed to OOXML, including many FOSS organizations like the FSF. And also IBM. Given IBM's money, perhaps it acted more than the others, I have no idea. If IBM did anything underhanded or unethical, then that would be very wrong, regardless of the worthiness of the goal. But, as it happens, Microsoft was caught buying votes, not IBM, so these accusations of Microsoft's are just ridiculous.
    • Rephrased.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fictionpuss (1136565) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @05:25PM (#22238936)
      Microsoft are stating that:
      1. There is a legitimate business model around supporting Free Software - which IBM demonstrates
      2. End customers who use that Free Software are able to perform their work duties as well or better than those who would use MS Office - otherwise they would not be in competition to Microsoft (#1)
      3. Standards bodies and Governments (of the people) should back OOXML/MS Office (of a corporation), which would encourage sales of MS Office, even though Free Software (of the people) is already up to the task (#2), and there is no key economic stimulus motivation (#1) (for the people) to do so

      This should be a highly political debate - otherwise we encourage our Governments/Schools to continue to waste our taxes. If Microsoft didn't lobby such institutions then it would not be a political debate.

      Calling Free Software a religious movement is a dubious and cheap slur against a movement.

      Classic FUD.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        > Calling Free Software a religious movement is a dubious and cheap slur against a movement.

        Especially if it's coming from apparent worshipers of Mammon.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by KillerCow (213458)
      "IBM Believes Microsoft Masterminded OOXML Initiative"

      Ad Hominem is a logical fallacy.
    • Sounds like Hitler crying that Britain and France were entirely to blame for the war that started after they invaded Poland.
    • Everybody already knows that Microsoft has been playing dirty. This is just their attempt to say 'everyone is doing it'. If they can spread enough FUD, most people will just turn around in disgust and most of them will just be muttering something about 'What a mess, I guess everyone's hands are dirty to some degree' without trying to understand the difference between bribery on one hand and advocacy on the other.
  • by KublaiKhan (522918) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @04:46PM (#22238446) Homepage Journal
    So sad, that such a tiny little garage shop like Microsoft should be beaten up by the big bad IBM.

    Anyone else think that this sounds like whining?
    • Yup, this is the same argument I've heard from people/companies for years but against MS. Guess they don't like being on the receiving end of this equation.
    • by StCredZero (169093) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @06:22PM (#22239676)
      All's fair in love & war. Sometimes business is like war. IBM was the Microsoft of its day. They've got a longer history of dirty tricks than just about anybody out there.

      So how do you destroy a competitor, legally, soaking up goodwill from the programmer community all the while? Commodify your Competition's Product! Sun was pushing Java big-time for awhile. So why would IBM help it by funding Eclipse? Because by doing so, they commodify Java development environments, eliminating a potential revenue stream for Sun. Eclipse is a weapon against Sun! Why do you think they named it "Eclipse!?" What does an Eclipse do?

      It's one thing to pull dirty tricks. It's another thing to be able to pull dirty tricks on the dirty tricksters. It's yet again another thing to do all that, and win the goodwill of the community at the same time! So, by opposing OOXML, IBM is hurting Microsoft, opening up a potential market for consulting services (There has been a fair bit of money to be made in automated document processing for government!) and winning kudos from us Open Source community to boot.

      Bravo!
      • "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few"...

        IBM's actions benefit many, while Microsoft's actions benefit few. You can't expect corporations to behave like charities, IBM's actions are better than most.

        Taken to it's ultimate conclusion, consider the end result of IBM's action:

        All software people use day to day is free, and some help can be obtained online for free.
        For everything you might want to do, there is a choice of applications which all interoperate using standard formats.
        For businesses w
  • Hmmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @04:48PM (#22238474) Journal
    You know how I know there's no God. Because if there was, a lightning bolt would come from the sky and blast this guy to smithereens.

    After all the revelations of Microsoft's attempts to poison the standards process by buying votes, to accuse someone else of some dirty campaign is so hypocritical and immoral that one has to stand in awe of the kind of twisted mind that could produce it.

    I thought only SCO's pathetic supporters with their claims that Groklaw was an IBM front were this warped, but Microsoft, congrats, you've produced the same specimen of irony-meter destroying beastling.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by richg74 (650636)

      After all the revelations of Microsoft's attempts to poison the standards process by buying votes, to accuse someone else of some dirty campaign is so hypocritical and immoral that one has to stand in awe of the kind of twisted mind that could produce it.

      You've got to give them credit for one thing: they have more nerve than a one-legged guy in an ass-kicking contest. I think my irony meter just exploded.

    • Re:Hmmm... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by riseoftheindividual (1214958) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @05:09PM (#22238754) Homepage
      You know how I know there's no God. Because if there was, a lightning bolt would come from the sky and blast this guy to smithereens.

      I've agreed with many of your posts, but I can't agree here. I'm not saying there is a God, but I could see a God with a sense of humor keeping this guy around to make him laugh. I laughed myself to tears when I read this. With just a few tweaks, this could have been a good onion article.
    • by walterbyrd (182728) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @05:39PM (#22239130)
      I don't see msft accusing IBM of "dirty" campaigning.

      The problem is that another company may be campaigning at all. I mean, how friggin *dare* they! Doesn't IBM know that msft has a sacred right to all PC OSes and office products?

      IBM has already shown itself to have the unmitigated gall to donate IBM's own code to Linux. This prompted msft to fund caldera to file a bogus lawsuit against IBM. According to the original lawsuit, caldera owned UNIX, and therefore anything that ever touched UNIX was also owned by caldera.

      Yet, it spite of being punished, IBM has still not learned their lesson. To do anything that might obstruct msft is an absolute sacrilege! Msft is understandably appalled. Msft will not accept this horrible injustice silently. Msft wants the world to know just how completely unethically IBM is behaving.

      I mean, to try and compete with msft! Of all the bloody nerve
    • The accusation isn't what's immoral because it's true. It's the fact that they are doing the same thing that is immoral.
    • There is a God, and this is Hell.
  • by 26reverse (305980) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @04:48PM (#22238476)
    IBM believes that Microsoft masterminded the Pro-OOXML Initiative.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Yup. Direct quote from an IBM official: "They are doing this because it is advancing their business model. Over 50 percent of Microsoft's revenues come from selling Microsoft Office."

      • by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @05:27PM (#22238960) Journal
        Microsoft wanted a standard basically amounts to ISO certified vendor lock in. They wanted it because it supports their business model, which is getting paid for the standard office functionality installed on every computer on earth, forever.

        IBM wanted a standard that allows them to mix and match their own office software, MS office software, or any other office software together as part of a larger solution based on their clients needs. They wanted it because it supports their business model, which is doing analysis of a specific businesses needs and helping them put together a complete information infrastructure.

        The thing is, the reason the International Standards Body exists is to make IBMs business model practical and prevent companies from successfully operating with Microsofts business model. It doesn't do this because it has a business motive though. It does it because the people of the world value their autonomy enough to have united behind this goal.

        So, basically, Microsoft are angrily accusing IBM of being good corporate citizens of the world in this particular regard.
  • by KokorHekkus (986906) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @04:49PM (#22238486)
    ...what you engage in yourself.
  • Regardless of IBM's motives (obviously they have some interest in this, they are a company that wants to make a profit), the main reason why everyone is against MS.. is because they cannot be trusted....
  • by davidsyes (765062) * on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @04:51PM (#22238510) Homepage Journal
    IBM executives have concerns microsoft of leading the campaign against their initiative against microsoft's initiative to have Office Open XML approved by the International Organization for Standardization.

    But, Nicos Tsilas, senior director of interoperability and IP policy at Microsoft, said that IBM and the likes of the Free Software Foundation have been lobbying governments to mandate the rival OpenDocument Format (ODF) standard to the exclusion of any other format.

    IBM responded with, "They have made this a religious and highly political debate, worse than we did" "Yes, we ARE are doing this because it is advancing our business model. But, over 50 percent of microsoft's revenues come from abusing and INsulting services against their customers needing a way out."
  • by businessnerd (1009815) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @04:51PM (#22238518)
    Why don't we look at this in reverse and see how ridiculous it looks...

    Microsoft and the likes of the Microsoft's lobbyists have been lobbying governments to mandate the rival OOXML standard to the exclusion of any other format.
    Wait a minute....that's not ridiculous at all! That's f%#&ing reality!

    Seriously, we've seen plenty of stories right here on Slashdot about Microsoft trying to buy the vote. Sweden comes to mind. And frankly, you can't call it lobbying when all you are doing is pointing out that Microsoft's "open" format is not actually open.
    • To be fair, though, neither standard is very open at all. I tend to agree with the Opera dude who says that HTML+CSS is already a perfect document standard if it's implemented properly.
  • I do believe the likes of Google and Sun were firmly on IBM's side in pushing back against MSOOXML. Goes to show, it takes a group effort to stand up against a monopolist.
  • Everybody who cares to look already knows that ODF is about IBM's business AND the pubic good.
    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @05:01PM (#22238662) Journal
      Whether ODF is or not is quite besides the point. Microsoft has tried to make this about ODF vs. OOXML, when in fact it should be all about Microsoft's unimplementable file format (at least by a third party) and the dirty tricks that it has used in its attempts to get it ISO certification so it can try to sell Office as an "open standards"-based application suite to the increasing number of governments who want an open document format to assure long-term readability of documents.

      Quite frankly I think that the very idea of someone submitting a protocol or file format to an international standards committee without one example of a third-party implementation is ludicrous.
    • by Rob Y. (110975)
      No. ODF is really about lowering the cost of desktop productivity software.

      That's certainly good for the public. Not necessarily so great for IBM, except that it levels the (hopefully, soon to be lower) playing field.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by rprins (1083641)
      I love my pubic goods..
    • by fritsd (924429) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @07:22PM (#22240474) Journal

      Everybody who cares to look already knows that ODF is about IBM's business AND the pubic good.

      Yeah, but.. " Microsoft executives have accused the rest of the world of leading the campaign against their initiative to have Office Open XML approved by the International Organization for Standardization. " doesn't have the right spin.

      I've downloaded and looked at the MSOOXML spec and I thought it was some kind of insult. I seriously invite everyone who has ever read a spec, and who still doubts how bad this one really is, to download the 38 Mb PDF file from .. oh wait.. it's not there anymore.. now probably from ECMA-376 [ecma-international.org] and you probably want the ZIP file "ECMA-376 part 4" (warning, 32 Mb) and also get the 2000+ pages of errata from ECMA which the countries have to read in the next 2 weeks before they get to have a final vote at the ballot resolution meeting.

      You want the file titled "Office Open XML Part 4 - Markup Language Reference.pdf".

      A copy of the 2200 page PDF file of criticisms can be downloaded from here [itn.liu.se].

      Frankly, you can get a good laugh out of all the stuff about 1900 and 1904 date systems (response 43, I quote CH-0007

      "Software bugs should be fixed, not exported by ISO standards to the programs of competitors."

      ) and the mathematically wrong CEILING function (response 30 p. 121),

      But I believe this is the one "killer question" that the BRM should consider discussing for those 5 days: Response 31 on p. 122 (211) to questions BE-0001, CH-0013, CL-0001, DE-0119, KR-0001, NZ-0003, PE-0010, ZA-0003

      Basically, AFAIK, the comments are "We already have ODF, why do we need OOXML?" and the proposed solutions are of the gist "Develop OOXML starting from ODF". This is ECMA's response:

      Proposed Disposition

      There are currently several XML-based document formats in use, each designed to address a different set of goals or requirements. These include ISO/IEC IS 26300 (ODF), China's UOF, and ECMA-376 (DIS 29500 Open XML). All these formats have numerous implementations in multiple tools and multiple platforms (Linux, Windows, Mac OS, hand-held devices).

      The Ecma Response Document from the Fast Track 30-Day contradiction phase for DIS29500 addressed the question of harmonization by explaining the differences between the ODF and Open XML formats as follows:

      "... one must recognize that creating a single "merged" format to address the user requirements of both ODF and OpenXML is a much more difficult goal--one that is hindered by fundamental obstacles comparable to what one might encounter while merging HTML and ODF or HTML and PDF. This is because of sheer difference of scope, feature and architecture. Ecma believes that one format cannot simultaneously meet the requirements that would come from the merge of the two formats and the stringent requirements of backward compatibility that drive the design of OpenXML.

      First, while both formats share the high-level goal, to represent documents, presentations, and spreadsheets in XML, their low-level goals differ fundamentally. OpenXML is designed to represent the existing corpus of documents faithfully, even if that means preserving idiosyncrasies that one might not choose given the luxury of starting from a clean slate. In the ODF design, compatibility with and preservation of existing Office documents were not goals. Each set of goals is valuable; sacrificing either at the expense of the other may not be in the best interest of users.

      Second, the resulting differences are not merely variances in scope that could be resolved by adding capabilities to one or the other. They are structural and architectural in nature

  • kudos to MS (Score:3, Funny)

    by psbrogna (611644) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @04:55PM (#22238574)
    For putting aside vendor difference and suggesting that IBM be recognized for their alleged efforts. For, in my mind, campaigning against bad spec does indeed make one masterful.
  • or it could just be a massive wave of consensus that's causing their denial. Oh, and backlash from being caught red handed more than once.
    just maybe..
  • I wish Microsoft would accuse me of masterminding the plot against OOXML seeing as 50% of my business comes from dealing with crappy software.
  • After all, who isn't running OS/2 on their thinkpads these days, or typing on Model M keyboards? And the IBM PowerPC chip - now that's a popular chip for the mainstream market if ever I saw one!

    Yep, I'm sure the guys who sold us all on "I just totally warped my files" would be capable of blocking a Microsoft initiative... When I think powerful and successful marketing, I know I think IBM.
    • by ianare (1132971)
      I know what you're trying to say, that IBM is no longer the 800lbs gorilla it used to be, which is true. But the bit about PowerPC is inaccurate, it is certainly mainstream - the xbox 360 and wii use it, and the cell processor is related to it (uses power architecture). It is also used in many applications in the embedded market.
    • And the IBM PowerPC chip - now that's a popular chip for the mainstream market if ever I saw one!

      Are you serious? All three current generation consoles use chips based on IBM's Power Architecture.

      The Xbox 360 [wikipedia.org] uses a PowerPC based processor.
      The Wii [wikipedia.org] uses a PowerPC based processor.
      The PS3 [wikipedia.org] uses a Cell processor with 1 PPE (Power Processing Element) and 7 SPEs (Synergistic Processing Elements). The Power Processing Element is based on the Power Architecture.

  • how dare they?? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by twoboxen (1111241)
    IBM clearly deviated from established and acceptable protocol--buying and intimidating voters.
  • by multisync (218450) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @05:00PM (#22238634) Journal

    'Nicos Tsilas, senior director of interoperability and IP policy at Microsoft'


    If it wasn't for their 'IP policy,' we wouldn't have half the problems we do with 'interoperability.'
    • If it wasn't for their 'IP policy,' we wouldn't have half the problems we do with 'interoperability.'

      Microsoft does very little to hide that "interoperability" is something they are mostly interested in obstructing as it undermines their business model. Likely, Tsilas job as "senior director of interoperability and IP policy" is to leverage IP policy to prevent interoperability and thereby promote lock-in to MS products.

      Interoperability would make MS products replaceable commodities that would have to compe

  • "They have made this a religious and highly political debate," Tsilas said. "They are doing this because it is advancing their business model. Over 50 percent of IBM's revenues come from consulting services."

    And what percentage of Microsoft's revenue comes from Office? Isn't this advancing the business model of Microsoft?

    Does Microsoft really believe that everyone is out to get them, or are they incapable of understanding why any standard which says "do it like Word 95 did it" isn't open or implementable b

    • Does Microsoft really believe that everyone is out to get them


      No, they just want other people to believe that's the reason for criticism. Its called "propaganda". (Or, to use the popular euphemism, "public relations".)
  • Never ascribe to malice what results from trying to dishonestly force junk through standardisation processes. Memo to Microsoft: Your product stinks, is why you didn't get your way. And your business practices stink even worse. Go away.
  • by Omnifarious (11933) * <eric-slashNO@SPAMomnifarious.org> on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @05:02PM (#22238672) Homepage Journal

    In this post [slashdot.org] and the posts above and below it I have an interesting discussion with someone who says essentially the same thing.

    Personally, when it comes down to it, I don't care who is behind the standard as long as the standard meets certain *ahem* standards. Mainly I want inter-operable implementations from more than one vendor, and I would like at least one implementation that's fully Open Source and considered the reference implementation.

    ODF meets all of those requirements. OOXML meets none of them. I don't think even Microsoft could make an implementation of OOXML in a clean room without using any of their other source code.

    So, I care not one whit for the political machinations behind it all. All I care about is having a standard that's really a standard. Putting the political machinations to the fore is a mistake, and Microsoft is trying to capitalize on that to create a smokescreen that obscures the real issue, which is that their 'standard' is awful and unimplementable.

    • You're with IBM too, aren't you!? Aren't you!!?
    • by Basilius (184226)

      I don't think even Microsoft could make an implementation of OOXML in a clean room without using any of their other source code.

      They haven't, can't, and won't. Microsoft has never released a product that implements OOXML as it has been proposed. On top of that they've even stated that they have no intention of having their product innovation hampered by tying them to a standard. Even the one they created.

      You have no idea how hard it was to type that. I was laughing WAY too hard.

    • ODF does not meet your stated requirements. It (probably) will when ODF 1.2 is approved. Using your own thought experiment (clean room implementation without using existing code), ODF would fail on interoperability, because ODF 1.0 (the one that is the standard) does not specify how formulas work in spreadsheets. The way existing ODF implementations achieve interoperability here is that they look at OpenOffice's implementation, and copy it.
    • by lachlan76 (770870)
      And, of course, whether the standard is any good. OOXML has all sorts of crap in it, including broken date handling, unspecified units, etc. etc.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MMC Monster (602931)
        I think we are missing the point here. It doesn't matter if OOXML was perfectly documented and openoffice.org implemented it.

        The problem is that the OOXML standard originates from a single proprietary vendor with no input from outside sources until it's about to be released to the public as the new version of MSOffice.

        If they want to be a standard, they have to use the current implementation until the standards body creates a new version.

        Does anyone here think that MSOffice 2009 is going to wait until a st
  • It is certainly possible that IBM, Sun, Google, and FSF could have played a role in leveraging ODF over OOXML, but Microsoft shot themselves in the foot with OOXML by publishing a faulty standard that was easily demonstrated to be non-standard (i.e. "implement the way Word '97 does").

    Lord only knows what tactics Microsoft will use when usage of ODF is actually twice that of OOXML, and their Office Productivity Suite monopoly disappears...

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Thanks to IBM lobbying, we'll all be using EBCDIC-XML for our documents.
  • Knäpphuvuden

    Ask you local office what that means...

    sigh

    Who asked
    Who farted
  • I would have thought that they wouldn't or couldn't care less who or what disagrees with them so long as they got the bits of ISO paper they need so they can claim that they are "an international standard". Have they done a quick back-of-the-envelope tot up of the numbers for the vote (even at this stage)? Do they anticipate that they will fail and are getting their excuses and blames in early?
  • When Flower Child Bill Gates says we need a Kinder, Gentler Capitalism, why do the suits IBM only seek to run the business?

    When CEO Squirts Ballmer dons his Love Beads and Stallman Wig[TM] and asks for Peace, Love, and Understanding, why does IBM fight a religious and political battle?

    Peace out, Brothers and Sisters! We are Stardust. If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with.
  • "They are doing this because it is advancing their business model"

    that's been MS's excuse for all their misdeeds of the past, that it's just business. I guess the point he is trying to make is that IBM isn't doing it to be a good guy, but frankly who cares if it prevents MS getting their hooks into a standard.

  • IBM and the likes of the Free Software Foundation...
    They have made this a religious and highly political debate.

    Mwwhaaaaaa. Get the comfy chair!! Our quest against the non-believers must continue!

    Seriously? Who actually wants to get stuck with *another* Microsoft spec that they either won't doc, honor or support. What do we fear? Could it be their history of "Embrace, Extend and Extinguish"?

    "And the likes", Jeesh.

  • If I was buying votes left and right all across Europe to have my broken non-standard approved (and I don't mean "trying to"), to the point that those bribed to vote Microsoft are now causing the standards body to be disfunctional by not attending other sessions - after all, the bribe was only for voting for OOXML - well, if I did such a blatantly illegal thing for which I might still pay dearly, I should at the very least lay low and STFU! Doesn't Microsoft think IBM could very well retort in kind, but thi
  • All I can say is, waaaaaaa! Honestly, Microsoft dropped the ball on themselves on OOXML. There's no technical reason they could not have created a truly open standard that anyone could use to read and write Office compatible documents. So I can only wonder what really went on behind the scenes. Surely they have plenty of developers on staff who knew OOXML was not going to fly and that IBM and others would call them on it. I learned the hard way in grad school to never give a presentation or submit anything
  • Making unbelievable statements while getting rich. I know I couldn't possibly make such a deceitful statement in a public forum. At the very least not for money.
  • 6000 Pages (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @05:33PM (#22239042) Homepage Journal
    A specification 6000 pages long is probably another factor. Heck, try to get something that is spec compliant from a 100 page specification is hard enough, but with 6000 pages you must be smoking something good to even expect compliance. Good specs are easy to implement and understand, but then again I doubt Microsoft was even expecting anyone to be able to implement OOXML.
    • I heard page one has a delicate aroma, with a mellow buzz.
      After that, it's very harsh, and makes you cough.
  • by Rhys (96510) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @05:41PM (#22239144) Homepage

    Brett Winterford travelled to Redmond as a guest of Microsoft


    There you have it folks. No more discussion required and everyone who's defending Microsoft is welcome to leave apologies as replies! This is just more of them using money to try to brand their software as some sort of open standard when it isn't.
  • It said, "You are lost in the Swamps of Despair".

    Proverb: "A thief believes that everyone steals."

  • by alexborges (313924) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @05:48PM (#22239238)
    Well. I strongly participated in the antiooxml campaign here in Mexico against ooxml becoming an iso standard. I did this because there is already a fully supported, open, non-patent-encumbered standard covering the whole domain of what ooxml proposes, so it makes more sense for the industry, no matter how strong is microsoft in it, to support the other standard. It is within microsoft's reach to support the iso standard we have now and they did not present any reason whatsoever for its support or adoption in the industry.

    I can tell you now that IBM had nothing to do with it. Its just that many smaller foss vendors see in microsoft's initative a way to further their bussiness model in detriment of ours. We are consulting shops, we live on services and providing added value around them and open source software. To have a patent encumbered iso standard that can only be safely and completely supported by one software vendors not only hurts us, it hurts all of our client's choices in the market.

    We dont mind integrating MS products in solutions, when it makes sense. Microsoft wants things done their way, weather it makes sense for the client or not. I find this unacceptable as the market is quite capable of providing good alternatives for microsoft software and fileformats and just letting the dominant set their own standard as a public one, with strings attached, hurts customer choice. The customer would be much better if microsoft simply supported ODF in their products. This way they can compete with their (yes, i do mean this) SUPPERB office product on the basis of it being better, not on the basis of them having a monopoly.

    Its interesting to see how microsoft has been searching for "the linux enemy". One guy or company that, if they manage to hurt, theyd be hurting the whole movement to the point of crippling it. This year their "linux enemy" is IBM, who is in a great position to benefit themselves from FOSS (being that they are the earlyest of the high end and rich adopters of foss). But they dont get it.

    Even if IBM signed in blood tomorrow to use exclusively microsoft software, that would not have changed things on our ISO vote. Microsoft is hurting US, not IBM. US: smaller companies providing consulting without having to give anyone a dime for essentially nothing (which is the current microsoft-owned IT bussiness model). US, who have invested in developing a FOSS expertiese so that we can leverage its cost advantage in front of a microsoft dominated, license driven market.

    Perhaps things have gone so far for microsoft, that they dont realize that taking on opensource is not taking on sun or ibm, its taking on US. Thousends and thousends of engineers and entrepreneurs that are opinion leaders when it comes to technology supplies, that are choosing NOT to pay the microsoft tax when it comes to deliverance of IT products and services.

    And US thousends have both the numbers and the technicall expertiese to determine where and how their bloated ooxml turns into a useless piece of (insert your own insulting language here) xml , when compared to the ODF standard that has already much more time in development and real world testing. I mean, its THERE its already working, its already dominant in the non-ms industry (meaning all office suites from larger vendors support it). The cost for MS tu support it is really close to nil, while the cost of all the rest of the market to support microsoft's format would be much more. If overall cost for the industry is any kind of meassure, then iso support for OOXML is just plain stupid.

    So no, Microsoft, its not "IBM". Its everyone in the world that does not live or want to live on your products and shady bussiness practices.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by man_of_mr_e (217855)
      I did this because there is already a fully supported, open, non-patent-encumbered standard covering the whole domain of what ooxml proposes

      False. ODF has the exact same sort of patent problems that OOXML does. In fact, ODF is in worse shape because Sun's IPR grant is only valid so long as Sun participates in the ODF committee.

      http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/office/ipr.php [oasis-open.org]
  • Competition Knocks (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @05:55PM (#22239328) Homepage Journal
    So? Real competitors compete. I understand that Microsoft isn't used to real competitors, so doesn't recognize one when it sees one.

    But until Microsoft can complain about evidence that IBM is competing with Microsoft illegally, or even actually unethically (as Microsoft has routinely been demonstrated to do), this just shows that Microsoft can't compete on a level playing field. Which of course is exactly why Microsoft needs to get OOXML installed, before it's too late.
  • Doesn't matter who did it, we didn't want it. The whole idea of standards is a single standard. This idea of dueling parallel standards was garbage from the beginning.
    • by rewt66 (738525)
      Dueling parallel standards is fine, provided that:

      - Both are technically good (clear, easy to implement, do what they're supposed to do), and
      - Neither are encumbered (patents or other royalty requirements).

      If that's the case, then, while one standard might be better, two competing standards is actually just fine.

      But I absolutely have to agree with your first statement: We don't want it.
  • I thought the story was that the efforts to promote ODF and "suppress" OOXML were sponsored and led by Sun in order to boost sales of Staroffice. Now it's supposed to be IBM? Can't MS make up their minds who their real enemies are? (Hint: anyone with a stake or interest in a free market for software and IT services. Or, more generally, anyone in favor of free markets.)
  • MS supports ODF??? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Belial6 (794905) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @06:02PM (#22239408)
    "They are doing this because it is advancing their business model. Over 50 percent of IBM's revenues come from consulting services."

    The only way that this could be true is if MS's OOXML format somehow locked out competitors in the consulting services industry. Hmmm... Is MS not arguing for the dropping of OOXML? It sure sounds like it.
    • by rewt66 (738525)
      Well, IBM would be somewhat handicapped in their consulting business, having to work with a pile of junk like MSOOXML. I mean, it would probably result in more billable hours, but there are some things that even a consultant won't (willingly) do.
  • Ghandi (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PetiePooo (606423) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @06:23PM (#22239700)
    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."
    -- Mahatma Ghandi

    So, we're definitely in the third phase now...

    "Hey, Microsoft. You fight like a girl!"
  • >> "They have made this a religious and highly political debate," Tsilas said. "They are doing this because it is advancing their business model...." ....and of course Microsoft are just the innocent victim who weren't doing exactly the same at all, no sir.
  • rival [...] standard

    LOL. Standards can't be "rival." They exist to level playing field and shift useless rivalry into other markets. In this case, it is to abolish file format locking to level playing field in productivity software market.

  • Microsoft is not poor when it comes to enemies. There is no shortage of people or businesses that have been burned, damaged or destroyed by Microsoft and its tactics. If it wasn't IBM alone, it could be any number or combination of entities that happened to have the same idea to resist Microsoft's corruption of ISO and the standards adoption process where OOXML is concerned. And the reasons against OOXML are objectively valid reasons. OOXML cannot withstand the examination and criticism required to beco

UNIX was half a billion (500000000) seconds old on Tue Nov 5 00:53:20 1985 GMT (measuring since the time(2) epoch). -- Andy Tannenbaum

Working...