On the same day that I read that the South Africa standards body has filed an official appeal against the approval of OOXML with ISO/IEC, I find Patrick Durusau has written the following outrageous words [PDF] regarding Microsoft's announcement it will support ODF, and trust me when I tell you the opening is just a taste:

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Created by australianrose 11 years 20 weeks ago – Made popular 11 years 20 weeks ago
Category: Legal   Tags:
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11 years 20 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago



Once again, I fail to see the relevance of this. **Why is it relevant that a proprietary software company has pledged to implement ODF support in their proprietary program?** Embrace, extend and extinguish (EEE)?

Let's pretend that MS does indeed implement ODF support (EMBRACE) for the specific intention of EEE, and that they purposely break their implementation of ODF (EXTEND). The lay users of the world then use MS Office to store their documents in MS-Office-broken-ODF. Incompatibilities now occur whenever these lay users try to exchange ODF documents with users that have better ODF support. These lay users then associate the ODF as broken, inadequate or otherwise inferior and then switch to the superior OOXML format to store their documents (EXTINGUISH).

If this does come to pass, then there are two parties at fault here. The first party would obviously be Microsoft for breaking their implementation of ODF. The other party at fault is *** the user of Microsoft Office ***. Why? Microsoft Office is proprietary software; it is intended to make the user helpless by depriving the right to practise freedoms 0 and 1. Despite the fact that Microsoft considers user freedom to be contemptible, **the user has chosen to be held in contempt by accepting and using that program**.

So what can we do about this situation? The right answer is to educate all the users of the world about freedom so that they will reject all proprietary software (which does include the works of MS). Anything less than the total rejection of proprietary software is inadequate.

With all this in mind, I ask my question again: Why is it relevant to the free software community that a proprietary software company has pledged to implement ODF support in their proprietary program?

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