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http://www.linuxworld.com.au

Microsoft is finally going to add support for ODF and Adobe PDF to its Office productivity suite, the company will unveil on Wednesday.

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lozz's picture
Created by lozz 13 years 34 weeks ago – Made popular 13 years 34 weeks ago
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motters's picture

motters

13 years 34 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago

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Embrace, extend, extinguish

This makes perfect sense from Microsoft's perspective. By implementing ODF badly within Office products they will be able to spread the notion that ODF doesn't work as well their own patent loaded "standard".

schestowitz's picture

schestowitz

13 years 34 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago

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The other side

Don't be lured in by the PR work. See:

Microsoft Supporting ODF? -- Close, But No Cigar

Once again, the problem is software patents. Internet News indicates that commercial Linux/FOSS vendors, and the GPL license that Linux comes with, will be excluded...

[...]

GPL developers can't obtain patent licenses. That would violate the terms of the GPL. Period.

Like Microsoft doesn't know that.

But, you say, Linux is GPL'd and that's Microsoft's primary competition. Can it be that commercial vendors and the GPL will be exiled again from the "even" playing field everyone else gets to be on? Why yes. It appears so. Commercial Linux vendors need not apply. Or they can sell out.

In short, I think Microsoft has no intention of interoperability with its actual competition, namely commercial Linux, like Red Hat and Ubuntu, et al, all the vendors who refuse to sell out to their patent demands. I'd say it has to be deliberate on Microsoft's part, because when Microsoft offered its Open Specification Promise (OSP), the promise not to sue over OOXML, sorta, kinda, it was clearly informed by the Software Freedom Law Center that the OSP's terms are inconsistent with the GPL and that the promise provides no assurance for FOSS developers. And Microsoft is certainly knowledgeable about the problems with RAND terms for FOSS. But they persist in offering what they know commercial GPL developers can't accept.

[...]

Please note that they too expressed dreams of maintaining ODF, not just OOXML, and making the two "interoperable". So, now Microsoft says it will join OASIS and "help" ODF and it hopes ODF will go to the same folks who mangled OOXML.

Does that sound helpful?

I wish they were sincere. I'd love to be proven wrong. But I'm afraid, having watched Microsoft shove OOXML through the Fast Track process, despite it not even being usable, that ODF will be harmonized out of meaningful existence. I suspect that is the plan. And so to me, the announcement of "support" for ODF sounds like it could just be the next chess move in Microsoft's strategy to maintain its heavy footprint.

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20080522012330406

aboutblank's picture

aboutblank

13 years 34 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago

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This is News?

A software proprietor has pledged to implement the ISO 26300:2006 standard as well as the ISO 32000 standard in their proprietary programs. I fail to see why this is news to us. What is it to us that this particular master has announced this?

With respect to that proprietary program, we were all subject to helplessness before this announcement and we will remain subject to helplessness after this announcement is forgotten; our right to live in freedom remains unchanged.

jubjub's picture

jubjub

13 years 34 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago

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What a stupid thing to say!

1) MS is FOSS enemy number 1
2) This will be the biggest ODF implementation ever!
3) It begs the question what is MS up to? Which PJ and Roy are already looking into.
4) It means that people that are still forced to use MS at work can at least save to an open format. (Well, that's the hope anyway)

That's just a few reasons off the top of my head that this is news to the FOSS community. Normally your comments are so much better than that. I feel bad having to argue with you on this one. But you are just plain wrong. This is most definitely news.

aboutblank's picture

aboutblank

13 years 34 weeks 3 days 8 min ago

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I Am Still Not Convinced

1. Yes, this is a factual statement. I still don't understand why this fact is relevant to my point. Yes, Microsoft has trapped more people all over the world than any body else, but that doesn't make them any more evil than the other software masters. Companies such as Apple, Oracle, Nintendo, Google and Adobe are all equally evil as Microsoft.

2. I still don't understand why this is relevant to us. Whether this is the biggest or smallest implementation of ODF (and PDF), *Microsoft is still infringing upon the freedom of users*.

3. You're looking for a hidden agenda? I don't see any. The goal of Microsoft is to subject society to their software. This is the same goal as every single one of their other proprietary programs. This pledge doesn't change the fact that *Microsoft is infringing upon the freedom of users*.

4. Yes, this is true, but does that answer my question, "is this really news for the free software community"? Do these hypothetical office workers have more or less liberty now this pledge has been announced? Are office workers more likely to reject freedom because of this pledge? Are office workers more likely to accept freedom because of this pledge?

My response would be: it is not news, neither, no, no. This announcement is neutral news to me. An announcement about a proprietary program that implements some feature isn't of any consequence to me - that program was already proprietary and I am not more likely to accept it now that will have this feature. I hypothesize that this does nothing to improve the liberty of users.

I know this pledge could be considered 'good' for those that accept Microsoft Office as they would 'benefit' from an 'improved' proprietary program, but how this pledge affects the free software community still remains a mystery to me.

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