____/ Mark Kent on Wednesday 05 September 2007 15:31 : \____
> nessuno@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx <nessuno@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> espoused:
>> A panel of software experts yesterday unexpectedly rebuffed
>> Microsoft's bid to have its open document format, Office Open XML,
>> recognized as an international standard. The decision complicates the
>> company's effort to extend its dominance to the emerging field of open
>> The fight over the standard, while technically arcane, is commercially
>> important because more governments are demanding interchangeable open
>> document formats for their vast amounts of records, instead of
>> proprietary formats tied to one company's software. The only
>> standardized format now available to government buyers is OpenDocument
>> Format, developed by a consortium led by I.B.M., which the I.S.O.
>> approved in May 2006.
>> [Bad timing for Microsoft---European Court of First Instance will rule
>> soon on MS's appeal...26% of countries opposed MS, 1% too many...Large
>> percentage of documents in world in MS formats...many governments want
>> open formats...]
>> Tom Robertson, Microsoft's general manager for interoperability and
>> standards, predicted that Microsoft's format would be eventually
>> "Open XML is already widely available and is being used by Apple and
>> Novell," he said. "It is in the Palm operating system, and in the Java
>> and Linux operating environments."
>> Some critics of Microsoft blamed the company's own aggressive lobbying
>> for its defeat.
>> A member of an advisory panel that voted on the standards issue in
>> Malaysia, who declined to be identified, said Microsoft's lobbying in
>> the country had reached into high levels of government....
>> [lobbying = euphemism for bribery]
>> Mr. Robertson said Microsoft had sought to persuade voters of the
>> merits of Office Open XML, just as I.B.M. had lobbied against it.
>> "Many countries have taken part in this vote, including countries that
>> supported us," he said.
>> This would not have happened without the activism of the open source
>> community world wide.
> It's a fantastic result - a vote for freedom. Of course, there's
> nothing to stop Microsoft from adopting the ODF standard, but can anyone
> see them allowing their customers to interoperate? I can't.
It's not over yet, so let's continue to stress why there must be a single
standard. We have until February.
~~ Best of wishes
Roy S. Schestowitz | "Software sucks. Open Source sucks less."
http://Schestowitz.com | Free as in Free Beer | PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
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