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Microsoft Government Politics

Microsoft Opposing California Open Doc Bill 191

Posted by kdawson
from the write-fax-or-email dept.
ZJMX writes "Microsoft is going through its email and phone lists asking people to support their opposition to California A.B. 1668 — 'Open Document Format, Open Source' — by writing to the California Assemblymen involved in this bill (contact info in the link). Apparently they fear that California will join Massachusetts in wanting documents based on open standards in their government. Let's see if this community can raise as much support for the California ODF bill as Microsoft can raise opposition."
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Microsoft Opposing California Open Doc Bill

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Sunday April 08, 2007 @08:07AM (#18654477) Journal
    This is what I read:

    "Blah blah blah politics. Bitch bitch bitch IBM did this so now we do it."

    I read this hoping for some key points in distinguishing the functionality or benefits versus costs in using either format.

    Nope.

    The closest they get to that is "ODF is tightly tied to OOo." Oh, no! Not that! You know, that argument is null and void, right? Because these document formats are supposed to be open, like the names of both of them imply. Who cares if it's not yet integrated into your product, either format should allow that. It is, in fact, confusing to me why they don't let both formats exist and allow the government bodies to pick whatever the hell the want to store their data in. That's all this is, a political issue which is why it's filed in the politics section I guess.

    If Microsoft truly believed their product to be superior to the alternative, they would sit back and let California make the mistake. Then, when everything falls apart, they could step in and save the day, while at the same time setting a precident for one format being better than the other. But, we all know that's not going to happen because I haven't heard Massachussetts hurting due to their choice. So, I guess Mr. Ballmer is going to have to set his fears aside & simply come to the harsh realization that another community developed format is just as good or better than their format. Heads up, ODF community, he just may fucking kill you.

    And I certainly don't appreciate them demonizing IBM. "Big bad evil corporation launches national campaign to force their consumers into using something!" Pot calling the kettle black, in my opinion. If you could track the amount of money I have paid to a company--directly or indirectly--I would wager that I've paid IBM far less than Microsoft and I feel that IBM has done far more for me than Microsoft.

    Shut up and let the consumer decide, Microsoft. Nothing's wrong with unbiased comparisons in helping them decide but you've got a conflict of interest here so I highly doubt anyone will swallow your tripe.
    • by swab79 (842256) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @08:17AM (#18654501)
      As I understand it, the Microsoft format is not open but just an XML wrapper around their old .doc format. They still don't open up on how to implement their format.
      • by dpilot (134227) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @08:29AM (#18654539) Homepage Journal
        I once heard this in a different (The "Open" Group) context, but an adaptation seems appropriate here:

        The only thing "Open" about Microsoft is your wallet.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by bigpicture (939772)
      I think you are missing the real issue here which is, why is a corporation interfering in the business of a duly elected Government, and telling it how to spend the Tax Payers money? (spend it on me?) What has happened to the sham democracy? How does this represent the interests of the people any better than a dictatorship in a third world country?

      Ergo the good old US is not a democratic country. And does not honor the rule of law "for the people by the people" but the rule of money and the rule of force.
    • But, we all know that's not going to happen because I haven't heard Massachussetts hurting due to their choice.
      In Massachusetts, we hurt due to all of our choices, even when they're right ones. Have you seen the Big Dig or Deval Patrick lately? ;-)
    • Dear Corporate Lobbyist and Dogmatist with spin-magic and revisionist-bullshit;

      (~1982~1992), in the early days of home HS/ADP technology, When microsoft was but a baby corps, there were many many operating systems (OS) and file formats for each and every OS/application. Then microsoft said

      (~1989~1994) lets provide file format conversion for all our big competitors file formats to microsoft file formates. As microsoft fed on conversion converts and got to be the biggest, fattest, and dumbest OSD (original so
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @08:20AM (#18654509) Journal
    The benefits of avoiding vendor lock, true interoperability fostering competition among the software vendors etc will ulitmately benefit the consumers. No doubt about it. Among the consumers the biggest block is the corporate America and these big companies that spend billions of dollars. But they dont seem to care much for OpenDoc and are, persumably willingly, paying whatever MSFT is billing them. What is going on? Bigname PC vendors all compete on price and not single one of them is trying to differentiate themselves from rest of the pack by pre loading the windows boxes with OpenOffice or FireFox or Gimp. Corporate America is not demanding true interoperability and a level playing field for their vendors. Either there is some serious wrong doing by MSFT like bribing IT managers and giving kick backs to PC vendors. Or these people are really dumb. Still I think the time to celebrate is when corporate America decides not lock up their data in a format owned by someone else. Politicians are fickle. A few thousand in campaign contributions they will sing MSFT anthem and betray their voters.
    • Either there is some serious wrong doing by MSFT like bribing IT managers and giving kick backs to PC vendors.

      I think that the major PC vendors are in bed with MS for the following reason: it gives them a huge advantage against small VAR PC vendors and/or people who would build their own PC.

      My company used to build workstations for our customers; we didn't make a profit on them (it's all about the service) but could price them competitively. At this point, with the prices and availability (or lack the
      • Cant you guys sue MSFT + DELL + HPQ under antitrust laws? If you can band together and sue get upto discovery process and find the true price MSFT is charging the big name vendors. Still please do hang in there, a class action law suite will come eventually and you may be able recoup the losses you suffered by paying full reatail price for WinOS. Right now MSFT looks invincible and no one is willing to take a at it. But someday the logjam will break and the pendulum will swing so far that we might eve
    • by Pecisk (688001) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @09:10AM (#18654719)
      Surprise, _yes_, Microsoft lobbies IT managers and even managers from higher levels. And they have done it some much that managers already have used to it and assumes it as "natural" right to have "gifts" from Microsoft. Not to blame only Microsoft entirely, it is common "marketing style" of lot of companies who produces so-so products.

      It is corruption? yes. Corruption is still corruption, whatever government or shareholder's company is involved. However, you will have hard time to convince those managers not to accept these presents. Because overall atmosphere and dignity in such jobs are long gone. Only if you inform heavily shareholders you maybe will do something.
      • The other big example of that kind of influence would be the pharmaceutical outfits. They've been using such tactics on doctors and hospitals for decades.
    • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @09:11AM (#18654725) Journal

      Big business leaders don't know IT. For that matter, few people in IT really know IT, but that is another rant.

      Someone who can run a transport company successfully and knows that only a fool would allow your company to be totally dependent on one vehicle supllier will NOT realise that the same thing applies to the computers controlling the fleet of vehicles.

      Standard example, every truck fleet owner has a favorite brand, yet they always got a couple of trucks that are of a different brand. The reason, simple, it makes negotiations a bit easier. Sure out of the 500 trucks in company 490 will be say Mercedes BUT on the day the Mercedes rep comes to talk about a new order you can bet that the 10 daf trucks will be proudly parked right outside the office. Just a hint that the order does not have to go to Mercedes this time.

      That is because trucking company directors understand trucking. They do not understand IT. So when the MS salesrep arrives he will have confirmed via outlook, using documents created in office and be assured of seeing nothing but windows machines as he visits the office.

      Offcourse he still gives a nice discount. That is easy. Establish the true price, hike it by a couple of hundred percent, give a discount of 50% percent and you got MS record profits.

      And the really odd thing is that all those directors who wouldn't trust a truck maker who reported the same kind of profits as MS think it is a good sign that MS is making such huge profits.

      People do NOT understand fields that they are not experts in and this goes triple for IT.

      Couple this with the old maxim, nobody has ever been fired for buying Microsoft and you got the current situation.

      It is changing but you are going to have to fight a bloody struggle to get anywhere. Remember, if you introduce linux into a company and suddenly costs plummet and productivity soars you will have made an awfull lot of enemies, every single person who said that MS software was the way to go.

      I was in this situation once. A company had two websites belonging to different divesions. The one I was responsible for ran a webshop and services for customers and offcourse ran on linux cheapo hardware. The intraweb was purely windows and was run by the internal IT department but it also contained some sites available to our resellers and such. My divesion was brought back in under the umbrella of the mother coorperation, our website sold more products then all other sales efforts combined, so rather then being an experiment we turned into the biggest sales channel.

      Anyway, oneday a director asked the question of why the intraweb was down once again, and for some reason the question was asked NOT to the internal IT department but to the web department (probably the doofus didn't realize the difference).

      So what was I supposed to do? The reason the intraweb sucked was simple, it was run on windows, with IIS (or ISS, what ever acronym stands for steaming pile of garbage, was run by windows admins, and just wasn't designed by anyone who cared.

      Yet for some reason, the idea seemed to be that since the director new that we used linux and windows and that the intraweb sucked that linux was used for the intraweb. And since everyone knows I run Linux I was told to convert the site to windows to fix the troubles and get help from the internal IT department.

      Can you guess how many seconds it took me to reactivate my CV on monsterboard?

      It was not that the guy in question was an idiot, he knew his business. It just didn't happen to be IT. And what could I do? My department was supposed to merge with the internal IT department and since they wore suits it was pretty clear to me who would end up as whose boss.

      So I arranged some job interviews, and just told them that linux sadly wasn't up to the job and that switching the external site to windows was the best way to go, but sadly I did not have the qualifications to do that so the internal IT department should handle it, and handed in

      • Standard example, every truck fleet owner has a favorite brand, yet they always got a couple of trucks that are of a different brand. The reason, simple, it makes negotiations a bit easier. Sure out of the 500 trucks in company 490 will be say Mercedes BUT on the day the Mercedes rep comes to talk about a new order you can bet that the 10 daf trucks will be proudly parked right outside the office. Just a hint that the order does not have to go to Mercedes this time.

        Bad analogy. DAF trucks use the same fuel
        • At least it's a bad truck analogy rather than the typical bar car analogy.
        • by MightyYar (622222)
          The analogy is bad, but the strategy might still be effective... make sure that the conference room that the MS sales rep is led into has an X desktop running on the projector when he walks in - maybe even give him a presentation using OpenOffice. If he asks questions, make it clear that you are weighing going to Linux-OpenOffice depending on his quote.

          Or maybe he'd just call your bluff :) But hey, it worked for some cities in Europe...
      • by kimvette (919543)

        The story about asus website doesn't suprise me a bit. It ain't that Asus ain't spending any money on it and it ain't that it is impossible to run a website like that well. Just that anyone who can, won't do windows. Someone at the asus management level probably said they wanted an Windows Website and nobody qualified will touch that.

        For what it's worth I'd like to point out several things:

        1. It is damn near impossible to find good PHP developers. Hacks are easy to find but we don't want hacks working on cu

        • by sgtrock (191182)
          The reason that it's hard to find good PHP hackers is because good hackers understand that it has a flawed security model.* Good hackers would far rather work with good tools instead of dealing with the headaches of fixing broken tools.

          *Yes, I know that the PHP devs have been working to clear up some of the problems, and it's better than it was. Still, there's a reason that good coders tend to steer clear of the language.
        • WIndows is very popular with small and medium sized businesses because Joe in the office can run a tape backup and it doesn't take an IT expert to do basic administration. They can call you if they need anything more technical. I assume your customers are fairly small or department sized based on your comment that they do not do backups?? Good lord! I would be hesistant to do business with such companies because if the volume on the raid ever becomes corrupt they will blame you for it and your reputation wo
      • by CSHARP123 (904951)
        If all the suites acted like the one you have described there wouldn't be any Linux in corporates. Linux may not be used as a desktop OS. It is being used and is extending its market share on server side.

        I do agree there are some who are ignorant and are not willing to use Linux at all.

        With a client I am working with, we did a cost analysis for using Linux on desktop and for their business we found using Linux helps in reducing cost by 28% over 3 years compared to windows (Including Support from Novell,

    • My company is "only" 2000 people. Every PC gets wiped as soon as it comes in the door, and is then loaded with a standard setup. It doesn't matter what Dell puts on there, that is just important for smaller companies. What does matter is that we have tenthousands of documents in our internal knowledge base. Many of them are powerpoints where slide 3 contains an embedded Excel sheet, itself containing an embedded Word document. How they will ever get out of that mess is beyond my imagination.
      • by zappepcs (820751)
        I have a few thoughts about that. Basically, I believe it will come down to a clever set of programs that are used as SAS on the company's intranet. That is to say when a document isn't loading correctly, open a browser and go to the conversion site, click the upload link and have the converted document emailed back to you, or some similar kind of thing. That means only one install of the converters, only one place to worry about it. Anyone can use them.

        This is how things should be done anyway, use the int
    • Either there is some serious wrong doing by MSFT like bribing IT managers and giving kick backs to PC vendors. Or these people are really dumb.

      I think people buy Microsoft products so if something does go wrong they can blame Microsoft.

      And by the time the company realizes they can't open 10 year old important documents the person who had made the decision has left the company.
    • Because if bob smiley in IT made the decision to standardize on Microsoft products to get his raise is underminded then its all out political war.

      Business is very conservative and do not like change and view change as a way to increase TCO. ALso like I said earlier its politics. If you rock the boat you make enemies in the corporate world
    • by wtansill (576643) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @04:19PM (#18657455)

      Either there is some serious wrong doing by MSFT like bribing IT managers and giving kick backs to PC vendors. Or these people are really dumb. Still I think the time to celebrate is when corporate America decides not lock up their data in a format owned by someone else. Politicians are fickle. A few thousand in campaign contributions they will sing MSFT anthem and betray their voters.
      Sorry, but you have it exactly backwards. I spent 12 years working for various government contractors. Contractors need to be able to read bidding specifications, supply documents for bids, pose questions regarding bidding specs, provide cost analysis data, etc. to the Government. If the Government uses Word and Excel, for example, so does the contractor. If you have a prime/subcontractor relationship, then all of the subs will use Word and Excel as well, as that is what the prime uses to communicate with the Government. OTOH, if the Government breaks the mold and begins to use ODF, then the Government's supply chain will as well. The Government is big enough to pull this off, but no single company can do the same.
  • So... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JamesTRexx (675890) <[m.nystrom] [at] [mbitz.nl]> on Sunday April 08, 2007 @08:20AM (#18654513) Homepage Journal
    They can't get their foot in the door of the government, so now they resort to spamming?
    • Microsoft? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kripkenstein (913150)
      Did the email even originate from Microsoft? As far as I can tell, all we have is a single email received by a single person. Perhaps it's a delayed April Fool's joke or something of that sort? It would be incredibly stupid (even for Microsoft) to send out official emails like this.

      Even if several people receive such emails, that doesn't prove it is from Microsoft. Is there any official reaction by them, or proof that it came from an official Microsoft email account?

      Regardless of this matter, the push
  • by tsa (15680)
    In the letter Microsoft talks about the importance of their customers having a choice. But apparently they don't want their consumers to have the choice between using Open XML or ODF in their product. Besides, using standards always implies lack of choice, and in the case of standards that is in principle a good thing. I don't really care wther Open XML or ODF prevails als THE open standard, but please let ir be really open so I can use whatever Office suite I want!
  • by Marcion (876801) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @08:27AM (#18654531) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft seem to have become a very large and well funded political lobbying group.

    Sure they buy in lots of software and rebrand it, they also copy a load of stuff and then try to bundle into their existing products. However, have they actually developed anything in the last year or two that did not suck and then disappear?
    • by Pecisk (688001)
      Welcome to distributor world! Only middle man can lack so much common sense, be so greedy beyond any understanding of simple economics, etc.
    • Yes. Plenty of things.
    • by aquabat (724032)

      However, have they actually developed anything in the last year or two that did not suck and then disappear?
      Didn't they market some kind of vacuum cleaner a couple of years ago? There used to be some links out there, but they're all gone now.
  • by lord_mike (567148) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @08:28AM (#18654533)
    ...Microsoft knows that the one and only thing that is preserving their monopoly is Microsoft Office as a standard. If that ever goes away, so does their monopoly. Anyone can run a Mac or Linux and have 75% of their needs happily met via these (or any other) operating system. The one piece missing is fully compatible office software. So, Microsoft needs to hold everyone hostage with proprietary Office formats.

    Thanks,

    Mike
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by houghi (78078)
      The other 25% is most likely Outlook.
      • by kimvette (919543)
        Evolution is a little buggy but the features are there.
        • by jabuzz (182671)
          While Evolution is great, at the moment it still relies upon OWA being installed. I guess this could change if they replace the MS-RPC over WebDAV with the OpenChange MAILOOK libmapi instead.

          However I still cannot see a way to open a shared mailbox/calander with Evolution. So all the features are not there yet. However if they add this feature and switch to MAILOOK then it is.
    • by daeg (828071)
      Yet everyone can see just how bad of a "standard" it really is. It seems like every new version costs more and comes with a brand new format. What standardized format changes every 2 years? Or better yet, what true standard doesn't allow extensible additions to it for future expansion?
  • Sure we can, but can we pay off as many legislature people as Microsoft can? Nope.
  • by lancejjj (924211) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @08:41AM (#18654583) Homepage
    Dear Representative Smith:

    One of Microsoft's innovations is our ability to help millions of customers with our proprietary file formats. If large purchasers, such as your state government, wrongly conclude that an open standard is in their best interest, Microsoft's proprietary file format becomes substantially less valuable to all Americans, and indeed, the world.

    So let us describe to you what will happen if this proposal becomes reality:

    (1) Microsoft will need to compete with other products based on attributes other than file format. In turn, Microsoft products will rise in price by millions of dollars, leading to riots in your neighborhood.

    (2) This will forever make the USA a 3rd world country. China will be willing to step in and take over Microsoft's responsibility as the engine of the American economy.

    (3) An American innovator and icon will no longer be the richest man in the world. Americans will no longer be proud or patriotic; most, if not all, will end up voting against you. Microsoft will no longer be a name loved by millions of children - instead, it could be "Al Jezerra".

    Please make your decision carefully. We have included a check of $50,000 to put towards your next campaign. See you at the golf tournament next week!
  • Consider that I have documents in WP5.1 format, a text-editor from Clarkson University, Yeah Write files, some IBM PC-Write docs, and both MS Word and, lest we forget, MS Works files.

    Now, if any of these were in Open Doc format, I would have full access to them.

    Finally, consider that in the past I have said some really stupid things, and I'm not even a politician. I certainly don't want anyone to be able to figure out what I have said. Thus, I am in favor of closed source formats that go way, way out of dat
    • by bgfay (5362)
      Troll?!

      I was trying to be funny. Oh well. Does this mean that I'm going to have to punctuate all my sentences with exclamation points and smiley faces? Sheesh
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 08, 2007 @08:49AM (#18654611)

    When contacting people, please remember what is crucial:

    Be polite - this will make them much more likely to listen. If you are feeling angry, take a walk outside, have a nice snack then come back when you are calmed down.

    Make personal contact - fax or phone where you can; reinforce emails by calling up to check that they got them. Write your own letter, based on somebody elses template if you need, but with your own information. If they promise to look into it, call back later to find out what they found out.

    State clearly your relationship to them - resident of the state / local business / supporter / floating voter etc. Always find a reason why they should take notice of you. Identify yourself clearly and let them call you back later (better to give a business phone or mobile so that they don't call you at home during election campaign time though)

    Give information - links to pages about problems [grokdoc.net] - specific links to ODF sites [odfalliance.org] or the Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] etc. to show alternatives. However, read through those pages yourself and pick out and explain specific points from them that you think are important.

    Be efficient. Make your point early; don't drown them in extra information; Say only things which you think are important.

    Be original. Give specific information about your position and how you will benefit from alternative solutions. Show that you care about it and why.

    Dear Mr Leno;

    I am the owner of a small web hosting company. I am writing to support "California A.B. 1668 : Open Document Format, Open Source.". We would like to be able to automatically send out pre-filled billing forms from our billing system and expect all our customers to be able to complete them easily. Unfortuantely, the current de-facto standard for documents is Microsofts .doc format and that is too complex for us to be able to add it to the billing system. A new alteranative exists in the ISO standard Open Document Format. If that was widely adopted our problem would be solved. Unfortuantely, Microsoft is trying to block this adoption by having a fake new standard based on .doc. This isn't really a standard because it doesn't fully specifiy how the format works (please see http://www.grokdoc.net/index.php/EOOXML_objections [grokdoc.net] section 10.2 "Cloning the behaviour of proprietary applications") and is far to big for us to deal with, let alone be a reasonably reviewed ISO standard ( see http://www.grokdoc.net/index.php/EOOXML_objections [grokdoc.net] secton 11 "Ecma 376 cannot be adequately evaluated within the 30-day evaluation period")

    We believe that if Microsofts standard is blocked and the Open Document Format is standardised for state use, in future we would be able to rely on it's availability everywhere and our buisiness would be able to work much better with its customers.

    As you know well, we are strongly committed to supporting the good of our state and my wife and I have often run coffee mornings for the state assembly which you have attended yourself. We think that this bill would clearly improve life in our state and look forward to hearing that you are committed to supporting it.

    Best Regards
    Jason R Kovacs Jr.
  • If the tide turns, and some big customers demand ODF support, will Microsoft have its business depend on some weirdo hackers in a sourcefourge project? I think not. So 50$ sais ODF support in MSoffice is already built and tested, as a compile line option currently switched off by the marketing department. Apply some pressure and witness the fastest patch in history...
    By the way, if your neighbour or your PHB asks you the difference between ODF and the MS XML thingy, summarize like this: The ODF spec is
  • I submit that:
    1. Use of ODF will keep more money in California and less flowing to Washington state.
    2. Governments are responsible for guaranteeing archives, minimizing expenses, and reducing barriers, therefore ODF is best choice for them.
    3. These days a monetary figure can be assigned what it costs Microsoft in negative PR, lobbying and advertising this anti-ODF campaign. They could make more money by instead becoming the main proponent of ODF and other open standards, and developing commercial SDKs to develop software for all platforms based on truly open standards.
    4. Microsoft also is harmed by the effects of its embrace and extend campaign. Not only in hatred by potential developers, but also because of the monetary cost of running the campaign, and the chaos and reduced size of the market it causes.
    5. Microsoft could support independent developers by allowing them to rent SDKs and code of other participating vendors, and allowing developers to pay in part by product royalties. By creating a new ecosystem in this way Microsoft can become the facilitator and also own part of the ecosystem's code base, increasing market size and opportunities. It may even by quick footwork, honesty, sincerity and trust building be able to draw in most of the industry for niche products (say an open standards based tax form creation and submission infrastructure).
    6. Microsoft is a dinosaur walking on treacherous ground. It has depended on a cynical and unethical strategy relying on bloatware, hatchetwork, lobbying, FUD, legal games, discounts, etc. By reversing 180 degrees its current orientation, away from FUD and Embrace/Extend, it will gain amazingly broad new horizons for profit, reducing risk and not incidentally creating new reasons for people to stick with Office.
    7. Microsoft also resembles Sony quite a lot, which is not good for Microsoft. Both companies are impossible to make a deal with, they either try to buy you or destroy you. Both companies are utterly cynical and untrusted. Both companies are a bucket of fragmented interests, their strengths wasted on their habits of looking inward at other divisions and not at their customers. Both dream of huge profits from Hollywood, which is silly (see next point).
    8. Both Microsoft and Sony have ignored George Lucas' comments that Hollywood does not make a profit in theaters, which is why he wants to go into TV. They also ignore that the movie industry is not as profitable as it would seem, due to the huge number of flops (since they are filled with cynical crap creators too), is an unsteady earner which also translates to risk, and is the driving force behind DRM which has set the electronics industry back 15 years and spurs development of alternate delivery systems that they cannot control as well (piracy has a tiny effect on actual profit now but has risen to equal the pornography industry in driving creative programmers to invent creative, new systems). Additionally both Microsoft and Sony have a bizarre interest in supporting only the biggest players despite contemporary media distribution systems' being so much more supportive of the medium to long tail, i.e. smaller bands/producers.
    9. Take the example of Sony which constantly releases expensive hardware that is lower in quality than the Sony name used to signify and that only works with Sony products. Sony gets its lunch eaten so often, it is its own worst enemy. Microsoft and Sony both share a very similar conceit, inflated self-importance, cynicism, misguided goals, and disparagement of both vendors and customers. Unfortunately they both have corporate cultures that are so strongly biased in this way that the cultures actually warp otherwise sound minds, witness what Mhyrvold has to show for his work there. Since even scientists are swayed by bizarre corporate cultures, the corporation consistently generates failures, seeks to recoup them with grandiose schemes, and in the end needs to draw in new blood from the outside in an attempt to solve the unsolvable.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by UnknowingFool (672806)

      1. Use of ODF will keep more money in California and less flowing to Washington state.

      Not necessarily true. While MS employs many people and brings in money to Washington, for tax purposes, they are taxed according to Utah's tax laws. Don't ask me how they do it; the bottom line is that they save a lot of money because Utah has very low taxes. This is another reason I don't like MS. At every turn, they are ethically challenged. They are HQ in WA, but have come up with a way not to pay WA.

    • I'd guess that all companies, once they get big enough, start believing their own hype. Managers start thinking that they have some secret sauce that means they don't have to deal with the normal realities facing other companies. They start avoiding standard, easy solutions because they think their own homegrown idea, even if it's completely incompatible with everything else in the world, will magically be better. Then they get secretive, partly to conceal their own bad decisions. The reinvent the wheel
  • by gig (78408)
    This ODF stuff is just another shitty typewriter document to go with Word documents. Ugh. You might as well call it SHITHTML it is another useless HTML replacement. Think of how useless XHTML has been and it at least attempted to be as similar to HTML as it could be. ODF is more shit that has to be converted into something else before it can even do something useful. It is like you are saving your word processor's cache file to disk and then expecting someone else to do the rest of the job to make something
    • It's ridiculous to suggest that the typing of office workers should be stored as anything other than HTML.

      If by HTML you mean something like:

      <DIV id="section" name="environment">
      <DIV id="section-title">Environmental considerations</DIV>
      <DIV id="section-head">...</DIV>
      <DIV id="paragraph">...</DIV>
      [...]
      </DIV>

      With appropriate CSS... OK. That can move the meta-information required to produce typeset quality documents into the CSS defined for that purpose, as well
  • by duh P3rf3ss3r (967183) on Sunday April 08, 2007 @10:01AM (#18654903)
    Who is 'Open Doc Bill' and why does Microsoft oppose his going to California?

    No time to RTFA but lots of time to post and read replies! ;-)
  • Not only in Cali (Score:2, Informative)

    by npace (1085633)
    Apparently, it happened in Florida also. State Representative Ed Homan added the use of open standards to a bill in state senate. A day later, he was visited by three people from Microsoft. The bill about the open standards was rejected. http://uf.freeculture.org/2007/04/01/legislature-2 007-state-of-florida-it/ [freeculture.org]


  • No comments needed - you all know the score..
  • If the people Microsoft is calling out to had half a brain, they'd realize that open formats are a great thing, even if they want to use Microsoft products. You know, so you, as a sysadmin, can easily dump your data into microsoft word/excel/powerpoint for the boss's monthly numbers or whatever. Yeah, there's better ways to do it, but then it'd be more easily possible for those who must use those products for whatever reason.
  • Why should I care about ODF vs OOXML? Both are so complex that they can only be implemented by big corporations (and Ok, big Open Source groups). Give me something for which a moderately computer-educated citizen can write a parser to, for example, find inconsistencies or unusual items in a state budget spreadsheet. Plain HTML will do nicely and there is no reason government documents should have formatting needs that exceed that.
    • by lancejjj (924211)

      Why should I care about ODF vs [MS's] OOXML? Both are so complex that they can only be implemented by big corporations (and Ok, big Open Source groups).

      Incorrect. The difference is that MS's OOXML can only be fully and completely implemented by those who agree to Microsoft's terms, as the OOXML specification depends on and references secret, Microsoft-proprietary intellectual property. In contrast, ODF can be fully implemented by anyone regardless of an agreement with Microsoft.

      The embrace of a fully open standard will lead to innovation within a stagnant industry. This will lead to an improvement in Office-related products, as there will be more than

  • A long time ago, in a past decade

    (~1982~1992), in the early days of home HS/ADP technology, When microsoft was but a baby corps, there were many many operating systems (OS) and file formats for each and every OS/application. Then microsoft said

    (~1989~1994) lets provide file format conversion for all our big competitors file formats to microsoft file formates. As microsoft fed on conversion converts and got to be the biggest, fattest, and dumbest OSD (original software developer) they chose the path of other

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