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Microsoft Government Politics

OOXML Denied INCITS V1 Approval 159

Posted by kdawson
from the stacking-it dept.
Xenographic writes "INCITS V1, the US group responsible for the US vote over whether or not ANSI will grant fast-track approval to Microsoft's OOXML format, failed to reach the 2/3 consensus required to recommend OOXML to ANSI. What makes this vote interesting is the graph in the article, showing all the new Microsoft business partners who joined INCITS just this year to vote for OOXML. The INCITS Executive Board will now deliberate further, until they can come to some agreement on what to recommend to ANSI, but it's pretty clear that Microsoft is pushing OOXML as hard as it can."
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OOXML Denied INCITS V1 Approval

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  • wha? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 16, 2007 @07:55PM (#19882513)
    IDK, my BFF Jill?
  • Approve. (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Any denial of approval for something involving XML is a morally good thing, in my book.
  • Cash is King (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mcrbids (148650) on Monday July 16, 2007 @08:07PM (#19882589) Journal
    Guys,

    We'd all love to see the proprietary and over-complex OOXML file format die on the vine. It's sickening how they've purposefully obfuscated the issue, how they've picked a name that's confusingly similar (think Florida's 2000 election all over again!) and have lied and misrepresented what it is.

    But just look at that graph! The lengths that Microsoft will go to in order to prevent people from being free of the vendor lock-in... Cash is king, and Microsoft has more available cash than many countries's GNP. How far can they corrupt the process? Probably far enough, with enough time and money, and the only holdback is the time.

    What we need to do is simple: continue building world-class software. Continue to push for open standards. Make quality, useful, non-locked software and eventually, the marketplace will correct itself. That we've come this far is a testament to the power of the marketplace.
    • Re:Cash is King (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ScrewMaster (602015) on Monday July 16, 2007 @08:15PM (#19882635)
      That we've come this far is a testament to the power of the marketplace.

      It's more a testament to the power of the word "free".
    • "(think Florida's 2000 election all over again!) " I don't get the connection...did the FSF pick the name for OOXML?
      • by mcrbids (148650)
        The voting cards in the 2000 Florida election were confusing so that people sometimes were unsure what (who) they were actually voting for. By picking a name that's confusingly similar people would likely lock on to a word they get "Oh, the OPEN one!" and vote for it - which is why the name "Office Open XML" to oppose the "Open Document Format".

        Look at it like this:

        Microsoft Office (closed proprietary) == Office Open XML

        Open Office (Free, Open Source) = Open Document Format.

        Even the name behind OOXML implies that it has something to do with Open Office! Tell me that OOXML wouldn't easily be misinterpreted as Open O

        • Yes, but those supposedly confusing voting cards in Florida were designed by...wait for it....the Democrats. So for this situation to be similar to Florida the FSF would have had to choose the name for Microsoft's OOXML. You are right that it seems likely that OOXML is intentionally designed to confuse people only vaguely familiar with what is going on. My problem is that you somehow drew a parallel to Florida 2000 where Democrat voters were confused by a ballot created by Democrat politicians.
    • Re:Cash is King (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jkrise (535370) on Monday July 16, 2007 @09:12PM (#19882981) Journal
      What we need to do is simple: continue building world-class software. Continue to push for open standards. Make quality, useful, non-locked software and eventually, the marketplace will correct itself. That we've come this far is a testament to the power of the marketplace.

      I was with you until this last bit of advice for future action. Building world-class software is not the solution - think Kerberos, think Netscape, think Samba. Nor is the conitnuing push for open standards... we have just seen how standards bodies are geting polluted by cash-rich firms. The market-place is not being allowed to correct itself, by shills and so-called business partners... besides share-holders who can only think on quarterly basis, and forget the larger issues involved.

      We've come this far because of the GPL, and because in a panic, Linus chose to use the GPL. And now so-called 'commercial users' (there is no commerical user of Free Softwar - only commercial exploiters like Tivo, Apple, Novell and Microsoft) are cashing in on the Free Software movement. GPL3 is a well thought out move, and IBM has now promised not to use their patents against developers.

      Now that there is enough critical mass behind the open source movement, I think we need to cash in and become more vocal about abuse of standards, patents and monopolies. The blog by Rob Weir is a step in the right direction. I for one, wouldn't mind a year of dupes on Slashdot, that highlights continuous abuse by commercial firms, of the standards processes.
      • And now so-called 'commercial users' (there is no commerical user of Free Softwar - only commercial exploiters like Tivo, Apple, Novell and Microsoft) are cashing in on the Free Software movement.

        Wait... what?

        I suggest the following: If you carefully stop talking, you can avoid saying anything stupid like that in the future. If there are no commercial users of free software, then why does MySQL exist, and who uses it?

        • by jkrise (535370)

          If there are no commercial users of free software, then why does MySQL exist, and who uses it?

          MySQL AB is not a commercial 'user' of Free Software - they are one of several commercial 'distributors' of Free Software. Those who use MySQL for their own projects are non-commercial users, those who bundle MySQL along with their 'software products and services' are again commercial distributors of Free Software like MySQL.

          Companies like RedHat and Canonical are commercial 'Service Providers' and 'Value Added Distributors' for Free Software - they are not users.

          I think Google and other SAAS companies mig

          • by oohshiny (998054)
            Actually, given that MySQL is dual-licensed, it's questionable whether it even is free software.
            • Actually, given that MySQL is dual-licensed, it's questionable whether it even is free software.

              Even Richard Stallman wouldn't look at it that way. MySQL is available under the terms of the GPL, so it's free software. Like the LGPL, the total license that MySQL AB offers compromises the viral nature of the GPL for another goal (profit isn't innately an ethically positive goal, but it's still a goal).

              Compare the effects to releasing the program under the MIT license or some other non-copyleft free software

          • Those who use MySQL for their own projects are non-commercial users

            Here's where the disagreement is. That's an interesting claim, what's your argument to support it?

            If you are careful enough while posting, you can avoid abusing others, and focus on the point you're debating instead.

            Fortunately, not abusing others isn't one of my personal goals.

            • by jkrise (535370)

              Those who use MySQL for their own projects are non-commercial users
              Here's where the disagreement is. That's an interesting claim, what's your argument to support it?
              Please state your argument that opposes my claim, and I'll see if I can defend my stance.
              • Please state your argument that opposes my claim, and I'll see if I can defend my stance.

                If people are using MySQL in any sort of product or website that they intend to use for revenue generation, that makes them a commercial user. Heck, any use by a for-profit corporation should count as commercial use, and thus that corporation is a commercial user.

                • by jkrise (535370)

                  If people are using MySQL in any sort of product or website that they intend to use for revenue generation, that makes them a commercial user. Heck, any use by a for-profit corporation should count as commercial use, and thus that corporation is a commercial user.

                  I don't think even Microsoft uses this definition of a 'commercial user'. You are either an End User or a Value Added Reseller or Distributor; hence their EULA or End User License Agreements as opposed to the GPL. The EULA applies whether you use Microsoft software to make money OR play gmaes.

                  Atleast as far as Free Software is concerned, the GPL (and other Free licenses) do not concern themselves with the nature of end-use - whether they be commercial or not; infact the license kicks in only when there is

  • maybe its just me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SolusSD (680489) on Monday July 16, 2007 @08:08PM (#19882605) Homepage
    but It seems that the OOXML format is intentionally large/bloated and hard to implement. I get the feeling that MS wants people to implement the "standard" to the best of their ability while changing things ever so slightly in the MS office implementation-- like what they did with the Microsoft Java VM. This way the majority of people (most of which already use MS office) will be hesitant to ever switch to a competing product.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mrchaotica (681592) *

      Maybe it's just me, but It seems that the OOXML format is intentionally large/bloated and hard to implement.

      Intentional? No. It's merely the result of some poor sod documenting the Office formats, which are essentially dumps of the programs' internal state. What you see is merely the consequence of the fact that Office is held together with spit, bailing wire, and the curséd blood of sacrificed Microsoft H1-b programmers.

      • No, it's M$. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by twitter (104583)

        It's merely the result of some poor sod documenting the Office formats, which are essentially dumps of the programs' internal state. What you see is merely the consequence of the fact that Office is held together with spit, bailing wire, and the curséd blood of sacrificed Microsoft H1-b programmers.

        No, it's ugly because M$ has been playing this game forever. Office 2007 does not export to systems before Office 2007 is because it can't and it won't export well to any other system but it's own. M$

        • Hey, nobody ever said you couldn't attribute malice and stupidity!

          Also, by the way: you're ranting at the choir. Cut it out.

        • by Kalriath (849904)
          I'm not sure what to answer to this. Half of it is all too true, the other half is complete bullshit. Office 2007 can and does export to earlier formats (Office 2003 and below, I think it still does WordPerfect, and even - with the right converters installed - OpenDocument Format!).

          Then, corrupting standards bodies ... yeah, can't disagree with that. Of course there's more than one company that plays at that game.

          If they wanted to do something good for the customers, they wouldn't just be using OpenDocum
          • If they wanted to do something good for the customers, they wouldn't just be using OpenDocument, they'd join the group developing it.

            You know as well as I do that the offer by Oasis for Microsoft to participate is disingenuous. The group is dominated by Microsoft's competitors who would do everything in their power (as evidenced by the blog articles they write on a daily basis, and legal maneuvering they keep coming up with) to sideline and make their participation in the group moot.

            I believe that Microsof
            • by LingNoi (1066278)

              It's no surprise they decided not to participate, and develop their own XML format. ODF was never intended to support Office, and was likely positioned to make it difficult for Microsoft to do so.
              What bullshit! Microsoft where asked to join in with the ODF Specs and they REFUSED!
              • What bullshit! Microsoft where asked to join in with the ODF Specs and they REFUSED!

                Maybe you should read the whole comment before saying something so stupid. I specifically addressed that, and you seem to have ignored it.

                They refused because it wasn't a genuine invitation. It's like when you invite the next door neighbor to your party so they can't complain about the noise, but you desperately hope they say no, and make plans to make them uncomfortable and sideline them if they actually do show up.

                They i
            • > You know as well as I do that the offer by Oasis for Microsoft to participate is disingenuous. The group is dominated by Microsoft's competitors who would do everything in their power (as evidenced by the blog articles they write on a daily basis, and legal maneuvering they keep coming up with) to sideline and make their participation in the group moot.

              Oh no, beware of the bloggers? Umm, it's Microsoft who got Peter Quin fired for using ODF. It's Microsoft who is stuffing the ballot boxes here (and m
              • Oh no, beware of the bloggers? Umm, it's Microsoft who got Peter Quin fired for using ODF.

                No. The bloggers are merely the mouthpieces of their employers (just as Brian Jones and other Microsoft bloggers are for theirs), voicing their employers agenda. There's nothing to 'beware' of.

                And for the record, Peter Quin wasn't just "using ODF", they were excluding Microsoft, likely in collusion with Sun. This is easily evidenced by the fact that early on Quin said that they'd consider Microsoft if they opened up
            • by Bert64 (520050)
              Microsoft were invited to join the ODF process, and refused. This is because they wanted to maintain the status quo as long as possible...

              Other standards they participated in were already established, and thus they had no choice. With ODF they preferred to ignore it and hope it would go away, had they supported it then the migration to ODF format would be in full swing right now, and the biggest reason people keep using msoffice would have been eliminated.

              As for supporting legacy documents, that is not the
        • by dedazo (737510)
          Wow, and to think I've been exchanging MSO2007 documents for six months with Office 2003 users. With no problems at all. It's like I live in this parallel dimension where everything you claim doesn't work actually does. I feel a Rod Serling moment coming...

          There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears a

        • If they wanted to do something good for their customers they would be using ODF, which is a complete, reasonable and free standard.

          I'm sorry, are we talking about the same ODF here? Even OASIS doesn't agree with you, as they've already set up 2 working groups to address the incompleteness of it, namely accessibility and formulas. The one piece they still haven't addressed is legacy documents from Microsoft, Word Perfect, Lotus, and others, which is a HUGE problem for anyone that will want to convert their
          • by Carewolf (581105)
            Legacy documents should be saved in PDF period.

            Word processing formats are not for archiving or publishing, they are for editing, and should only be used during editing.
            • Wrong. ODF and OOXML are not strictly word processing formats. They're *ARCHIVAL* formats as well. One reason for the choice of XML was so that third party applications can easily use them, such as document management systems. PDF just makes it more difficult for those apps to do their job. In a way, you're right though... and that's why Microsoft has developed XPS.. XML Paper Specification, to make it easier for DMS's and archives to work with such documents.

              However, that doesn't change the fact that
              • by Carewolf (581105)

                PDF is not that.

                It is. It's perfect for all of that. It's just that Adobe would rather have that you have to pay them for the advanced features, but it still works fine in Linux. You can read all text in it, index it, etc, etc.
            • by mpe (36238)
              Legacy documents should be saved in PDF period.

              Or if PDF isn't what's needed maybe someone needs to design Archive Document Format.
          • by Bert64 (520050)
            So your saying that these legacy apps do such ridiculous things that it's simply not possible to describe their behaviour using the standard formatting options available on ODF/OOXML?

            Or do they just do simple things, like slightly reduce font sizes, or adjust line spacing etc... Things like this are trivially easy to handle during conversion to a new format, simply change the appropriate option in the new file as you convert and the output will look the same as the input, although the programs will show dif
  • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Monday July 16, 2007 @08:10PM (#19882619) Journal
    ... which is war by another name.

    They're supposed to be setting up mechanisms for cooperation. But all too often they become political battlegrounds, where each member organization tries to warp the standard to make things easier for itself and to sabotage its competition.

    Now we have Microsoft going a step further, not just trying to get its own stuff approved as a standard, but packing the committee just before the vote.

    And missing by one vote. Oops! B-)
    • I can't understand why Microsoft didn't bring in a hundred new companies. Then they could boast a 107-6 result.

      • I can't understand why Microsoft didn't bring in a hundred new companies. Then they could boast a 107-6 result.

        There are only so many hookers on the street at any given time. Wait until the next batch of shameless trollops come along to stick their venal posteriors in the air to receive the sordid blessings of the Redmond crowd. I think a proper and fitting way for Europe to punish Microsoft, and for the next generation of DoJ prosecutors to do it is forbid Microsoft from ever sitting on any standards c

    • Of course, it isn't over yet. I get the feeling that msft will win. Hard to lose with all that money, and influence.
  • Hack Back (Score:5, Informative)

    by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Monday July 16, 2007 @08:12PM (#19882629) Homepage Journal
    It's especially interesting how Microsoft is trying to hack the standards process [robweir.com]. If you read this linked comment you'll see the list of new members, their relationships to Microsoft, and a long and interesting essay by Marbux about why this shouldn't be happening.

    But it is.

    The good news is that it appears money can fix this - short money for most (the cost of a couple copies of Microsoft Office). If you have any discretionary budgetary authority and would be adversely affected by OOXML being an ANSI standard, please go here [incits.org], read about the membership process (it appears to cost $800 to be on the technical committees) and fill out the membership form [incits.org]. If you're an academic institution you can get on the technical committees and have an advisory role for $2000.

    Yes, the process is broken, but it appears this can be stopped pretty quickly. They're hacking, all we can do is hack back.

    It would be great if a hundred universities and a couple hundred Slashdotters' businesses were able to get on the committee by the end of the week. It would reverse the trend, by quite a margin. By all means, try to get the process fixed in parallel, but any such efforts there will likely come in too late.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by VorpalEdge (967279)
      Yeah, that's definitely the best way to do things - giving Microsoft another box of ammo in the proverbial war. "Oh no, all these zealots joined the organization JUST TO HURT US. We're VICTIMS! It's unfounded! Don't support these lunatics!"

      There are also some other issues to consider. What other responsibilities does this organization have? How will they be fulfilled them when the only reason people joined was to stick it to The Man? Or is everybody just going to quit cold turkey and give Microsoft r
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 16, 2007 @08:19PM (#19882669)
    DENY
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If Microsoft is able to buy ISO's approval of this farce, it would destroy ISO's credibility. Does ISO want to commit suicide?

    And yet, Microsoft might be cutting its own throat. If ISO loses
    its integrity, there won't be any more standards, and Microsoft won't be able to claim it has a standard.

    • by jimicus (737525)
      Standards organisations aren't afraid of a standard which appears otherwise silly.

      I suggest you look up ISO 3103:1980 (also known as BS 6008:1980).
  • by WillRobinson (159226) on Monday July 16, 2007 @08:29PM (#19882733) Journal
    Lifted from www.groklaw.net, but relevant!

    Massachusetts would like to recieve comments about Microsoft's OfficeOpen XML specification (now Ecma 376) being proposed as an addition to their list of usable "open standards". I'm hearing that they are reading the emails and will take them seriously.

    It's a proposal, and it's not yet carved in stone. Time will tell if they mean it, but with that reassurance, I have to put my cynicism on hold, at least for now, and say that if this is an issue you care about, you need to let them know how you feel in polite and informative emails before July 20th, 2007. It never hurts to try, particularly since I've no doubt Microsoft is lobbying wherever it can. When I thought it was useless, I didn't want to pretend otherwise or have you engage in make work. But if it has a chance, it's very different.

    Here's the address to write to: standards at state.ma.us. (Only use the @ symbol instead of the at.)

    I suspect the most important thing right now is numbers, so even a short email is helpful. They can't know how you feel unless you tell them, and they can't understand the tech unless it's presented with proofs of statements made. And remember, it's a new crew, so some of the things we explained the first time may not have been transferred to the new brains at the helm. So please let me provide you with some resources, so that if you wish some materials at hand to compose a more thoughtful and more technical email, it will save you some time.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    First, one of the commenters on the linked page doesn't seem to understand the voluntary, consensus international standards process. Participation is not a government function. It is a voluntary function. ANSI is the US representative to ISO. US government agencies can be members of ANSI committees, just like anyone else. To be sure, in some countries the equivalent of ANSI is a government agency there.

    Second, in SDO's it accredits, ANSI requires balance among participants to ensure that all kinds of s
  • I thought one of the reasons MS was dominating the Office realm was because of legacy .doc formats. Even in college I dished out for a student copy of Word just because some classes required it (OO wasn't out yet).

    If MS wants to keep that going having a completely open spec format kinda limits their "keep buying Word, or you wont be compatible" argument. There has to be another reason but it eludes me.

    • by KillerCow (213458)
      Because some governments (and other institutions) are tired of the lock-in are passing rules that say that they will only buy products that have open formats.

      This is Microsoft's way of having their product officially stamped as being "open."
    • Re:Why the push? (Score:5, Informative)

      by january05 (1126057) on Monday July 16, 2007 @09:33PM (#19883131)
      "If MS wants to keep that going having a completely open spec format kinda limits their "keep buying Word, or you wont be compatible" argument. There has to be another reason but it eludes me."

      Perhaps you haven't heard, but OOXML is not anywhere near an open standard. Google: autoSpaceLikeWord95 (...how exactly do you autoSpaceLikeWord95? Decompile Word 95 on Windows 95? Where do you get these programs?), VML (is that even implementable outside of Windows and Internet Explorer? oops!), WMF (ditto), and "referenced" patents. MS is even employing Linux companies to write "translators" that can never fully implement OOXML because of these intentional problems. Just read the Halloween documents where MS says they need to innovate above standards (embrace + extend) or some Comes v MS documents. Google "Microsoft on standards". http://www.robweir.com/blog/2007/01/microsoft-on-s tandards.html [robweir.com]

      I'll have to say, so many people are falling for the Open Office, er, I mean Office Open XML "standard" that MS's PR firm must have been paid very well.

      From the OOXML patent promise:

      "Microsoft irrevocably promises not to assert any Microsoft Necessary Claims against you for making, using, selling, offering for sale, importing or distributing any implementation to the extent it conforms to a Covered Specification (Covered Implementation), subject to the following. This is a personal promise directly from Microsoft to you, and you acknowledge as a condition of benefiting from it that no Microsoft rights are received from suppliers, distributors, or otherwise in connection with this promise. If you file, maintain or voluntarily participate in a patent infringement lawsuit against a Microsoft implementation of such Covered Specification, then this personal promise does not apply with respect to any Covered Implementation of the same Covered Specification made or used by you. To clarify, Microsoft Necessary Claims are those claims of Microsoft-owned or Microsoft-controlled patents that are necessary to implement only the required portions of the Covered Specification that are described in detail and not merely referenced in such Specification. Covered Specifications are listed below.

      This promise is not an assurance either (i) that any of Microsofts issued patent claims covers a Covered Implementation or are enforceable or (ii) that a Covered Implementation would not infringe patents or other intellectual property rights of any third party. No other rights except those expressly stated in this promise shall be deemed granted, waived or received by implication, exhaustion, estoppel, or otherwise."

      Oh, you mean VML is only referenced and therefore not covered by the patent promise, at the same time MS is throwing their patents around Linux? Too bad it's inherently part of the OOXML spec....
  • OOXML... (Score:2, Troll)

    by QuietLagoon (813062)
    ... the best standard that monopoly money can buy.

    The questions remains - just how good are the purchased goods?

  • What can I do? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Qubit (100461) on Monday July 16, 2007 @09:43PM (#19883197) Homepage Journal
    I give money to various FOSS projects that I use at home and work, and I have my FSF card and my EFF decoder ring, and I feel pretty good about all that, but what can I do to help promote the use and standardization of ODF over OOXML?

    We all have our prejudices, and a lot of us geeks are (not unduly) suspicious of anything "open" coming out of Redmond, but to step back and compare these two formats I see ODF as a clear winner:
    • OOXML is controlled by one company, not a standards body.
    • Microsoft likes proprietary formats and has only gone the open format route because the market/industry forced them to do so.
    • Microsoft was invited several times to join the ODF standards committee and refused all invitations.
    • The OOXML format is not actually open for anyone to implement: part of the specification references proprietary file formats (older ms-office formats) and proprietary, microsoft-only code.

    So what can I do to promote ODF? Write to my congresscritters? Spend some time proofing drafts of the spec?
    • Mostly because I have not seen any candidates weigh in on technical issues that I care about:

      • DRM
      • The DMCA (please legalize DeCSS for things which don't already violate copyright)
      • Trusted Computing (a step further -- please don't let them restrict what I can run on MY hardware)
      • Open standards (ODF)
      • Net neutrality (be very clear here, as the term now means two opposite viewpoints)
      • Voting machines (Diebold needs to die)
      • Software patents (Abolish them until reform, at least)
      • Length of IP (patents and copyrigh
  • From the abstract: it's pretty clear that Microsoft is pushing OOXML as hard as it can.

    If MS really believed in their products they wouldn't need to push OOXML so hard. It's obvious from their behaviour that they're scared to death about ODF. I wonder how many people would switch to Open Office if ODF really takes off. I think you will find that the number of switchers will not be as big as MS is afraid of. People are too used to MS's stuff and usually reluctant to change.
    • by spitzak (4019) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @02:46AM (#19884867) Homepage
      It should be pretty obvious. Microsoft is afraid of losing lock-in.

      Yes it is quite certain that if ODF was required, Microsoft word would read/write ODF. And Microsoft word would almost certainly still be the number 1 word processor, and just like .doc format today it is likely that 95% of the ODF documents would never be read or written by anything other than Microsoft word. And Microsoft would (initially) make exactly the same amount of money as they do now. They may even make a big windfall, if the ODF read/write is only a feature of the new version that people need to buy.

      The difference is that a number-2 word processor could then at least exist.

      Microsoft is not worried about Open Office, that is just another bit of FUD they throw out (they act like there is some physical impossibility of any program other than an open-source Open Office working with ODF, which is a blatently false, but unstated, premise, of all their arguments).

      What they are worried about is a *commercial* number-2 word processor. Say Google-word. Or maybe a company we never heard of. But suddenly no "something is wrong with open source" arguments will work (whether these are FUD or not), and any other argument against it will sound like Microsoft is claiming that they are the only company legally allowed to write software.

      Such software would cut far more into Word sales than Open Office (I think the result would be 50% Word, 40% this competitor, and 10% divided amoung Open Office, a dozen other free open-source products, and 5 or 6 other commercial attempts). Retaining their market share would also require them to compete on functionality by developing the software, further cutting profits.

      More serious is that it removes a possible lock-in for server products for the office. Even if a place uses 100% Word, the pointy-haired boss may actually have a hint and question why the "microsoft document server" they are thinking of buying will not work with this possible competitor, and for the same price they can buy the IBM unit that works with both. Microsoft will be forced to make such products that work with both or they will lose all the sales. But they will then lose that lock in, and then lose the lock in of things that run on or talk to these servers, etc, etc.
  • by oohshiny (998054)
    For Microsoft to push 14+ new members into a standards body of previously 7 members just to get their agenda passed is evil; standards bodies are supposed to be based on unbiased expert opinions, not short-term commercial interests. Some bias can't be avoided, but one doesn't have to create it artificially.

    I think ANSI should remove authorization from INCITS to make recommendations, since INCITS has demonstrated that they can't be trusted.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    As an example of how Microsoft is manipulating the whole process everywhere, take Portugal IPQ standards body (the national ISO body there): The chairman of the technical committee to study the granting of the ISO standard to MSOOXML happens to be a Microsoft employee, first they tried to fill as many seats as possible at the committee with Micrososft partners, including Microsoft employees, one of them at the presidency, such as "Primavera", "Jurinfor" and "ASSOFT", then they denied Sun and IBM the possibi
  • by asscroft (610290) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @05:29AM (#19885467)
    Wouldn't we just complain about them "embracing and extending" ODF? Anyone remember J++. They tried to make their own version of Java that compiled against the JVM and Sun sued them. So instead they went and built .NET and C#. Now we have C# and Java to choose from. In a way the competition has been good. In a way it kinda sucks. I can almost guarantee that if MS said "we're gonna support ODF" we'd be predicting how they're going to embrace and extend it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      May be I am feeding a troll, still ...

      You need competition among vendors. Not among standards. You want everyone from Yokohoma to Goodyear to Cooper to Bridgestone building tires compatible with your car. You dont want to choose between Ford-Tire Standard vs GM Tire Standard vs Toyota Tire Standard.

      What do you gain by having to choose between .Net and C# and Java? If you have three vendors fighting on a single platform, be it .Net or C# or Java, they will sell you more and more feature rich IDEs, inno

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