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Microsoft Believes IBM Masterminded Anti-OOXML Initiative

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the may-have-been-some-structural-flaws dept.

Microsoft 274

mahuyar writes "Microsoft executives have accused IBM of leading the campaign against their initiative to have Office Open XML approved by the International Organization for Standardization. 'Nicos Tsilas, senior director of interoperability and IP policy at Microsoft, said that IBM and the likes of the Free Software Foundation have been lobbying governments to mandate the rival OpenDocument Format (ODF) standard to the exclusion of any other format. "They have made this a religious and highly political debate," Tsilas said. "They are doing this because it is advancing their business model. Over 50 percent of IBM's revenues come from consulting services."'"

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274 comments

Wait (5, Insightful)

Adradis (1160201) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238444)

Is that the pot calling the kettle black? If Microsoft is pulling out all the stops to steamroll their way to the front, I find it incredibly hypocritical of them to call someone else out on a counter.

Microsoft is to blame (4, Insightful)

alextheseal (653421) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238626)

There is only one company to blame and it's Microsoft. If it had been a decent spec and unencumbered people would have respected it despite the author. This spec though did not deserve the light of day.

Re:Microsoft is to blame (2, Funny)

passthecrackpipe (598773) | more than 5 years ago | (#22238884)

actually, I have it on good authority that google is behind a lot of these moves.

Re:Microsoft is to blame (4, Insightful)

Romancer (19668) | more than 5 years ago | (#22238952)

Holly crap!

FTA:

"Let's be very clear," Paoli said. "It has been fostered by a single company -- IBM. If it was not for IBM, it would have been business as usual for this standard."

Business as usual? With all the corruption we've seen on the process, business as usual seems kinda sucky for the people when left in the hands of Microsoft.

Microsoft is crying like a little baby? (4, Insightful)

sucker_muts (776572) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238668)

So wait...

Microsoft is crying about this, this is not fair?

Are they... losing this battle? Is this their last defence?

I sure hope so!

 

Very Unprofessional (5, Interesting)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 5 years ago | (#22238868)

Ah, Microsoft isn't even speaking with one voice here:

"Let's be very clear," Paoli [Microsoft senior director of XML technology] said. "It has been fostered by a single company -- IBM. If it was not for IBM, it would have been business as usual for this standard." [...] Nicos Tsilas, senior director of interoperability and IP policy at Microsoft, said that IBM and the likes of the Free Software Foundation have been lobbying governments to mandate the rival OpenDocument Format (ODF) standard to the exclusion of any other format.
So which is it, 'IBM, and IBM alone', or 'IBM, the FSF, and a few others'? These two opinions just end up sounding like rants; this is what happens when everything isn't run through the company PR office (a surprising oversight here, actually - very unprofessional).

Anyhow, not that it matters, but the truth seems to be the latter. Several groups and entities were opposed to OOXML, including many FOSS organizations like the FSF. And also IBM. Given IBM's money, perhaps it acted more than the others, I have no idea. If IBM did anything underhanded or unethical, then that would be very wrong, regardless of the worthiness of the goal. But, as it happens, Microsoft was caught buying votes, not IBM, so these accusations of Microsoft's are just ridiculous.

Rephrased.. (5, Insightful)

fictionpuss (1136565) | more than 5 years ago | (#22238936)

Microsoft are stating that:
  1. There is a legitimate business model around supporting Free Software - which IBM demonstrates
  2. End customers who use that Free Software are able to perform their work duties as well or better than those who would use MS Office - otherwise they would not be in competition to Microsoft (#1)
  3. Standards bodies and Governments (of the people) should back OOXML/MS Office (of a corporation), which would encourage sales of MS Office, even though Free Software (of the people) is already up to the task (#2), and there is no key economic stimulus motivation (#1) (for the people) to do so

This should be a highly political debate - otherwise we encourage our Governments/Schools to continue to waste our taxes. If Microsoft didn't lobby such institutions then it would not be a political debate.

Calling Free Software a religious movement is a dubious and cheap slur against a movement.

Classic FUD.

Re:Wait (2, Insightful)

KillerCow (213458) | more than 5 years ago | (#22238990)

"IBM Believes Microsoft Masterminded OOXML Initiative"

Ad Hominem is a logical fallacy.

Re:Wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22239564)

Um, yes Ad Hominem is a logical fallacy, but there is no ad hominem in the title, the summary, or the FTA.

Godwin's Law (2, Funny)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 5 years ago | (#22239018)

Sounds like Hitler crying that Britain and France were entirely to blame for the war that started after they invaded Poland.

Think they'll blame IBM for Vista, too? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22239228)

Did anyone else note that they claim that IBM is doing it because of their consulting business?

Silly me, but wouldn't it be in their business interests to let their customers buy in to screwed-up technology like OOXML so that they could charge them for fixing it?

Anyhow, if they really want someone to blame, they should blame me for submitting all those stories from Rob Weir's blog to Slashdot, especially the AutoSpaceLikeWord95 approach to backward compatibility one. The only problem with their theory is that I'm not under any of their employ, I'm just a low level systems administrator slacking off at work who fits most of the Slashdot stereotypes remarkably well.

In related news Iraqi Minister of Information ... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22239252)

Says there are No Americans in Iraq .

Re:Wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22239288)

My heart is broken and bleeds for poor little misunderstood Microsoft.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

(Hold on. Wait. Let me catch my...

Damn, can't stop laugh...)

HA! HA! HA! Like hell it does. The bastards deserve this! LMAO! :D :D :D

Re:Wait (1)

Hymer (856453) | more than 5 years ago | (#22239558)

Microsoft is fucking scared right now because neither MS Office 2007 nor the 2003 plugin support the version of OOXML which is the version that may be approved by ISO... that is with all the corrections [ecma-international.org] made by ECMA after the last vote.
I'm btw. shocked that neither /. nor Groklaw has anything about the corrected OOXML case.

Pity the poor little Microsoft (5, Funny)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238446)

So sad, that such a tiny little garage shop like Microsoft should be beaten up by the big bad IBM.

Anyone else think that this sounds like whining?

Re:Pity the poor little Microsoft (1)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238494)

Yup, this is the same argument I've heard from people/companies for years but against MS. Guess they don't like being on the receiving end of this equation.

Hmmm... (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238474)

You know how I know there's no God. Because if there was, a lightning bolt would come from the sky and blast this guy to smithereens.

After all the revelations of Microsoft's attempts to poison the standards process by buying votes, to accuse someone else of some dirty campaign is so hypocritical and immoral that one has to stand in awe of the kind of twisted mind that could produce it.

I thought only SCO's pathetic supporters with their claims that Groklaw was an IBM front were this warped, but Microsoft, congrats, you've produced the same specimen of irony-meter destroying beastling.

Re:Hmmm... (2, Funny)

richg74 (650636) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238648)

After all the revelations of Microsoft's attempts to poison the standards process by buying votes, to accuse someone else of some dirty campaign is so hypocritical and immoral that one has to stand in awe of the kind of twisted mind that could produce it.

You've got to give them credit for one thing: they have more nerve than a one-legged guy in an ass-kicking contest. I think my irony meter just exploded.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238650)

This is a good example of when you can say something that is entirely true and still have people be pissed off at you. Does anyone honestly believe that IBM didn't do the things he is accusing them of? Of course IBM behaved unethically, they had to after all the shinanigans that Microsoft tried to pull first.

On the other hand, if Microsoft had squashed a format that IBM or the Open Source community had unethically pushed, we would still be pissed at Microsoft.

Sometimes I fear we have a default reaction whenever Microsoft makes a statement. In reality, we should be pissed at both Microsoft and IBM; they're both subverting a process that is soposed to be for the good of the consumers.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

snoyberg (787126) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238704)

In reality, we should be pissed at both Microsoft and IBM; they're both subverting a process that is soposed to be for the good of the consumers.

Frankly, if the only way to stop something bad from occurring is to subvert a flawed process, I don't mind. The fact the M$ was able to buy votes the way it did is flawed enough for me, and I think most people here agree that OOXML passing would have been a Bad Thing. So no, I'm not pissed at IBM over this.

Re:Hmmm... (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238714)

What precisely has IBM or the Open Source community done that was unethical? Revealing the bribery that Microsoft was using? Revealing how incredibly bad and unimplementable OOXML is? Going to various partners and agencies and spilling the beans on what Microsoft is up to?

If it wasn't for these things, it's quite possible that OOXML, a group of file formats which no one without in-depth knowledge of Microsoft's older proprietary formats could hope to implement on an independent document platform, would have got ISO certification, and the next time some government decided "We must use only open document formats", Microsoft would walk up with Office 2007 or whatever comes next, with a file format which in fact would continue to chain said government to Microsoft software, and probably get away with it.

Re:Hmmm... (2, Insightful)

ArtDent (83554) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238796)

Does anyone honestly believe that IBM didn't do the things he is accusing them of? Of course IBM behaved unethically, they had to after all the shinanigans that Microsoft tried to pull first.

Wha?

He accuses IBM of voting against OOXML in ECMA and of lobbying national bodies to vote against it in ISO.

Do I think that IBM did that? Of course.

Would I categorize that as unethical behaviour? Not on your life! I think those are perfectly legitimate actions, and I'm glad IBM took them.

Re:Hmmm... (4, Insightful)

Romancer (19668) | more than 5 years ago | (#22238866)

I would go so far as to say that IBM actually used the proper cahnnels for these efforts as well. I would also like to point out that Microsoft did these exact same things and more.

Voting for or against something is actually the important part of holding a vote.

Lobbying national bodies is the standard for attempting to have your products considered.

Both Microsoft and IBM did these things, so why is Microsoft whining about them when they stepped over some lines on this subject and IBM didn't.

Re:Hmmm... (2, Informative)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 5 years ago | (#22239374)

Maybe people think lobbying is illegal or something. It's not. It's how shit gets done.

is IMB playing dirty? (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 5 years ago | (#22238946)

In reality, we should be pissed at both Microsoft and IBM; they're both subverting a process that is soposed to be for the good of the consumers.

This Microsoft shill didn't provide any evidence, do you have any?

Falcon

Re:Hmmm... (1)

Egdiroh (1086111) | more than 5 years ago | (#22238986)

Wait, what did IBM do that was unethical. Lobbying is not inherently unethical. To unethically lobby you have to lie, or rather then trying to convince someone of something pay them to take your position, whether or not it is sound.

The arguments against what IBM is doing are logically fallacy. To attack the validity of the position that IBM is promoting because IBM might also stand to benefit from it, is not logically valid. Many people promote true and valid arguments for reasons that are self serving. It's only when you present inconsistent or known false arguments and do so for a self serving reason that there is anything to talk about.

But maybe Microsoft hasn't put forth any arguments for anything that were true or valid, in so long they just assume that all arguments are invalid and knowingly false, and that some of the time you're just fucking with people for no good reason and other times it's really bad and you are doing it out of your own self interest.

How is IBM subverting the process? (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 5 years ago | (#22239538)

"In reality, we should be pissed at both Microsoft and IBM; they're both subverting a process that is soposed to be for the good of the consumers."

Care to explain exactly what IBM did to the subvert the process? Was IBM involved in ballot stuffing or bribing? Did IBM try cheat it's way into pushing a proprietary standard through the system, and calling that standard open?

According to msft, all ibm did was oppose the standard. In deverence to what msft shills may think, there is nothing improper about voicing opposition to msft's lying and cheating.

Or am I missing something?

Re:Hmmm... (0, Troll)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238676)

I thought only SCO's pathetic supporters with their claims that Groklaw was an IBM front were this warped, but Microsoft, congrats, you've produced the same specimen of irony-meter destroying beastling.
All of SCO's pathetic supporters have been shown, in one or another, to be on the Microsoft dole. Where do you think they got their warped viewpoint of the world?

Microsoft is actually one of the most paranoid organizations in the world. It is their culture of paranoia that allowed them to rise to the top and that same culture has kept them there.

Re:Hmmm... (3, Interesting)

riseoftheindividual (1214958) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238754)

You know how I know there's no God. Because if there was, a lightning bolt would come from the sky and blast this guy to smithereens.

I've agreed with many of your posts, but I can't agree here. I'm not saying there is a God, but I could see a God with a sense of humor keeping this guy around to make him laugh. I laughed myself to tears when I read this. With just a few tweaks, this could have been a good onion article.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#22238848)

Well, I'll admit I was being a tad impish about the statement.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

ImpShial (1045486) | more than 5 years ago | (#22238988)

I take afront to that comment.

Imp

No accusations of "dirty" campaigning (4, Funny)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 5 years ago | (#22239130)

I don't see msft accusing IBM of "dirty" campaigning.

The problem is that another company may be campaigning at all. I mean, how friggin *dare* they! Doesn't IBM know that msft has a sacred right to all PC OSes and office products?

IBM has already shown itself to have the unmitigated gall to donate IBM's own code to Linux. This prompted msft to fund caldera to file a bogus lawsuit against IBM. According to the original lawsuit, caldera owned UNIX, and therefore anything that ever touched UNIX was also owned by caldera.

Yet, it spite of being punished, IBM has still not learned their lesson. To do anything that might obstruct msft is an absolute sacrilege! Msft is understandably appalled. Msft will not accept this horrible injustice silently. Msft wants the world to know just how completely unethically IBM is behaving.

I mean, to try and compete with msft! Of all the bloody nerve

Re:Hmmm... (1)

timberwolf753 (1064802) | more than 5 years ago | (#22239170)

Hahaha Microsfot is blaming someone else for there troubles. They should just help improve ODF to fit what they want and have it in an open manner. But that won't happen till hell freezes over.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

divisionbyzero (300681) | more than 5 years ago | (#22239280)

The accusation isn't what's immoral because it's true. It's the fact that they are doing the same thing that is immoral.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

hypnagogue (700024) | more than 5 years ago | (#22239282)

There is a God, and this is Hell.

Re:Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22239552)

You know how I know there's no God. Because if there was, a lightning bolt would come from the sky and blast this guy to smithereens.

Your willingness to accept an imaginary playmate is based on it being aligned with your sense of justice? Interesting.

Which I guess is related, because what MS is doing here is working the Big Lie, a lie so monsterous that it stuns rational opposition. And hell, it works. It's got a long track record of providing traction where there would otherwise be none at all. Religion, government, marketing - you name it.

I mean, we've actually got a thread of folks expressing shock at unethical behavior by MS? Hello? Did water suddenly get wetter? No, but we've been hip-checked by the Big Lie technique and we're fumbling for footing.

That's all right... (5, Funny)

26reverse (305980) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238476)

IBM believes that Microsoft masterminded the Pro-OOXML Initiative.

Re:That's all right... (3, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238562)

Yup. Direct quote from an IBM official: "They are doing this because it is advancing their business model. Over 50 percent of Microsoft's revenues come from selling Microsoft Office."

Re:That's all right... (5, Interesting)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#22238960)

Microsoft wanted a standard basically amounts to ISO certified vendor lock in. They wanted it because it supports their business model, which is getting paid for the standard office functionality installed on every computer on earth, forever.

IBM wanted a standard that allows them to mix and match their own office software, MS office software, or any other office software together as part of a larger solution based on their clients needs. They wanted it because it supports their business model, which is doing analysis of a specific businesses needs and helping them put together a complete information infrastructure.

The thing is, the reason the International Standards Body exists is to make IBMs business model practical and prevent companies from successfully operating with Microsofts business model. It doesn't do this because it has a business motive though. It does it because the people of the world value their autonomy enough to have united behind this goal.

So, basically, Microsoft are angrily accusing IBM of being good corporate citizens of the world in this particular regard.

You belive about others... (4, Insightful)

KokorHekkus (986906) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238486)

...what you engage in yourself.

Re:You belive about others... (1, Funny)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#22238852)

Amen. What does that say about all those European powers who insult the US?

Boo freaking Hoo.... (1)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238504)

Regardless of IBM's motives (obviously they have some interest in this, they are a company that wants to make a profit), the main reason why everyone is against MS.. is because they cannot be trusted....

Pity the Poor Masters of Spin... (3, Informative)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238510)

IBM executives have concerns microsoft of leading the campaign against their initiative against microsoft's initiative to have Office Open XML approved by the International Organization for Standardization.

But, Nicos Tsilas, senior director of interoperability and IP policy at Microsoft, said that IBM and the likes of the Free Software Foundation have been lobbying governments to mandate the rival OpenDocument Format (ODF) standard to the exclusion of any other format.

IBM responded with, "They have made this a religious and highly political debate, worse than we did" "Yes, we ARE are doing this because it is advancing our business model. But, over 50 percent of microsoft's revenues come from abusing and INsulting services against their customers needing a way out."

Pot calling the kettle black (5, Insightful)

businessnerd (1009815) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238518)

Why don't we look at this in reverse and see how ridiculous it looks...

Microsoft and the likes of the Microsoft's lobbyists have been lobbying governments to mandate the rival OOXML standard to the exclusion of any other format.
Wait a minute....that's not ridiculous at all! That's f%#&ing reality!

Seriously, we've seen plenty of stories right here on Slashdot about Microsoft trying to buy the vote. Sweden comes to mind. And frankly, you can't call it lobbying when all you are doing is pointing out that Microsoft's "open" format is not actually open.

Re:Pot calling the kettle black (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238546)

Fairly typical transference...accuse the other guy of what you've been doing.

Re:Pot calling the kettle black (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#22238892)

To be fair, though, neither standard is very open at all. I tend to agree with the Opera dude who says that HTML+CSS is already a perfect document standard if it's implemented properly.

I'm glad somebody did (1)

blackjackshellac (849713) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238530)

Because it took me two years to figure out that OOXML had *nothing whatsoever* to do with Open Office. Evil scum should be flailed just for creating that confusion.

Can we flail Steve Jobs too, just for good measure?

Single handedly? (2, Insightful)

TheHappyMailAdmin (913609) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238532)

I do believe the likes of Google and Sun were firmly on IBM's side in pushing back against MSOOXML. Goes to show, it takes a group effort to stand up against a monopolist.

and micrsoft did not do anything wrong? (1)

jim.hansson (1181963) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238558)

like the stunt they pulled in sweden, poor microsoft.
are they trying to get people felling sad for them? think they will get votes that way

arrh, f**k I don't really have anything good to write, just feeling upset, plz mod me down now.

Wow. Just Wow. (1)

mikeabbott420 (744514) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238566)

The sheer kettle/pot chutzpah of it. Against my will I find I'm actually impressed.

It's about the public good as well. (1)

microbox (704317) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238568)

Everybody who cares to look already knows that ODF is about IBM's business AND the pubic good.

Re:It's about the public good as well. (3, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238662)

Whether ODF is or not is quite besides the point. Microsoft has tried to make this about ODF vs. OOXML, when in fact it should be all about Microsoft's unimplementable file format (at least by a third party) and the dirty tricks that it has used in its attempts to get it ISO certification so it can try to sell Office as an "open standards"-based application suite to the increasing number of governments who want an open document format to assure long-term readability of documents.

Quite frankly I think that the very idea of someone submitting a protocol or file format to an international standards committee without one example of a third-party implementation is ludicrous.

Re:It's about the public good as well. (0, Troll)

HeavensBlade23 (946140) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238734)

If anything OOXML is the pubic good since it sucks dick.

Re:It's about the public good as well. (1)

Rob Y. (110975) | more than 5 years ago | (#22238972)

No. ODF is really about lowering the cost of desktop productivity software.

That's certainly good for the public. Not necessarily so great for IBM, except that it levels the (hopefully, soon to be lower) playing field.

Re:It's about the public good as well. (2, Funny)

rprins (1083641) | more than 5 years ago | (#22238974)

I love my pubic goods..

kudos to MS (2, Funny)

psbrogna (611644) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238574)

For putting aside vendor difference and suggesting that IBM be recognized for their alleged efforts. For, in my mind, campaigning against bad spec does indeed make one masterful.

roflmao (1)

theoxygenthief (1230132) | more than 5 years ago | (#22239402)

I'd love to know more about the actual pros and cons of both OODLES (i really suck with abbreviations, I'm referring to Microsofts proposed standard) and UDUFFI (the other thingy). Can anyone point me to a good summary?

They could be right.. (1)

Gideon Fubar (833343) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238582)

or it could just be a massive wave of consensus that's causing their denial. Oh, and backlash from being caught red handed more than once.
just maybe..

It was me (1)

jeffmock (188913) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238592)

I wish Microsoft would accuse me of masterminding the plot against OOXML seeing as 50% of my business comes from dealing with crappy software.

Because IBM promotes everything so well... (2, Funny)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238616)

After all, who isn't running OS/2 on their thinkpads these days, or typing on Model M keyboards? And the IBM PowerPC chip - now that's a popular chip for the mainstream market if ever I saw one!

Yep, I'm sure the guys who sold us all on "I just totally warped my files" would be capable of blocking a Microsoft initiative... When I think powerful and successful marketing, I know I think IBM.

Re:Because IBM promotes everything so well... (1)

ianare (1132971) | more than 5 years ago | (#22238916)

I know what you're trying to say, that IBM is no longer the 800lbs gorilla it used to be, which is true. But the bit about PowerPC is inaccurate, it is certainly mainstream - the xbox 360 and wii use it, and the cell processor is related to it (uses power architecture). It is also used in many applications in the embedded market.

Re:Because IBM promotes everything so well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22239054)

The computer I'm typing this on has a PPC processor.

Re:Because IBM promotes everything so well... (1)

Emetophobe (878584) | more than 5 years ago | (#22239530)

And the IBM PowerPC chip - now that's a popular chip for the mainstream market if ever I saw one!

Are you serious? All three current generation consoles use chips based on IBM's Power Architecture.

The Xbox 360 [wikipedia.org] uses a PowerPC based processor.
The Wii [wikipedia.org] uses a PowerPC based processor.
The PS3 [wikipedia.org] uses a Cell processor with 1 PPE (Power Processing Element) and 7 SPEs (Synergistic Processing Elements). The Power Processing Element is based on the Power Architecture.

how dare they?? (2, Insightful)

twoboxen (1111241) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238618)

IBM clearly deviated from established and acceptable protocol--buying and intimidating voters.

Love this guy's title (3, Insightful)

multisync (218450) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238634)

'Nicos Tsilas, senior director of interoperability and IP policy at Microsoft'


If it wasn't for their 'IP policy,' we wouldn't have half the problems we do with 'interoperability.'

Re:Love this guy's title (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#22238842)

If it wasn't for their 'IP policy,' we wouldn't have half the problems we do with 'interoperability.'


Microsoft does very little to hide that "interoperability" is something they are mostly interested in obstructing as it undermines their business model. Likely, Tsilas job as "senior director of interoperability and IP policy" is to leverage IP policy to prevent interoperability and thereby promote lock-in to MS products.

Interoperability would make MS products replaceable commodities that would have to compete on price, support quality, and features other than ability to work well with legacy MS documents and other MS products. Which is the last thing MS wants.

Re:Love this guy's title (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 5 years ago | (#22239216)

Microsoft: Taking the "ter" out of "interoperability".

Ummm .... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238638)

"They have made this a religious and highly political debate," Tsilas said. "They are doing this because it is advancing their business model. Over 50 percent of IBM's revenues come from consulting services."

And what percentage of Microsoft's revenue comes from Office? Isn't this advancing the business model of Microsoft?

Does Microsoft really believe that everyone is out to get them, or are they incapable of understanding why any standard which says "do it like Word 95 did it" isn't open or implementable by anyone else?

Cheers

Re:Ummm .... (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#22238906)

Does Microsoft really believe that everyone is out to get them


No, they just want other people to believe that's the reason for criticism. Its called "propaganda". (Or, to use the popular euphemism, "public relations".)

What campaign? (1)

toby (759) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238646)

Never ascribe to malice what results from trying to dishonestly force junk through standardisation processes. Memo to Microsoft: Your product stinks, is why you didn't get your way. And your business practices stink even worse. Go away.

Business as usual (1)

jbrax (315669) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238660)

From the article: "If it was not for IBM, it would have been business as usual for this standard."

Isn't is so that Fast Track is meant for technically simple standards? So for Microsoft "business as usual" means that they should be allowed push their broken format into ISO on the wrong track.

WE did it (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238664)

No, Microsoft, we web/slashdot trolls masterminded it. Live with it!

Not incredibly dumb astroturfing? (5, Insightful)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238672)

In this post [slashdot.org] and the posts above and below it I have an interesting discussion with someone who says essentially the same thing.

Personally, when it comes down to it, I don't care who is behind the standard as long as the standard meets certain *ahem* standards. Mainly I want inter-operable implementations from more than one vendor, and I would like at least one implementation that's fully Open Source and considered the reference implementation.

ODF meets all of those requirements. OOXML meets none of them. I don't think even Microsoft could make an implementation of OOXML in a clean room without using any of their other source code.

So, I care not one whit for the political machinations behind it all. All I care about is having a standard that's really a standard. Putting the political machinations to the fore is a mistake, and Microsoft is trying to capitalize on that to create a smokescreen that obscures the real issue, which is that their 'standard' is awful and unimplementable.

Re:Not incredibly dumb astroturfing? (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 5 years ago | (#22239030)

I don't think even Microsoft could make an implementation of OOXML in a clean room without using any of their other source code.
I agree. They can't even get HTML/CSS right and it's a truly open standard. Their chances of implementing their own crap semi-closed standard would be even worse.

*Gasp!* (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 5 years ago | (#22239140)

You're with IBM too, aren't you!? Aren't you!!?

Re:Not incredibly dumb astroturfing? (1)

Basilius (184226) | more than 5 years ago | (#22239188)

I don't think even Microsoft could make an implementation of OOXML in a clean room without using any of their other source code.
They haven't, can't, and won't. Microsoft has never released a product that implements OOXML as it has been proposed. On top of that they've even stated that they have no intention of having their product innovation hampered by tying them to a standard. Even the one they created.

You have no idea how hard it was to type that. I was laughing WAY too hard.

Re:Not incredibly dumb astroturfing? (1)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 5 years ago | (#22239264)

ODF does not meet your stated requirements. It (probably) will when ODF 1.2 is approved. Using your own thought experiment (clean room implementation without using existing code), ODF would fail on interoperability, because ODF 1.0 (the one that is the standard) does not specify how formulas work in spreadsheets. The way existing ODF implementations achieve interoperability here is that they look at OpenOffice's implementation, and copy it.

OOXML Standard (1)

RobBebop (947356) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238678)

It is certainly possible that IBM, Sun, Google, and FSF could have played a role in leveraging ODF over OOXML, but Microsoft shot themselves in the foot with OOXML by publishing a faulty standard that was easily demonstrated to be non-standard (i.e. "implement the way Word '97 does").

Lord only knows what tactics Microsoft will use when usage of ODF is actually twice that of OOXML, and their Office Productivity Suite monopoly disappears...

He's got a point (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22238690)

Thanks to IBM lobbying, we'll all be using EBCDIC-XML for our documents.

Den som nämnde det han klämde det (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238740)

Knäpphuvuden

Ask you local office what that means...

sigh

Who asked
Who farted

Do MS suspect they will lose the vote? (1)

MLCT (1148749) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238756)

I would have thought that they wouldn't or couldn't care less who or what disagrees with them so long as they got the bits of ISO paper they need so they can claim that they are "an international standard". Have they done a quick back-of-the-envelope tot up of the numbers for the vote (even at this stage)? Do they anticipate that they will fail and are getting their excuses and blames in early?

Why doesn't IBM listen to its Heart? (1)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238766)

When Flower Child Bill Gates says we need a Kinder, Gentler Capitalism, why do the suits IBM only seek to run the business?

When CEO Squirts Ballmer dons his Love Beads and Stallman Wig[TM] and asks for Peace, Love, and Understanding, why does IBM fight a religious and political battle?

Peace out, Brothers and Sisters! We are Stardust. If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with.

cry more it's funny. (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238772)

"They are doing this because it is advancing their business model"

that's been MS's excuse for all their misdeeds of the past, that it's just business. I guess the point he is trying to make is that IBM isn't doing it to be a good guy, but frankly who cares if it prevents MS getting their hooks into a standard.

And the likes... (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 6 years ago | (#22238792)

IBM and the likes of the Free Software Foundation...
They have made this a religious and highly political debate.

Mwwhaaaaaa. Get the comfy chair!! Our quest against the non-believers must continue!

Seriously? Who actually wants to get stuck with *another* Microsoft spec that they either won't doc, honor or support. What do we fear? Could it be their history of "Embrace, Extend and Extinguish"?

"And the likes", Jeesh.

Are they really that stupid... (1)

mycroes (1176405) | more than 5 years ago | (#22238820)

Well if that's really how stupid Microsoft employees are, they did great with Vista!

Not smart. (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 5 years ago | (#22238886)

If I was buying votes left and right all across Europe to have my broken non-standard approved (and I don't mean "trying to"), to the point that those bribed to vote Microsoft are now causing the standards body to be disfunctional by not attending other sessions - after all, the bribe was only for voting for OOXML - well, if I did such a blatantly illegal thing for which I might still pay dearly, I should at the very least lay low and STFU! Doesn't Microsoft think IBM could very well retort in kind, but this time with some fscking well-documented and proven cases, and just for the heck of it sue Microsoft for corruption?

I bet IBM has at least a dozen lawyers at any time, idling and just waiting to be given a task just like this. IBM's lawyers have a certain fame (should I say "notoriety"?), too.

Did Themselves In (1)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 5 years ago | (#22238898)

All I can say is, waaaaaaa! Honestly, Microsoft dropped the ball on themselves on OOXML. There's no technical reason they could not have created a truly open standard that anyone could use to read and write Office compatible documents. So I can only wonder what really went on behind the scenes. Surely they have plenty of developers on staff who knew OOXML was not going to fly and that IBM and others would call them on it. I learned the hard way in grad school to never give a presentation or submit anything that's not ready. Either OOXML wasn't really ready, or some business-bots decided to try and pull a fast one.

Microsoft (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 5 years ago | (#22238910)

Making unbelievable statements while getting rich. I know I couldn't possibly make such a deceitful statement in a public forum. At the very least not for money.

6000 Pages (2, Interesting)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 5 years ago | (#22239042)

A specification 6000 pages long is probably another factor. Heck, try to get something that is spec compliant from a 100 page specification is hard enough, but with 6000 pages you must be smoking something good to even expect compliance. Good specs are easy to implement and understand, but then again I doubt Microsoft was even expecting anyone to be able to implement OOXML.

Re:6000 Pages (1)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 5 years ago | (#22239504)

I heard page one has a delicate aroma, with a mellow buzz.
After that, it's very harsh, and makes you cough.

MS crying (1)

FrozenFOXX (1048276) | more than 5 years ago | (#22239056)

Wow, sounds like someone's nethers hurt. Yes, shame on those religious zealots at IBM who think that a poorly written format shouldn't become a standard.

RTFA. All the way to the bottom. (2, Insightful)

Rhys (96510) | more than 5 years ago | (#22239144)

Brett Winterford travelled to Redmond as a guest of Microsoft


There you have it folks. No more discussion required and everyone who's defending Microsoft is welcome to leave apologies as replies! This is just more of them using money to try to brand their software as some sort of open standard when it isn't.

Very appropriate quotation at the bottom of /. (1)

catman (1412) | more than 5 years ago | (#22239230)

It said, "You are lost in the Swamps of Despair".

Proverb: "A thief believes that everyone steals."

The Mexican Experience and "The Linux Enemy" (2, Insightful)

alexborges (313924) | more than 5 years ago | (#22239238)

Well. I strongly participated in the antiooxml campaign here in Mexico against ooxml becoming an iso standard. I did this because there is already a fully supported, open, non-patent-encumbered standard covering the whole domain of what ooxml proposes, so it makes more sense for the industry, no matter how strong is microsoft in it, to support the other standard. It is within microsoft's reach to support the iso standard we have now and they did not present any reason whatsoever for its support or adoption in the industry.

I can tell you now that IBM had nothing to do with it. Its just that many smaller foss vendors see in microsoft's initative a way to further their bussiness model in detriment of ours. We are consulting shops, we live on services and providing added value around them and open source software. To have a patent encumbered iso standard that can only be safely and completely supported by one software vendors not only hurts us, it hurts all of our client's choices in the market.

We dont mind integrating MS products in solutions, when it makes sense. Microsoft wants things done their way, weather it makes sense for the client or not. I find this unacceptable as the market is quite capable of providing good alternatives for microsoft software and fileformats and just letting the dominant set their own standard as a public one, with strings attached, hurts customer choice. The customer would be much better if microsoft simply supported ODF in their products. This way they can compete with their (yes, i do mean this) SUPPERB office product on the basis of it being better, not on the basis of them having a monopoly.

Its interesting to see how microsoft has been searching for "the linux enemy". One guy or company that, if they manage to hurt, theyd be hurting the whole movement to the point of crippling it. This year their "linux enemy" is IBM, who is in a great position to benefit themselves from FOSS (being that they are the earlyest of the high end and rich adopters of foss). But they dont get it.

Even if IBM signed in blood tomorrow to use exclusively microsoft software, that would not have changed things on our ISO vote. Microsoft is hurting US, not IBM. US: smaller companies providing consulting without having to give anyone a dime for essentially nothing (which is the current microsoft-owned IT bussiness model). US, who have invested in developing a FOSS expertiese so that we can leverage its cost advantage in front of a microsoft dominated, license driven market.

Perhaps things have gone so far for microsoft, that they dont realize that taking on opensource is not taking on sun or ibm, its taking on US. Thousends and thousends of engineers and entrepreneurs that are opinion leaders when it comes to technology supplies, that are choosing NOT to pay the microsoft tax when it comes to deliverance of IT products and services.

And US thousends have both the numbers and the technicall expertiese to determine where and how their bloated ooxml turns into a useless piece of (insert your own insulting language here) xml , when compared to the ODF standard that has already much more time in development and real world testing. I mean, its THERE its already working, its already dominant in the non-ms industry (meaning all office suites from larger vendors support it). The cost for MS tu support it is really close to nil, while the cost of all the rest of the market to support microsoft's format would be much more. If overall cost for the industry is any kind of meassure, then iso support for OOXML is just plain stupid.

So no, Microsoft, its not "IBM". Its everyone in the world that does not live or want to live on your products and shady bussiness practices.

It is not personal Microsoft (1)

Bayesela (1151523) | more than 5 years ago | (#22239270)

Its not against you Microsoft, it is the fact that your flawed 6000 page specification plus 2300 pages of bug fixes throws mud in the face of everything ISO has been working on for almost 20 years.

Competition Knocks (2, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 5 years ago | (#22239328)

So? Real competitors compete. I understand that Microsoft isn't used to real competitors, so doesn't recognize one when it sees one.

But until Microsoft can complain about evidence that IBM is competing with Microsoft illegally, or even actually unethically (as Microsoft has routinely been demonstrated to do), this just shows that Microsoft can't compete on a level playing field. Which of course is exactly why Microsoft needs to get OOXML installed, before it's too late.

Doesn't Matter (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#22239334)

Doesn't matter who did it, we didn't want it. The whole idea of standards is a single standard. This idea of dueling parallel standards was garbage from the beginning.

I thought it was Sun? (1)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 5 years ago | (#22239336)

I thought the story was that the efforts to promote ODF and "suppress" OOXML were sponsored and led by Sun in order to boost sales of Staroffice. Now it's supposed to be IBM? Can't MS make up their minds who their real enemies are? (Hint: anyone with a stake or interest in a free market for software and IT services. Or, more generally, anyone in favor of free markets.)

Why doesn't Microsoft embrace UDF (or whatever) (1)

theoxygenthief (1230132) | more than 5 years ago | (#22239346)

I don't see why Microsoft has to be so darn special and can't just adopt the ISO standard? What is the REAL issue here? will it cost a lot in monetary and programming terms? Is the format broken or crippled? Or do they just want to be in control and suck us even drier and bog everything down even more with DRM and XZYguzzi3 and whatever else they've built into Vista that sucks 90% of my ram and makes sure that I own 156% legal Microsoft stuff and look both ways before I cross the street?

MS supports ODF??? (2, Insightful)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 5 years ago | (#22239408)

"They are doing this because it is advancing their business model. Over 50 percent of IBM's revenues come from consulting services."

The only way that this could be true is if MS's OOXML format somehow locked out competitors in the consulting services industry. Hmmm... Is MS not arguing for the dropping of OOXML? It sure sounds like it.
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