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IBM Slams Microsoft, Calls OOXML "Inferior"

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the yer-mama's-ugly-too dept.

IBM 238

cristarol sends word that Microsoft's accusation, that IBM has sabotaged Redmond's attempts to have the Office OpenXML format approved by the ISO, has drawn a heated response from IBM. Ars Technica has the story. "'IBM believes that there is a revolution occurring in the IT industry, and that smart people around the world are demanding truly open standards developed in a collaborative, democratic way for the betterment of all,' IBM VP of standards and OSS Bob Sutor told Ars. 'If "business as usual" means trying to foist a rushed, technically inferior and product-specific piece of work like OOXML on the IT industry, we're proud to stand with the tens of countries and thousands of individuals who are willing to fight against such bad behavior.'"

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Battle of giants (4, Funny)

siyavash (677724) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305440)

One big corporation bashing another... Get your popcorns and watch the show. Personally, I prefer Godzilla... yyyyyiii... *sound of Godzilla*

Re:Battle of giants (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22305696)

Godzilla throws chairs?

Godzilla had better manners. (3, Interesting)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#22306220)

Godzilla may have thrown chairs, but he didn't have such a potty mouth: Ballmer Throws A Chair At "F*ing Google" [battellemedia.com] .

Re:Battle of giants (4, Insightful)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305872)

IBM, despite having lost the OS battle, will win this one. They are the 1600lb gorilla. Their influence in the industry and deep and wide and should never be underestimated. Microsoft would do well not to make an enemy of them.

Re:Battle of giants (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305960)

IBM, despite having lost the OS battle, will win this one. They are the 1600lb gorilla. Their influence in the industry and deep and wide and should never be underestimated. Microsoft would do well not to make an enemy of them.
Oh, I think it's much, much too late for that. IBM and Microsoft have been at odds since the whole OS/2 joint development agreement fallout. The only thing nobody seems to notice much around here is that IBM has been winning.

Does that mean... (1)

greenguy (162630) | more than 6 years ago | (#22306414)

...it's time to resurrect the term "IBM compatible?"

Seriously, this phrase is a throwback and an oversimplification, but it has built-in acceptance among a certain age bracket.

IBM Compatible (1)

pleappleappleap (1182301) | more than 6 years ago | (#22306704)

This term is very much still in use. It just doesn't have anything to do with PCs.

(Hint: Mainframes)

Re:Battle of giants (0)

Nimey (114278) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307166)

The only thing nobody seems to notice much around here is that IBM has been winning.
What are the sales figures of OS/2 and SmartSuite versus Windows and Office, again?

Re:Battle of giants (2, Insightful)

mgblst (80109) | more than 6 years ago | (#22306058)

This all sounds nice, and we all wish what you just said is true, but only a fool would discount the effect that Microsoft has on the industry at large. Most companies out there, are ALL microsoft shops - they won't even consider anything else. Most people out there don't give a damn about anything else, except their core business, and it ain't IT. Sure, there are a bunch of smart people out there who stay away from Microsoft as much as possible (and these people were aound 20 years ago), but they work in Universities or a few small businesses. This is the fact. Microsofts hold is great and legendary.

IBM is influential with knowledgeable people. (5, Insightful)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#22306384)

Re-worded quote from the comment above: "Most companies out there are All-Microsoft shops -- They won't even consider anything else. Most people care only about their core business, and that isn't IT."

True, but IBM is influential with people who understand Microsoft's abuse. See this quote from the Ars Technica article:

A ZDNet article published late last month quotes Microsoft officials who claim that IBM is solely responsible for ISO's recent decision to deny OOXML fast-track approval. "Let's be very clear," Jean Paoli, Microsoft's senior director of XML technology, told ZDNet. "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."

I'm glad we don't have "business as usual", as defined by Microsoft.

Re:Battle of giants (2, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307134)

It's perfectly true that many companies only care about the practical aspects of IT. They have accounting and word processing to do and that's the end of it.

The same applies to fax machines, copiers and telephones.

However, they DO care about the bottom line. They aren't cellphone experts, but they WILL avoid the provider that "everyone knows" drops more calls than it completes and costs twice as much as the others. Likewise, they will avoid the OS that "everyone knows" is annoying, user hostile, and costs way more than the others. Especially if "everyone knows" the BSA will come busting in and waste everyone's time checking for those little bits of paper that come in the box.

Most business people know instinctively that the more dirty tricks a vendor pulls, the more likely their own product is to suck. MS's antics are getting large enough and frequent enough that people outside of IT who don't read /. or groklaw are starting to notice.

Re:Battle of giants (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22306158)

Haha, right. IBM is a the world's biggest joke in this market with their shitty Lotus products and even their customers hate their fucking guts.

Re:Battle of giants (0, Redundant)

MT628496 (959515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305890)

Getcha popcorn ready.

Hopefully, the sports joke is not lost on the slashdot crowd.

Not much for megacorps, but... (4, Insightful)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305442)

I'm not really much for liking megacorps, but it's good to see one -- IBM in this case, for the moment -- that's on the right side.

Re:Not much for megacorps, but... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22305704)

Seems pretty logical to me.

Microsoft mostly gets money from its software, they thus need to make sure they will keep selling it. Then they can make even more money with consulting when customers are locked in.

IBM mostly gets money from consulting services, they thus need "open" environments where they can charge high price for advice vs software.

So what you think is the right side is actually the opportunistic side to them. This is still the right side for us though.

You forgot hardware and software (4, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#22306532)

IBM sell hardware and Software too. Open standards allow IBM to suggest its own software and hardware as part of its consultancy :)

Re:Not much for megacorps, but... (3, Insightful)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305802)

In the 21st century a standardised file format for Word Processors and other office documents is long overdue.

I support the .ODF format all the way.

~Dan

Re:Not much for megacorps, but... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22306388)

Revisit your comment in 10 years and see if you were right. These things have a way of panning out in unintended ways. I'm very nervous about getting behind IBM for ANYTHING

I agree (0, Redundant)

rolfc (842110) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305444)

totally with IBM

we've come a long way (5, Interesting)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305464)

When a company that used to be a monopolist is now one of the staunchest defenders of openness, I really do hope there is no hidden agenda here.

IBM used to make overpriced hardware sold at tremendous profit until that little upstart microsoft came along and elegantly used their own weight against them in a classic game of corporate judo. It may just be that IBM still smarts from that or it may be that they've really 'seen the light'. This is good news, personally I'd like to see the transparency of these committees and their members go up a notch or two, too much potential for procedural trickery still exists.

Re:we've come a long way (5, Interesting)

pegdhcp (1158827) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305502)

(Semi) official Microsoft view worded as

IBM is solely responsible for ISO's recent decision to deny OOXML fast-track approval. "Let's be very clear," Jean Paoli, Microsoft's senior director of XML technology, told ZDNet. "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."

One wonders if Microsoft officials do not recognize their own organization as a "single company". Although there are claims of MS statehood, I prefer such ideas remain in the "jokingly funny" domain.

Re:we've come a long way (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22305730)

Interesting how Microsoft refers to being unchallenged as "business as usual."

Re:we've come a long way (5, Insightful)

jkrise (535370) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305804)

Interesting how Microsoft words corruption, bribery and subverting the ISO process as "Business as Usual". In which case, what IBM is doing is very good for the industry - exposing crooks for what they are.

Re:we've come a long way (1)

DeathCarrot (1133225) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307036)

"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."
I just got this vivid image of Microsoft as a stereotypical hooded villain shaking his fist and shouting "if it weren't for those meddling kids!"

... Business as usual indeed.

Re:we've come a long way (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305538)

When a company that used to be a monopolist is now one of the staunchest defenders of openness, I really do hope there is no hidden agenda here.
Of course there's a hidden agenda. Except that it's not so hidden. IBM's business model currently revolves around services, rather than products. It's in IBM's best interests to have a diverse set of vendors in the IT industry to choose from rather than a monopoly and a monoculture. Microsoft is also in the services business, but their services revolve around their specific products, whereas IBM is a vendor that takes a more ecumenical view.

IOW, IBM's 'ulterior' motive is profit, and their profit goals happen to be in alignment with what's best for the IT industry and the greater IT community.

Re:we've come a long way (4, Insightful)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305608)

Exactly and it's my suspicion that a company whos business model is actually in line with their customers requirements is going to be more successful than one whos business model basically relies on customers behaving in a way which suits Microsoft and attempts to enforce that behaviour by removing the customers choices.

Re:we've come a long way (3, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305674)

Yep, it's like mama always said - don't put arsenic in your pies or your customers won't be very happy.

Re:we've come a long way (1)

rvw (755107) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305700)

Of course there's a hidden agenda. Except that it's not so hidden.
Let's refrase that: It's open! (Like in Open Document Type!)

Re:we've come a long way (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22305878)

Here, let me help you:

Let's REPHRASE that: It's open (as in Open Document Type)!

Fixed! Please complete the 5th grade before posting on Slashdot. Thanks.

Re:we've come a long way (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22306902)

Microsoft - not IBM is forcing the initial ulterior motive. Microsoft's biggest money makers are Office and Windows. They've run out of room for Office "improvements" and thus customers don't need to upgrade from the 2000 and 2003 versions. Changing the default file format of the Office programs "forces" users who haven't upgraded to upgrade...note how MS hasn't made a patch for 2000 or 2003 to read the default .docx and .xlsx formats of 2007.

2007 users who don't know better, send these formats to 2000 and 2003 user who can't open them, thereby creating an artificial need to "upgrade."
I think IBM is trying to call MS out on this practice.

Re:we've come a long way (4, Informative)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305584)

Actually, It was the likes of Compaq who were responsible for the opening of the PC compatible hardware market. Microsoft are responsible for fighting tooth and nail to keep the software closed, while trying to benefit from the open hardware.

Re:we've come a long way (5, Insightful)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305596)

IBM now sell overpriced services sold at tremendous profit. They'd much rather have open standards that they can use, and profit from consulting you to death wrapping a service layer around them.

Re:we've come a long way (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22305652)

" They'd much rather have open standards that they can use, and profit from consulting you to death wrapping a service layer around them."

Yes, that's very true. But they are OPEN STANDARDS. You don't have to give IBM oodles of money, you can just figure it out for yourself.

IBM will continue to make money as long as there are people (or companies) around who are willing to pay their rates, I'm guessing because they feel they get their money's worth.

Re:we've come a long way (5, Insightful)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305908)

Yup, and to chime in here - that's the difference in this situation. Let's say IBM gets lots of money for an overpriced service. In this market, there is noone forcing you to use their services. With Microsoft software, however, because they have a virtual monopoly then everyone is forced to use Microsoft's non-open, locked down format.

The quote that was most telling for me was this one, from Tsilas:

"[Mandating open standards in government] is a new way to compete. They are using government intervention as a way to compete. It's competing through regulation, because you couldn't compete technically."

That quote is, frankly, hilarious. Finally they have found that they are uncompetitive in something, and boy do they find this difficult. They've been so used to forcing the market to use their product that when the market finally corrects itself they're not sure what to do. Thus they try to fast-track a technically inferior standard.

The end result is that the exact opposite of what Tsilas asserts is happening. The ODF format is technically superior, but because it won't work with old Microsoft "features" (read: bugs), Microsoft cannot compete.

Re:we've come a long way (1)

Froqen (36822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307046)

> Yes, that's very true. But they are OPEN STANDARDS. You don't have to give IBM oodles of money, you can just figure it out for yourself.

For that definition of open standards, then OOXML is just as good, prehaps better since it is better documented (the good part of 6000 pages) and just as free to implement, versus paying IBM to figure out the missing bits in the spec (ex: openoffice specific implementation details).

Of course this is skipping the whole point that IBM has thier own office suite software that they sell per copy.

Re:we've come a long way (4, Informative)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305720)

IBM used to make overpriced hardware sold at tremendous profit
True, but so did everyone else in the space at the time. Go look at your history and look at the number of players in the game. It was far more than '1'.

... until that little upstart microsoft came along and elegantly used their own weight against them in a classic game of corporate judo.
Actually, MS was merely along for the ride on the original IBM PC boat. What killed IBM is manifold, from their lack of vision of where PCs would go to the massive infighting among divisions (the above mentioned high profit businesses especially) choking the life out of the PC divisions. Even the open nature of the PC hardware spec wasn't that big an issue. But I really don't want to bring up the entire "what-if" set of threads again.

It may just be that IBM still smarts from that or it may be that they've really 'seen the light'. This is good news, personally I'd like to see the transparency of these committees and their members go up a notch or two, too much potential for procedural trickery still exists.
I guarantee you the only the light IBM has seen is the green one from profit in services. Open Specs means everyone can play. More implementations means more bugs to work around. More bugs means gee - we can build you this layer.... which is merely the layer they built 900 customers ago and are reselling yet again for 90000% profit. Those are numbers that make even MS drool.

Re:we've come a long way (1)

Rampantbaboon (946107) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305866)

IBM didn't know what they did for awhile. They sold computers, but had outsourced so much that they only owned a cost adding portion of the process. Hence, Lenovo was born. They had a big change of mind and realized that rather than selling to individuals, they could sell consulting and services and other intangibles to corporations for huge markups. I have no problem with inter-corporation megaspending. But from this point of view, open source is a huge advantage for them by drastically lowering their cost to deliver these services.

Tom Friedman is obsessed with how they went from tanking to doing very well without selling hardware anymore.

Re:we've come a long way (3, Informative)

Tim99 (984437) | more than 6 years ago | (#22306066)

IBM used to make overpriced hardware sold at tremendous profit
True, but so did everyone else in the space at the time. Go look at your history and look at the number of players in the game. It was far more than '1'.

Some truth in this, but in the 1970s the computer business was described as "IBM and the seven dwarfs". The other truth was "No one ever got fired for buying IBM"

Re:we've come a long way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22305734)

IBM's agenda is to push Symphony and Lotus Notes into more enterprises. It's no good will intended, just way to get a stronghold on customers instead of Microsoft. Personally I think Microsoft is better, but that's a personal opinion.

Re:we've come a long way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22306196)

IBM's agenda is to push Symphony and Lotus Notes into more enterprises. It's no good will intended, just way to get a stronghold on customers instead of Microsoft. Personally I think Microsoft is better, but that's a personal opinion.
So what if they push Symphony? It uses ODF as it's default format. If you don't like Symphony, you can use OpenOffice. If you don't like OpenOffice you can use MS Office with Sun's ODF plugin [sun.com] . If IBM is pushing open standards, they should be supported in that. It benefits everyone, not just IBM. Microsoft is using a semi-open format to maintain vendor lock-in. That only benefits Microsoft.

with a little further left to go (2, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305796)

When a company that used to be a monopolist is now one of the staunchest defenders of openness, I really do hope there is no hidden agenda here.
"One of the Staunchest defenders of openness?" Oh, come now. Can you really use such a superlative for a commercial company? I'm sure the raving Richard Stallman would take that title in a heart beat. I submit to you a recent hardship I have endured involving the Rational suite of tools that IBM now owns and produces.

Our management forced us from subversion to clearcase. I am not impressed. Most painful was the loss of the goal stat-scm in subversion that allowed me to (with a few keystrokes) weekly publish the results and standings of all the classes, members and files in the projects. We're talking heat maps, personal performance, unit test case coverage and just about anything--ANYTHING--you could ask for in metrics. And the amount of work I did to achieve that functionality was negligible. On clearcase, I can't even get a lines of code count. Nothing.

So off I went looking for ways to interface with the clearcase VOB to poll this data from the server. Wouldn't you know it, I came up empty handed. I called up my toolsmith and he told me I was trying to "make ClearCase something it's not." It was clear then, I was working for the tool, the tool wasn't working for me. If you are the 'staunchest defender of openness' don't you think you'd publish specs on how to communicate and gather meaningful data from the ClearCase server & VOB for your users? If they do, I haven't found it. Don't even get me started about ClearCase having a dying embrace on my piece of crap Windows work box's kernel land. Why that needs to be modify kernel files (for some reason it shows up in my control panel) to be installed, I'll never know.

Don't get me wrong, you're right in that they've come a long way. Hell, look at how they defined UML 1.0 and opened that up. But there are some types of files in Rational Rose that I still can't figure out how to write or produce in a reporting manner.

So until they open their file formats and communications protocols (I really hope it's just a matter of not having it adequately documented), please don't go around titling them among the 'staunchest defenders of openness.' They may have that title commercially but I could list a number of individuals in the open source world that would easily win that title.

I support the software as a service model and believe that all our tools should be shared and open source. IBM promotes that in certain areas as best I can tell but there is definitely room for improvement.

Re:we've come a long way (1)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305922)

Agenda by IBM? Of course there is! IBM is probably still feeling the sting of OS/2, among other software defeats at the hand of Microsoft. We are witnessing 20 years of pent-up anger coming out. What better way to ultimately defeat your foe/friend than be instrumental in the dismantling of THEIR grip on software?

FUD? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22305488)

From the FIRST of FUD, this time against the OTHER source of FUD...

I for one welcome our new FUD overlords!!!

corepirate nazis responsible for 90% of planet's.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22305492)

population's demise. what a surprise? let yOUR conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071229/ap_on_sc/ye_climate_records;_ylt=A0WTcVgednZHP2gB9wms0NUE [yahoo.com]
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080108/ts_alt_afp/ushealthfrancemortality;_ylt=A9G_RngbRIVHsYAAfCas0NUE [yahoo.com]
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A [nytimes.com]

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying [google.com]

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html [cnn.com]

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html [cnn.com]

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html [cnn.com]

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece [timesonline.co.uk]
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece [timesonline.co.uk]

ouch (1)

ArcadeX (866171) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305504)

we're proud to stand with the tens of countries and thousands of individuals who are willing to fight against such bad behavior
I'm all for the fight, but when put like that, it makes it sound like we alread lost... but hey, look at that lone guy vs a tank in tiananmen.

Re:ouch (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305624)

If it was RIAA in the tank, he would be 2D man.

Re:ouch (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305708)

Probably at 320x240. With a watermark.

Re:ouch (1)

rvw (755107) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305716)

If it was RIAA in the tank, he would be 2D man.
Well at least they could sell it to the MPAA then!

Re:ouch (1)

Guerilla* Napalm (762317) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305692)

[em]..but hey, look at that lone guy vs a tank in tiananmen.[/em] Isn't that guys still in jail?

Re:ouch (1)

madman101 (571954) | more than 6 years ago | (#22306646)

I'm all for the fight, but when put like that, it makes it sound like we alread lost... but hey, look at that lone guy vs a tank in tiananmen.

Who, it was later reported, died in a prison camp. Great analogy...

How do you pronounce OOXML? (2, Funny)

Edie O'Teditor (805662) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305514)

Has anyone else wondered? is it oh-oh-ecks-emm-ell? Or Uxamul (rhymes with "sucks a mule")?

Re:How do you pronounce OOXML? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305738)

Maybe it's like oatmeal.. but like oaxmeal instead of oatmeal, cuz if it was oatmeal then it would be made of oats.

Re:How do you pronounce OOXML? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305940)

Trouble is, that sounds like "oakmeal", which is what woodworms have for breakfast.

Re:How do you pronounce OOXML? (2, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22306018)

I hope Microsoft's Windows' frames are made of oak..

Re:How do you pronounce OOXML? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22306276)

ooksmal

"oo" as in "oops", and the "mal" is like the last syllable of "dismal".

IBM Are Right (5, Insightful)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305520)

I think IBM are absolutely right when they say that the customers prefer to have documented open standards which can be supported by a variety of different applications from different vendors.

I can see no case at all to support Microsofts point of view that it's better to use a document format which is supported by only one company that can only be guaranteed to work with their products and where this guarantee is not set in stone and could be subject to change at the whim of the company.

From a business point of view anything which maintains the lock in to Microsofts Office products is good for Microsoft and anything which is truly open benefits IBM and as I said above I think what the customer wants in this case is also the same thing IBM want which means IBM are going to be getting a lot of goodwill for pushing their point of view.

It will be interesting to see just how far MS are willing to go to defend their office lock in and whether they will see sense, give in and rely on Office ( which is a good product IMHO ) to compete on a level playing field with it's competitors.

Re:IBM Are Right (5, Insightful)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305592)

From a business point of view anything which maintains the lock in to Microsofts Office products is good for Microsoft and anything which is truly open benefits IBM and as I said above I think what the customer wants in this case is also the same thing IBM want which means IBM are going to be getting a lot of goodwill for pushing their point of view.

Anything which maintains the lock-in to MS Office &c. is good for Microsoft and Microsoft alone.
Anything which is truly open benefits IBM as well as the rest of the world.

With two sides such as these, there is really no question as to which side I'm on.
Of course, should IBM become too greedy, nothing would stop me from loathing them as much as I loathe Microsoft nowadays.

Re:IBM Are Right (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305876)

>>With two sides such as these, there is really no question as to which side I'm on. Of course, should IBM become too greedy, nothing would stop me from loathing them as much as I loathe Microsoft nowadays.

That's just the point though. Your using IBM Lotus for all your documents and IBM starts screwing around with you. You dump them and switch your office suite to StarOffice by sun. Your files are still your files and you don't lose anything but training time in new software. You don't spend weeks converting all your documents.

You, Me, or anyone else can't fully support and duplicate the OOXML format. You can get close but you can't get as close as MSFT.

Re:IBM Are Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22306464)

Except Notes uses an undocumented database format, making it nearly impossible to dump them.

Everybody who has used IBM's office products knows they are lock-in city, which is why IBM has nearly zero credibility whining about open standards here.

Re:IBM Are Right (1)

mwanaheri (933794) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305904)

> I think IBM are absolutely right when they say that the customers prefer to
> have documented open standards which can be supported by a variety of different
> applications from different vendors.

This is the one point of your comment on which I don't agree. Users first of all don't want to care about document-format. "What's your operating-system?" -- "Word". Never happened to you? Users need a Text-Processor, and -- if business-user -- they need supporting tools.
Having said that, my conclusion is that users need a single open, documented and well supported file-format: odf. They need id _because_ they don't want to care about it.

Re:IBM Are Right (1)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 6 years ago | (#22306022)

I agree many users are totally clueless when it comes the systems they're using but equally most users don't even know what accounting system their company uses - they just fill in purchase requests, or what courier arrangements they have - they just put the parcel in the box but their business is most definately aware of these things and will have chosen the best courier service to meet their needs and be doing their accounting in a fashion which meets all their legal and financial requirements.

The point is that someone is in charge of choosing which applications the company uses and they'll be the ones who face the choice of using either a document format which they can use regardless of which application vendor they use or one which is tied into a particular vendor. Purely on that basis you'd have to be crazy not to take the open document format but unfortunately the waters are not quite that clear so they will also have to take other factors into account, for instance how well their spreadsheet documents integrate with their documents, whether they can be used easily in automated business processes and other similar things. These other factors currently play into Microsofts hands since it does have the largest installed base of office software and no doubt wont be breaking its balls to treat odf documents as well as it treats it's own 'standard' but the more noise both Microsoft, IBM or any other interested parties make the more educated the companies decision makers will be and the more the market for effective office software should open up.

Re:IBM Are Right (1)

mwanaheri (933794) | more than 6 years ago | (#22306894)

absolutely. I think Microsoft currently has three main advantages:
First of all, people know it. At least they think - with every new Version of MSOffice there's quite a bit of leaning to do. Still, "Word" has become a synonyme for textprocessor.
Second, expecially in business-environments, there's a heavy tool-support for MSOffice. Large portions of business-software have integrated it in their solutions and/or know how to work with that file-format.
Third, it's the big company that makes it and it is from the same vendor as the operating system. People just expect it to be bleeding edge and well integrated, thus expect no problems when using it.

I just have one thing to say (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22305530)

Bend over, no lube, here comes Balmer!


(now if that does not scare you away from OOXML nothing will.)

Standard reply.. (3, Insightful)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305534)

If only Microsoft concentrated so much on fixing their software as they do in trying to force standards (or with the web - break standards).

Microsoft could be the Giant Killer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22305548)

I suppose that sooner is as good as later for Microsoft to crush itself under the weight of its incompetence. They simply cannot ignore that there is real competition around the corner. If they wait until it is viable (No Linux desktop for you yet, not yours) it will be too late.

Someday, I will turn in my MCSE/MCDBA and make my fortune elsewhere. This could be the turning point.

Misread that (3, Funny)

o'reor (581921) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305554)

Quoth IBM:

'If "business as usual" means trying to foist a rushed, technically inferior and product-specific piece of work like OOXML on the IT industry,
I actually saw "piece of work" written but I read "piece of s**t" instead. Is it time for me to see a doctor ?

Re:Misread that (1)

rolfc (842110) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305606)

No, in this context it is a normal reaction.

Re:Misread that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22306038)

Nah, you're fine! Actually, your eyes just fixed it for you...

Re:Misread that (1)

RayMarron (657336) | more than 6 years ago | (#22306048)

Exactly. I was thinking that a single ellipsis could have completely altered the tone of the message (for the better):

"if "business as usual" means trying to foist a rushed, technically inferior and product-specific piece of... work like OOXML on the IT industry"

What doesn't make sense (5, Insightful)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305646)

Is that Microsoft Office blows OO.org away. Completely. Microsoft could go with ODF and still compete very well against OO.

Re:What doesn't make sense (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305746)

This is microsoft we are talking about. The only way they would switch to ODF in office is part of an embrace, extend, extinguish strategy.

Re:What doesn't make sense (1)

mapsjanhere (1130359) | more than 6 years ago | (#22306490)

If Microsoft is clever they come up with a working odf output, and tell the world "see, we cooperate". Then they challenge OO to do the same with .doc, and we all know how well that works. How long till people see the folly of relying on anything with open in the name and go back to MS "cause it works". There might be thousands of open source supporters spending time on improving OO, but there are thousands of paid MS employees too, working 40 h a week with the full of a big organization. I think OO was lucky so far that MS thought political fights are more important than technical competition.

Re:What doesn't make sense (1)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307196)

but there are thousands of paid MS employees too, working 40 h a week with the full of a big organization

I'm pretty sure there are some payed programmers for OpenOffice as there are for Firefox and other large open source projects. But they also have the advantage of millions of eyesballs on the code.

Ironically, Microsoft becoming too large is blamed for the delays and quality problems in their software. It's the "getting 5 people to change a lightbulb" argument.

Re:What doesn't make sense (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22305776)

I once agreed to some extent, I'm not so sure any more. I used OO.org primarily for quite a while (before I got a real job and had to conform...) and I'll admit it occasionally gave me this sense that it was on a par with an Office a couple of versions more senior. However having had to start using Office 2007, I can happily say that's a good thing, they've broken so much stuff. There are graphics bugs everywhere, things keep breaking and the behaviour of some of the automatic formatting is entirely unpredictable (well it was always bad, but now it's atrocious).

Of course if I had my way I'd never have to use anything other than LaTEX for any serious document writing (especially with the rather handy LyX frontend) and be happy in the knowledge that I would never again have to give over hours of my life in order to write what should be a fairly simple document.

Re:What doesn't make sense (1)

Skrynesaver (994435) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305812)

This is true to an extent, however many people may decide they don't need all the features of Office, and as a result may learn to word-process on something other than word. This could - in the long term- mean that hiring people to use word becomes expensive relative to hiring people to use the cheaper alternatives, so companies reconsider what they need in an office suite.

Or put simply, while they copuld compete in the high end of the market, the don't currently compete at all. So why would they want that?

Re:What doesn't make sense (4, Interesting)

Zygamorph (917923) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305968)

I keep "hearing" the statement but I don't experience it. I use oo.org regularly with absolutely no problems. I use MS Office occasionally with no problems so how is it that MS Office blows away oo.org?

BTW - I have no interest in "reasons" such as the following:

  1. xx starts up 3 seconds faster = 1 more sip of tea, where's the down side?
  2. The user interface isn't the same = well duh, that just means you're more familiar with one than the other
  3. xx is more compatible with other parts of the xx suite - mega duh, and not always true
  4. xx is more "standard" - whose standard? I lean toward ODF because it is truly open but either way our main problem 10 years from now will be finding hardware to read those funny plastic disks and paying someone to do it.

No, it doesn't. (1)

jotaeleemeese (303437) | more than 6 years ago | (#22306012)

OpenOffice is good enough for most tasks and the cool charge you have to pay for each bum on a set using MS Office begins to look more an more like waste, specially with a recession being talked up by the media.

If there is a real crunch a lot of people will question why they should continue to use MS office if there are plenty of options out there cheaper or free.

Re:What doesn't make sense (1)

deadmongrel (621467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22306014)

True but that would give consumers a choice. Office is probably the most profitable division for Microsoft. Once they loose control over the format that's one step closer to loosing they lock-in with their customers.

Re:What doesn't make sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22306028)

Except for the fact that OO.org is free. Microsoft can go with ODF, and people would not need to by Office. I would still have it, because Excel is amazing, but the vast majority of people just type up simple word processing jobs.

As it stands, when someone sends me a .docx, I need MS Word to read it. If my colleagues use Word (a good bet) then I am pressured to get Office to interact more smoothly with them.

Re:What doesn't make sense (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 6 years ago | (#22306986)

As it stands, when someone sends me a .docx, I need MS Word to read it. If my colleagues use Word (a good bet) then I am pressured to get Office to interact more smoothly with them.

Recently, I have upped my asshole quotient and started sending .docx documents back, politely asking for them to be re-sent in a readable format.

I plan never to have to open a .docx document in the next few years at the very least.

Re:What doesn't make sense (1)

tokul (682258) | more than 6 years ago | (#22306144)

Is that Microsoft Office blows OO.org away. Completely. Microsoft could go with ODF and still compete very well against OO.

It is very difficult to compete against free product. Microsoft Office can be better than OpenOffice, but OpenOffice is good enough to have big impact of lower Microsoft Office user base. People won't buy expensive product, when they can get compatible product that does most of the things that they want for free.

If Microsoft Office and OpenOffice are compatible, people will buy Office only when they really need it and not when they are forced to do that due to format incompatibilities between two products.

Microsoft doesn't want to compete (1)

Comboman (895500) | more than 6 years ago | (#22306252)

Microsoft could go with ODF and still compete very well against OO.

You're assuming that Microsoft wants to compete. It's much easier and more profitable to dominate a market by lock-in than to compete in the market. Not to mention the fact that Microsoft's main competitor right now is not OpenOffice but its own earlier versions of MSOffice. One way they force people to upgrade is to change the file formats so your old MSOffice won't open documents from a newer version. They couldn't do that if they had to stick to a standard format.

Re:What doesn't make sense (1)

lordDallan (685707) | more than 6 years ago | (#22306258)

That MS Office kicks OO's butt is very true, but if ODF became the de facto standard instead of a Microsoft controlled format, then it might become much more attractive/viable to business with deep pockets to try to make a legitimate office competitor.

Right now dumping a lot of resources into building a competing office sweet would be very risky from a business standpoint, since Microsoft can (if they feel sufficiently threatened) significantly alter the format to break competing products. The second they lose control of the format they lose that ability, which is the real power that they currently have.

An open standard also makes it much more viable for smaller companies and organizations to consider not using a Microsoft product because they don't need the full suite, and feel safe that they can use a different product and not be left in a "document ghetto". It would take awhile for this knowledge to disseminate amongst the unwashed digital masses, but once they figured it out, Microsoft would lose some sales, possibly a big chunk.

Re:What doesn't make sense (1)

-noefordeg- (697342) | more than 6 years ago | (#22306956)

That is such a strange comment.

How can you "blow away" something which is free and does exactly what I want it to do?
It just not even imaginable...

Re:What doesn't make sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22307320)

I'll see if I can refine your point


First, MS Office doesn't blow OO.org away completely, or there'd be no point to go with ODF - OO.org does some things, a decent subset of many users' workflow, competently.


That said, it is no MS Office, and MS Office is clearly a better product for many usages. Why Microsoft wants to own a file format is unclear, and I think that's your point. They clearly have a better tool in MS Office, and the file format shouldn't really matter to them. They seem to change it with every major release anyway.


There are several other questions similar to this one - why does Microsoft care so much about Internet Explorer? Does anyone buy Windows to get Internet Explorer? One wonders why they spend so much effort on IE when they probably ought to be focusing on applications such as Office and the operating system itself.

Just remember Ron Paul is a racist fucknut. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22305650)

And if you think otherwise, you are crazy. Ron Paul supports scumfront, one of the bigger havens of ignorant, stupid racist, fascist, white nationalists on the web. And in return, they support him. I don't have the link just now, but scumfront supports Ron Paul. Do you also support a racist creationist?

Help! I'm stuck in the eighties (3, Informative)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305662)

'If "business as usual" means trying to foist a rushed, technically inferior and product-specific piece of work like DOS on the IT industry, we're proud to stand with the tens of countries and thousands of individuals who are willing to fight against such bad behavior.'"

"Oh wait, maybe we're not. Not yet. Give us a couple of decades or so..."

IBM has gotten its act together, or at least its rhetoric. When will Microsoft join the rest of us in the 21st century and stop foisting rushed, technically inferior and product-specific work? What will it take, Microsoft's version of the Microchannel?

-mcgrew

Re:Help! I'm stuck in the eighties (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22305850)

>What will it take, Microsoft's version of the Microchannel?

What is Vista, if not Microsoft's version of the Microchannel?

Tell us how you really feel (0, Troll)

Jon_S (15368) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305672)

'If "business as usual" means trying to foist a rushed, technically inferior and product-specific piece of work like OOXML on the IT industry, we're proud to stand with the tens of countries and thousands of individuals who are willing to fight against such bad behavior.'

No, tell us how you really feel.

They're both full of... (0, Flamebait)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305818)

Micro$oft pretends to want an open format but really wants an 'open but biased' format they can contrive to make Word the best implementation of. The don't care about being 'open' except when it may benefit their bottom line.

IBM pretends to like Open Source, but really makes an enormous percentage of their income from services directly related to such endeavors. They only like Open Source because they benefit financially from it, no other reason. The don't care about being 'open' except when it may benefit their bottom line.

Now, IBM's greed benefits more people than Micro$oft's currently.

Re:They're both full of... (1)

drunkahol (143049) | more than 6 years ago | (#22306578)

Bull. IBM are making a big play on Open Source. Yes they make money from it, but so do Novell, Red Hat et al.

IBM are a services company at heart. Of course they will support an area into which they can expand their services. Only an idiot wouldn't do this. But it doesn't mean support of Open Source is fleeting or anything. Microsoft are heavy supporters of Intel/AMD based computers. Why? That's the platform that supports their business model.

Get over it. IBM's involvement here is in the interests of Open Source and it is a Good Thing (TM).

Duncan

Re:They're both full of... (1)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 6 years ago | (#22306850)

Of course IBM are making a big play on Open Source. They are terrible at making software and marketing it. They've learned in the 80's that they're not good at the ISV thing, and struggled mightily in the early 90's until they could find a way to bump up those services number and lo and behold Linux comes to their rescue. Funny how they weren't pushing other *nix OSes until a 'free' one came along, LOL.

The software side of IBM is a service company at heart because everything else died.

As for your statement "Of course they will support an area into which they can expand their services" you're simply re-iterating my point. IBM is in this 100% for the money. Just like they used to be in the operating system business, then the ISV business (remember, hack, lotus?), and finally they're in the services business and now they're all about 'open source.' They're support for open source will last just as long as they can make profits off of it, no longer.

People, like yourself, need to stop attributing anthromophic properties to public companies. They're not good, they're not evil, they're in search of the (once) almighty dollar. That's it. The minute you become a public company that's the only thing that matters. Look at Google for an example. The wool has finally come off of many people's eyes and they realize that Google aren't the "good guys" (they're not "bag guys" either) they're a large powerful public company entirely motivated by greed and the need to make a profit.

If you don't realize that public companies only care about one thing, you're being naive. Now, when these companies make profits they sure throw around money and resources for the sake of PR, but you can rest assured that if the profits dry up, so does the committment to "open source."

Get over what? I'm not stuck on anything, you sound like a fanbois. You simply can't help but attribute 'values' to public companies whereas I see them exactly as they are. Companies owned by stockholders who care only about their investments.

Re:They're both full of... (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307080)

They only like Open Source because they benefit financially from it, no other reason.

And?

Shoe is on the other foot now, isn't it? (1)

Grampaw Willie (631616) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305900)

( ROF, LMFAO ). The show is on the other foot. IBM used to be legendary for its proprietary solutions. and the PC took off like wild fire, in part because of open standards.

well, what goes around, comes around.

one of the things to look at though is that not only do documents need to be portable from one environment to another across current platforms but also across time: we need to be able to read documents made 5 years ago, and 10 years ago, 20, 50, ...and more.

The Microsoft Way is what's on trial here (3, Insightful)

Prototerm (762512) | more than 6 years ago | (#22305992)

Microsoft appears to have a core philosophy that all things in the computer should be mushed together. Every application and device driver should be allowed (and indeed encouraged) to share their innermost secrets with any process that asks. This is the reason for all of Windows' and Office's vulnerabilities. Notice the utter chaos that has ensued when Vista tightened up a few of those "I'm-ok-you're-ok" sharing paths.

One of the problems I have with the whole MS Office file design is that it includes both data and executables in the same file. There is no way to separate the two. Now, I suppose I'm out of step with the rest of the world, but those should be in separate files. As long as the data is fully documented, and has all the appropriate pieces for the purpose (style definitions, mathematical formulae), any program should be able to operate on it. IMHO, we should not be encouraging the mixture of (for example) a spreadsheet document that contains the calculations for a company's PL statement with the code (e.g., VBA) used to control data entry into that document. Simply loading the document should not put someone at risk for malware infection, because it should contain no programs in the first place. I like having powerful macros as much as the next guy, but I believe it has gone too far.If you need that much control, then write a separate program that operates on the data, and keep the data separate.

Here's a wild idea: Replace all the data files (and only data files -- no macros or exe's) on a computer with entries in a SQL database (with appropriate security, of course, to restrict sharing), so any application, from any vendor, can easily read and write it. As Microsoft proved when it tried to put SQL into the OS, this isn't as easy as I made it sound. But this may have more to do with their inability to add the old vulnerabilities into the scheme than making the whole thing work right.

Microsoft wishes to enshrine all of its past mistakes in the new format, and continue its malware-friendly development philosophy. That is wrong, and the Office 2007 file format is too flawed to be seriously considered as a universal standard (intellectual property issues aside). It's good to see a company the size of IBM fight against its acceptance.

IBM 1, MS 0 (2, Interesting)

blacklabelsk8er (839023) | more than 6 years ago | (#22306000)

I'm definitely liking the stance IBM is taking here. OOXML clearly has some serious problems and its a relief to see that regardless of Micrsoft's perceived power, they can't muscle their way into ISO standards. However, I'm still eagerly awaiting IBM to fully embrace this open ideal they're talking about.

Free the OS/2 codebase.

Re:IBM 1, MS 0 (1)

hellsDisciple (889830) | more than 6 years ago | (#22306498)

The OS/2 codebase is irrelevant to this discussion. IBM probably does have a load of contractual and legal problems with doing that. And they've done good work on moving people onto Linux-based solutions where possible.

I want to work for this company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22306598)

Where can i send my CV?

Hurray for Big Ol' Blue (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307110)

IBM appears to be one of the few surviving "last generation" companies former Labor Secretary Robert Reich writes about. They seem to have some appreciation at the highest corporate level that the long view has real value, and that corporations are to some degree responsible for the well-being of the society in which they operate. IBM's stand against the clearly-inferior OOXML standard indicates that they understand long-term viability sometimes means sacrificing a bit of short-term profit.

This is a lesson Microsoft has never learned.

Translation: (5, Funny)

WK2 (1072560) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307114)

"Let's be very clear," Jean Paoli, Microsoft's senior director of XML technology, told ZDNet. "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."

Translation: "We would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for that pesky megacorp!"

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