OOXML: move the goalposts, avoid facing the obvious

,----[ Quote ]
| ...there seems to be a manufactured air of defeatism around - as Byfield puts
| it, "Whether or not OOXML becomes an official ISO standard, it will still
| become unofficial standard (sic), simply because Microsoft Office is the main
| office program used on computers." Why is this so?
| If this kind of defeatist attitude had been there from the time Richard
| Stallman decided to create free software for use by everybody, would we have
| even come close to the stage we are at?


More proof that only Microsoft and Microsoft Office have something to do with

Microsoft reissues Mac OOXML converter

,----[ Quote ]
| A new beta of the Microsoft Office Open XML File Format Converter for Mac has
| appeared on Microsoft's web site, but there is no indication of any
| functional changes.



Digging in the Comments: Patents

,----[ Quote ]
| Patent licensing is probably the most important aspect for all third parties
| that want to implement or use the Open XML specification. Unfortunately the
| Ballot Resolution Meeting cannot discuss these aspects because only technical
| and editorial issues would get resolved. *
| [...]
| When you have a patent which covers Open XML and you refuse to license it,
| the standard process gets stalled. Large companies in the standardization
| process are reluctant to use that nuke option. Given the ambush that the
| software patent practice means today it is quite possible that Open XML
| infringes a patent and all parties eventually have an obligation to license
| it. * *


Patent threat looms large over OOXML

,----[ Quote ]
| "If OOXML goes through as an ISO standard, the IT industry, government and
| business will encumbered with a 6000-page specification peppered with
| potential patent liabilities" said NZOSS President Don Christie. *
| "Patent threats have already been used to spread doubt amongst organisations
| keen to take advantage of the benefits of open source. No one knows whether
| such claims have any merit, but it is calculated to deter the development and
| use of open and alternative toolsets." *


Cyberlaw OOXML Seminar 14 December

,----[ Quote ]
| However, this raises the issue - what assurance does a developer have that
| such a large specification is not the subject of third party patent claims? *
| * * * ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
| The pedigree of the specification is certainly no reason for hope, Microsoft
| has been the target of third party patent claims for some time now including
| some high profile losses in patent suits. The fact that the specification has
| been developed behind closed doors and on a fast track means that there has
| been no adequate opportunity to evaluate the likelihood of third party patent
| claims against the specifications. The sheer size of the document suggests
| there will be at least a couple hiding in there somewhere. * * *


Corrupt countries were more likely to support the OOXML document format

,----[ Quote ]
| Is this just a random coincidence? The median of the CPI index of the above
| mentioned 70 countries is 3.95. Of the most corrupted half (CPI index less
| than 3.95) 23 or 77% voted for approval (approval or approval with comments)
| and 7 or 23% for disapproval; 5 abstained. Of the least corrupted half (CPI
| index more than 3.95) 13 or 54% voted for approval and 11 or 46% voted for
| disapproval; 11 abstained - see the table below. * * *


Microsoft accused of more OOXML standards fiddling

,----[ Quote ]
| However the 11 new countries are refusing to say how they will vote. These
| include Cote d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Ecuador, Jamaica, Lebanon, Malta, Pakistan,
| Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uruguay and Venezuela. Most people seem to think
| that these have been put there by Vole to make sure the standard gets pushed
| through. * *