Microsoft now fighting UK government over FLOSS

20 Antworten [Letzter Beitrag]
t3g
t3g
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Beigetreten: 05/15/2011

Remember that story last week about the UK government switching to OpenDocument completely and potentially migrating their software to free/open source to lower costs and better preserve information for the future?

Well, Microsoft is fighting them now and saying that using OpenDocument and open source software is bad and they should be using their Office formats and Microsoft software to create it. If they don't use Microsoft formats, they are making a mistake and creating issues for themselves.

Worth a laugh: http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2330040/microsoft-cries-out-to-uk-government-against-open-source

t3g
t3g
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Beigetreten: 05/15/2011

BTW, here's the link to Microsoft's plea: http://blogs.technet.com/b/mpn_uk/archive/2014/02/19/government-open-standards-consultation-will-likely-impact-all-of-us-make-sure-your-voice-is-heard-by-26th-february.aspx

I think its a great opportunity to speak against MS formats and encourage open formats if someone is willing to listen.

fchmmr
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Beigetreten: 05/14/2013
fchmmr
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Beigetreten: 05/14/2013

Also see (in the article): computer science education in schools.
This is literally new.

Quote:
>> The WHSG ICT department is already teaching programming to students from age 11 and Moore notes that "in our environment, the worst thing they can do is crash their own account - even if they completely destroy their area, it can be restored in minutes and will not affect the next person using the machine".

It used to be that the only option available was at college level (16+) and university level (18+).

Using free software in schools lends itself well to teaching computer science.

IMO, computer science these days is as important as reading or writing, even though most people won't become expert programmers (like most people don't become literary geniuses). It should be taught to kids aged 4-8 and up, depending on their progress. But that is probably "too radical" at this point. Switching to free software is the first step.

t3g
t3g
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Beigetreten: 05/15/2011

For reference, here is my submission:

"The proposal to use OpenDocument (ODF) as the singular standard is the best direction for the UK government and the people. With ODF being an open format, it allows anyone to create a document, spreadsheet, or presentation regardless of income or stature. It gives them greater choice as they can use free software to open the formats if they choose not to pay for commercial software or services.

Using an open format eliminates the reliance on a singular public or private entity for the adoption of the format and the associated tools for the creation and preservation of data. The UK needs to ensure that data can not only be freely exchanged with the government and its people, but also preserved digitally without issues of compatibility and vendor lock-in in the future. As of right now, ODF can be opened and saved in the free LibreOffice and OpenOffice programs, the text editors TextEdit and WordPad included with the latest OSX and Windows operating systems, and Microsoft's Office suite.

Microsoft is fighting the adoption of ODF as they make their money selling software and services to various institutions. Although Microsoft has supported ODF since the 2nd service pack of Office 2007, they have not fully supported the format. When saving a document in an ODF format, the program gives warnings about data fidelity and attempts to scare away the user from ever using ODF in favor of their formats.

Microsoft can choose to fully implement the ODF 1.1 and/or ODF 1.2 standards but they do not. While newer versions of Office have improved support, they have not backported their improvements to previous versions. Microsoft will always promote their products and services to ensure vendor lock-in for the sake of profit and their profit alone.

In summary, using ODF or any open format (like HTML and PDF) allows the government and its people to have data freely created and exchanged without barriers. Since there are inconsistencies in Microsoft's own OpenXML formats and code that works best or only with their Office suites, sticking with the well documented ODF 1.1 and/or ODF 1.2 provides an independent format that will not hinder the progression, advancement, and empowerment of the UK government and the people."

t3g
t3g
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Beigetreten: 05/15/2011

I'm surprised more of you haven't commented on this yet as it is a HUGE deal with an impending deadline. The majority of comments at http://standards.data.gov.uk/proposal/sharing-collaborating-government-documents are for ODF and if the UK govt goes by those numbers, Microsoft is in a bad position.

I also emailed RMS and this is what he said:

"I will take a look. Alas, it is too late for the FSF to publicize
this and have it do any good."

Too bad this wasn't made public sooner. :-(

andrew
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Beigetreten: 04/19/2012

Number of documents written in standardised OOXML? Practically zero:
https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/e969fc0a-9fcd-4efe-bf6d-79ea8c34360f/what-is-the-default-file-format-for-saving-in-ms-office-2013-is-it-still-the-transiti...

MS Office 2010 and below don't even support the standardised OOXML! Even
the standardisation process was fast-tracked and very controversial.

Besides the ODF there are very few documents in existence that follow
open standards, and so there is no way to achieve "widest compatibility"
without resorting to proprietary formats.

It's a very unfortunate situation. Microsoft's continued hostility to
open standards has gone a long way...

Andrew.

t3g
t3g
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Beigetreten: 05/15/2011

The problem with OOXML is that Microsoft shoehorned the format in Office 2007 as Traditional OOXML, meaning that it had a reliance on Microsoft's programs and was a mess. Microsoft wasn't even complete with the specification and doesn't follow the ISO standards, which is known as Strict OOXML.

According to http://blogs.office.com/2012/08/13/new-file-format-options-in-the-new-office/ only Office 2013 is able to fully open, edit, and save Strict OOXML files. Office 2010 was able to open them, but it saved in the Transitional format. This is a big issue as only the most recent versions of Office actually support the proper ISO specification of a format released 5+ years prior.

If OOXML was Strict from the start, then we wouldn't have these issues now regarding document preservation between various versions of OOXML. That's where ODF comes in as being the best option by having clear and well documented specifications from the start.

elodie
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Beigetreten: 02/01/2014

That is a far better and more reasonable argument than the one published above[1].

[1] https://trisquel.info/en/forum/microsoft-now-fighting-uk-government-over-floss#comment-49938

t3g
t3g
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Beigetreten: 05/15/2011

What was wrong with my submission at https://trisquel.info/en/forum/microsoft-now-fighting-uk-government-over-floss#comment-49938

It was to the point, expressed a lot of concerns, and provided some details. Heck, compared to a lot of the posts on that site that were short and not as focused, mine wasn't that bad.

elodie
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Beigetreten: 02/01/2014

Only that argument caters to a certain uneducated population that wants to see conspiracies. The second one holds much better.

Magic Banana

I am a member!

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Beigetreten: 07/24/2010

That conspiracy is more of a known strategy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embrace,_extend_and_extinguish

elodie
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Beigetreten: 02/01/2014

Strategy, not conspiracy.
Microsoft is trying its best to achieve some goal. The user is free to do that or not. Sometimes, the game is so twisted the user does not get to see the choice and at that point society should help.

Conspiracy is when people believe that Baal, Jehova, Krishna or another imaginary friend set them up to do his or her bidding.

I feel that the legal term of conspiracy to do something is misleading as it applies to strategy and planning.

t3g
t3g
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Beigetreten: 05/15/2011

In the end, the user has a choice to use a non-free program or not. I've known people on Windows who tried LibreOffice and thought it was ugly or was missing features they were used to in Office and switched back.

As long as the file format is open and can be easily shared between users of free and non-free editors and viewers, then it helps if the majority of the public chooses to use a non-free program for their benefits. In some ways, the end result is what really matters as long as you don't have to pay to access data created by someone else.

t3g
t3g
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Beigetreten: 05/15/2011

Conspiracy? Nope. I just think that open formats should be preferred when possible. OOXML was only "standardized" due to Microsoft lobbying and nothing else. They have tainted the OOXML format by not being strict from the start.

How many office programs that you know of (besides Office 2013) can read, edit, and save to OOXML strict according to the ISO specification?

axgb
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Beigetreten: 09/22/2013

Clearly the reason that people's computers might not be compatible with ODF is that Microsoft made it that way.

What do you expect? This will harm them.

But Libreoffice is free, so what for them. 5 minutes to upgrade their software.

davidnotcoulthard (nicht überprüft)
davidnotcoulthard

http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2330040/microsoft-cries-out-to-uk-government-against-open-source is the very b*o0*y reason NOT to use Microsoft Office >=2007.

And of course Microsoft couldn't say anything about user freedom.

Dark Orange
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Beigetreten: 03/28/2014

Microsoft must be open source man

BinaryDigit
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Beigetreten: 11/30/2010

This subject also brings up the area of training and certification in office applications.

The European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) has been the standard for certification and training in office productivity applications in Europe and beyond, for almost 20 years. In theory, ECDL is vendor-neutral, in practice almost all the certification and training for ECDL, is based entirely on MS Office applications, and it's file formats.

All ECDL training and certification should be using free software office applications, such as LibreOffice. The ECDL Foundation should also be a major sponsor, and supporter, of both OpenDocument, and LibreOffice.

alguien
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Beigetreten: 03/27/2014

Muahahaha