Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 27th Sep 2007 07:55 UTC, submitted by Augusto
Novell and Ximian "Two months ago, the Brazilian Linux community gathered around BR-Linux invited Novell to answer 10 questions sent and selected by the users, about the company's stance on Linux, open source, licenses, document formats and other subjects." "Novell has been very consistent on this issue and we have publicly stated that we do not believe that Linux infringes on any Microsoft patents. That being said, our agreement with Microsoft takes the patent issue off the table for customers. We have simply made the patent issue a non-event as part of a customer buying decision."
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RE[2]: A good interview
by PlatformAgnostic on Thu 27th Sep 2007 14:55 UTC in reply to "RE: A good interview"
PlatformAgnostic
Member since:
2006-01-02

What's the point of the OSS community doing nothing but trying to destroy Microsoft's market share?

According to you, it's been "proved" (proven) that OOXML cannot be compatibly implemented. Well, Novell engineers are working on it, so it's hard to say that anything has been proven, except by the rhetoric of Rob Weir. Seeking to convert everything to ODF will not work since that format currently does not support everything that Office does, and in places where it does the internal structure is sometimes too different to accurately convert between the two. I'm not saying that one format is better than the other, but it is the case that there cannot be a bijective mapping between DOC and ODF. DOC is the common world-wide format. If you don't try to remain compatible with it, you run the risk of having your new format passed up by ordinary business customers because it really doesn't give them tangible benefits (they're just as happy buying Office as they are with paying for support on OOo or buying Lotus).

Apple has become successful because they thought carefully about what they could contribute and how they could define a lucrative market for themselves. As Steve Jobs put it, they learned that for them to win, Microsoft didn't have to lose. Currently, it's in Microsoft's interests to release their file formats in a way that could be accessed from other platforms. As much as you wish it to be the case, OOXML is not really tied into Windows. It has warts and it is a big spec, but it can be implemented, particularly by programs that already have an investment in fully processing the old binary files. Instead of bitching about OOXML and seeking petty world domination through ODF (chances of that actually happening are slim), why not use this OOXML move as Novell is: to find a way to win customers over slowly to OSS. Or one could build OSS document processing tools, so that you can use Linux servers to store and slice up Office documents or to process them for publication. This server-based document processing stack becomes more complete, OSS developers can move it closer and closer to an Office replacement.

If the OSS movement spent less time impotently raging against Microsoft on forums and more time actually doing things that average people want, Linux would actually have a shot on the desktop rather than being totally eclipsed by the Mac among the UNIX-using computer elite.

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