Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 26th Jan 2007 21:37 UTC
Windows A coalition of rivals charged on Friday that Microsoft's new Vista operating system coming out next week will perpetuate practices found illegal in the European Union nearly three years ago. The group, which includes IBM, Nokia, Sun Microsystems, Adobe, Oracle and Red Hat, said its complaints made last year are yet to be addressed just days before Vista is due for release.
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The ECIS is a group of dishonest lobbyists
by MollyC on Sat 27th Jan 2007 01:22 UTC
Member since:

This European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS), whoever they are (I assume it's IBM, Sun, Adobe, etc) are deliberately spreading disinformation. We're seeing this more and more from the anti-MS camp.

Here's a couple of statements:

"It said Microsoft's XAML markup language was "positioned to replace HTML," the industry standard for publishing documents on the Internet. XAML would be dependent on Windows, and discriminatory against systems such as Linux, the group said. "

Once any group asserts that XAML is positioned to replace HTML, they not only immediately flush their credibility down the toilet, they reveal themselves to be liars, pure and simple. XAML does not compete with HTML, and anyone saying that is lying.

Second, XAML isn't tied to Vista. It's part of WPF, which has been backported to XP. So, being that it's independent of Vista, how can it make Vista "illegal"?

And WPF/E is also not tied to Vista. Nor is it tied to IE. The current version (I don't know if it's been RTM'ed) works on IE, Firefox, and Safari, and Microsoft has demo'ed WPF/E in all those browsers. So it's browser and OS agnostic.

Here's another statement by this EICS:
"It said a so-called "open XML" platform file format, known as OOXML, is designed to run seamlessly only on the Microsoft Office platform. It governs the way a document is formatted and stored."

More FUD. First, OOXML has NOTHING to do with Vista. This group is deliberately conflating Office with Vista. Second, it doesn't run "only on Microsoft Office platform". Apple is implementing it as is Novell. What, Microsoft can't even implement a new document format in Office now? No judge ever ruled that Office has a monopoly position anyway. The very notion that Office implenting OOXML is illegal is illogical. Microsoft can store it's files in whatever format it likes.

"The end result will be the continued absence of any real consumer choice, years of waiting for Microsoft to improve—or even debug—its monopoly products and of course high prices," said Thomas Vinje, lawyer for ECIS, in the statement.

Pure grandstanding.

IBM is still pissed at being outvoted 20-1 at the ECMA OOXML standardization process, so they're throwing a tantrum.

And Adobe is the company that propose that they and Microsoft collude in price-fixing regarding PDF support in Office 2007 (Adobe said that Microsoft could implement the so-called "open standard" PDF if Microsoft raised the price of Office so as not to undercut Adobe's own Office-to-PDF conversion tools; in other words, so as not to undercut Adobe's *monopoly* on Office-to-PDF conversion tools. So Adobe has some nerve talking about "monopolies" and "high prices", when they propose to collude in price-fixing to protect their own monopoly.

This group portrays themselve as angels, when they are no better than anyone else. In fact they're worse because they're hypocrits and they're crybabies.

And note how these American companies always run to Europe to whine about another American company. The natural place to resolve disputes between companies from the same country is in that country. But they know that they have no real case, so they run to a jurisdiction predisposed to rule against Microsoft on any and all issues regardless of the merits of the case.

Well, I know that the EC despises Microsoft and would jump at any opportunity to fine them, but I can't see even the EC fining Microsoft for implementing OOXML in Office. There's simply no rational ground for such a fine. Nor can I see them fining them for XAML.
Unless they levy a fine as another grandstand play for the public to show how tough they are regarding the evil known as Microsoft.

Edited 2007-01-27 01:28

Reply Score: 5

PLan Member since:
2006-01-10 they run to a jurisdiction predisposed to rule against Microsoft on any and all issues regardless of the merits of the case.

Care to give examples where the EU has ruled against Microsoft without regard to the "merits" of the case against them ? Looking at the EU and the US it seems to me that Microsoft has the US in its pocket whereas the EU is simply acting in the interests of its population by trying to provide a level playing field.

Reply Parent Score: 5

raynevandunem Member since:

Pfff... Like it can, with all that money wasted on EU-based competitors to US-based companies like CNN and Google.

Exactly why is it that the EU is trying to level the software playing field, anyway? For its own companies to compete against Microsoft?

Wait a minute, does it even have any EU-based companies involved in this case?

If not, then why is it that these US companies are appealing to the EU to restrict another US-based company's practices?

I don't think this involves any "acting in the interests of its population" at any point to me.

Reply Parent Score: 4

hal2k1 Member since:

//I can't see even the EC fining Microsoft for implementing OOXML in Office. There's simply no rational ground for such a fine.//

I'm sorry, but that is not correct.

Microsoft were on the committee that designed the ODF format, but the limited themselves to a strict "observer" role. The attended all the meetings, and said not one word the whle time.

Then, when ODF was approved by Oasis, they said that they saw no customer demand for it, so they wouldn't implement it.

Then later, when governments the world over started committing to ODF, Microsoft claimed "ODF does not fully support our legacy formats, so we will submit OOXML instead".

Now it turns out that that was a lie. Microsoft engineers had told Massachusetts that implementing full ODF functionality in Microsoft Office was "trivial". Now, we have the daVinci plugin for Microsoft Office that can fully support Microsoft Office in ODF format with 100% functionality.

The daVinci plugin is proof that Microsoft are totally lying when they claim that OOXML is necessary to fully support their legacy documents. That is proven false. ODF is in fact fully capable of supporting all of the functionality of Microsoft Office, and the daVinci plugin proves that fact.

But even if that were not the case, and there was in fact a shortcoming of ODF that did not fully support Microsoft's legacy documents, then why did Microsoft simply not speak up and mention any shortcoming in the very first place?

Finally, Microsoft engineers knew that ODF was fully capable, and they told Massachusetts representatives exactly that. Microsoft management suppressed this, and came up with the push for OOXML as a standard instead.

The whole basis of OOXML in the first place (according to Microsoft because it could not support Office) is a sham and a lie. OOXML is provably all about trying to stop the introduction of ODF as an open format that all vendors may implement.

That is anti-trust, and the EU can have Microsoft for it.

Reply Parent Score: 5

PlatformAgnostic Member since:

This plugin does not exist (or has not been released) yet. In fact, I'm inclined to believe the former because in the last post the guys were asking for enough info to implement it.

The plugin doesn't actually convert the document to useful ODF either: it just wraps untranslatable parts with ODF foreign tags (which is basically just using the escape hatch and no longer following ODF).

Releasing a file format into an international standard would be hard to show as an action in restraint of trade. Especially since Office has never been part of the previous monopoly rulings and it is not even certain that it is a monopoly.

Reply Parent Score: 2

jayson.knight Member since:

You just became my hero for the day...well said.

Reply Parent Score: 3