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Gary Edwards

Independent study advises IT planners to go OOXML: The Bill Gates MSOffice "formats and... - 0 views

  • A pox on both your houses!

    gary.edwards - 01/22/08

    Hi Robert,

    What you've posted are examples of MSOffice ”compatibility settings” used to establish backwards compatibility with older documents, and, for the conversion of alien file formats (such as various versions of WordPerfect .wpd). These compatibility settings are unspecified in that we know the syntax but have no idea of the semantics. And without the semantic description there is no way other developers can understand implementation. This of course guarantees an unacceptable breakdown of interoperability.

    But i would be hesitant to make my stand of rejecting OOXML based on this issue. It turns out that there are upwards of 150 unspecified compatibility settings used by OpenOffice/StarOffice. These settings are not specified in ODF, but will nevertheless show up in OpenOffice ODF documents – similarly defying interoperability efforts!

    Since the compatibility settings are not specified or even mentioned in the ODF 1.0 – ISO 26300 specification, we have to go to the OOo source code to discover where this stuff comes from. Check out lines 169-211. Here you will find interesting settings such as, “UseFormerLineSpacing, UseFormerObjectPositioning, and UseFormerTextWrapping”.

    So what's going on here?

  • From: Bill Gates Sent: Saturday, December 5 1998 To: Bob Muglia, Jon DeVann, Steven Sinofsky Subject : Office rendering "One thing we have got to change in our strategy - allowing Office documents to be rendered very well by other peoples browsers is one of the most destructive things we could do to the company. We have to stop putting any effort into this and make sure that Office documents very well depends on PROPRIETARY IE capabilities. Anything else is suicide for our platform. This is a case where Office has to avoid doing something to destroy Windows. I would be glad to explain at a greater length. Likewise this love of DAV in Office/Exchange is a huge problem. I would also like to make sure people understand this as well." Tuesday, August 28, 2007
    The IOWA Comes vs. Microsoft antitrust suit evidence is now publicly available. This ZDNet Talkback posts an extraordinary eMail from Bill Gates concerning the need to control MSOffice formats and protocols as Microsoft pushes onto the Web.

    The key point is that Chairman Bill understands that the real threat to Microsoft is that of Open Web formats and protocols outside of Microsoft's control. It's 1998, and the effort to "embrace and eXtend" W3C HTML, XHTML, SVG and CSS isn't working well. The good Chairman notifies the troops that MSOffice must come up with another plan.

    Interestingly, it's not until 2001, when OpenOffice releases an XML encoding of the OpenOffice/StarOffice imbr that Microsoft finally sees a solution! (imbr = in-memory-binary-representation)

    The MSOffice crew immediately sets to work creating a similar XML encoding of the MSOffice binary (imbr) dump. The first result is released in the MSOffice 2003 beta as "WordprocessingML and SpreadsheetML".

    XML was designed as a structured language for creating specific structured languages. OpenOffice saw the potential of using XML to create an OpenOffice specific XML language. MSOffice seized the innovation and the rest is history. Problem solved!

    So what was the "problem" the good Chairman identified in this secret eMail? It's that the Web is the future, and Microsoft needed to find a way of leveraging their existing desktop document "editor" monopoly share into owning and controlling the Web formats produced by Microsoft applications. MSOffice OOXML is the result.

    ISO approval of MSOffice OOXML is beyond important to Microsoft. It establishes MSOffice "editors" as standards compliant. It also establishes the application, platform and vendor specific MSOffice OOXML as an international "open" standard.

    Many will ask why this isn't a case of Microsoft actually opening up the MSOffice formats in compliance with government antitrust demands. It is "compliance", but not in the sense of what
Gary Edwards

The Fall of Microsoft Office - 0 views

  • On the same day that the state of New York published a report supporting open formats for electronic documents, mighty Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) said that it would support the open-source ODF format in Office 2007. Redmond's own Open Office XML specification may be heading for the great Recycle Bin in the sky, never to come back.
  • The company's biggest revenue generator may be a shadow of its former self in a few years. I just hope that Microsoft has some alternative business prospects on tap
    More confusion about the MS announcement of native support for ODF, with delayed support for whatever ISO finally determines to be ISO 29500; "OOXML". Damn but these guys are all twisted up about this. The truth is, ISO National Bodies traded their vote in favor of OOXML for MSOffice support for ODF and Microsoft's joining the OASIS ODF TC. It's not complicated. MS wants ISO approval of OOXML because it established MSOffice as a "standards" editor. The rest of this kurfufull is all about anti trust concerns and Microsoft's need to put htose concerns to bed before the world figures out that they are leveraging the MS desktop monopoly into an MS Web monopoly. ISO approval of OOXML is the final piece of very complex puzzle.

    The harmonization of OOXML-ODF is impossible. MS knows this. So why not join OASIS ODF TC if it means putting aside the anti trust claims from ISO NB's and getting that all important standardization of OOXML? Both ODF and OOXML are both XML encodings of entirely application specific binary formats. There is no possible to way to reconcile the file formats without also reconciling the applications! Incuding feature sets and layout engines!!!! Impossible!!

    The real game is the transition from client/server to the emerging client/Web-Stack/server model. MS is the "client" in client/server. No way were they about to give that up without a plan to control the transition of MSOffice documents to the emerging client/Web-Stack/server model. They sought to fully control the formats, protocols and API's of this new model. ISO handed it to them.

    The thing to watch is the MSOffice SDK where one can find a very cool OOXML <> XAML converter. XAML is totally proprietary, but "web ready". Meaning, MSOffice is a "web ready" application. It's just that the web readiness is 100% MS .NET-Silverlight.

    The great transition to client/Web-Stack/server is now on. Thanks to ISO. All this ODF stuff is just background noise designed to quiet the anti t
Paul Merrell

Building Office Business Applications: A New Breed of Business Applications Built on th... - 0 views

    2006 MSDN white paper that is the best overview I've found thus far of the bridges Microsoft is building between Office 2007 and the Microsoft cloud. 12 pp. Somewhat dated in the intervening two years. Describes the Microsoft "line of business" vision for vertical markets in some detail. "This white paper introduces Office Business Applications (OBAs), a new breed of easily customizable solutions that address real-world business problems through the 2007 Microsoft Office system. OBAs deliver people-centric, collaborative solutions to the enterprise through familiar Microsoft Office servers, clients, and tools. This document discusses today's business environment, identifies a "results gap" that contributes to reduced productivity, and shows that OBAs are an effective new approach that enables enterprises to achieve the "last mile of productivity." You will see that several key components of the 2007 Microsoft Office system can be used to develop Office Business Applications and that, when Line of Business Integration (LOBi) for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server is released, it will further simplify the development of OBAs. Finally, if you would like to develop a collaboration-planning scenario using the 2007 Office system, just follow the steps outlined in this paper."
Gary Edwards

What's up at the OpenDocument Foundation? - Wikipedia Link - 0 views

  • Re: Finally, the beef...

    Posted by: Anonymous [ip:] on November 12, 2007 11:32 PM

    XHTML + CSS is the base. Add XForms, SVG and SMiL where needed. Study the work being done on microformats. Like most modern portable XML file formats, the basic packages are those of content and presentation. In CDF speak, this is XHTML content and CSS as the portable presentation package. ODF and MS-OOXML both struggle with the legacy tradition of the presentation package being application specific. Meaning, the portability is limited to other applications that are either of the same version, or, share the same layout and rendering model so that the exchange of the presentation package is lossless.

    • Paul Merrell
      See also "Putting Andy Updegrove to Bed (without his supper)," for a thorough rebuttal of claims that the W3C Compound Document Formats and framework are not suitable for use in the office productivity software sector.

    The Wikipedia "OpenDocument Foundation" page is continually re edited, changing the factual truth to portray the Foundation in the worst light possible. Every time we try to repair the page to reflect the truth, the liars jump right back in. Is there a Wikipedia resolution for liies? Our facts can be verified by the five year history of the OASIS membership and ODF TC records that are public information.

    This anonymous post to Joe Barr's article is perhaps the best explanation on the Web of why the Foundation choose CDF, and could not use ODF.

    Good explanation of MSOffice-OOXML and the MS Web-Stack :: MS Cloud.

    No mention of the December 2007 MSOffice SDK beta that provided us with that first all important glimpse of the MSOffice-OOXML <> XAML converter component. I take it the article comment was written before that most important discovery. XAML "fixed/flow" is an alternative to W3C/ISO XHTML-CSS and ISO PDF.

Gary Edwards

Australia blows $51 million on Microsoft Office | One more reason for open source | The... - 0 views

  • Opposition Leader Martin Hamilton-Smith yesterday said the computer "blunder" saw thousands of Health Department computers loaded up with $675 versions of Microsoft Office software, which the computers did not use or need. Just 4000 of the 16,000 computers actually used the software, Mr Hamilton-Smith told Parliament.

    Health Minister John Hill was quick to defend the decision and insisted that all of the licenses are in use (on "computers that monitored patients, analysed pathology data or kept patient records and staff records using specific software designed for those purposes"

    Once again it's the business processes bound to MSOffice that bind users to MS products. The Massachusetts ODF Pilot Study first uncovered the business processes bound to MSOffice issue tha tmade implementation of ODF impossible. The IBM "rip out and replace" approach simply does nto work anywhere there are these bound business processes. Massachusetts CIO Louis Gutierrez correctly identified the problem and the solution: coem up with an ODF plug-in for MSOffice. Replace the docuemnt format - not the application and bound business processes.
Gary Edwards

The Mesh lives but the cloud Office is vaporous | Outside the Lines - CNET - 0 views

  • Office Live will bring Office to the web, and the web to Office. We will deliver new and expanded productivity experiences that build upon the device mesh vision to extend productivity scenarios seamlessly across the PC, the web, and mobile devices. Individuals will seamlessly enjoy the benefits of each - the rich, dynamic editing of the PC, the mobility of the phone, and the work-anywhere ubiquity of the web. Office Live will also extend the PC-based Office into the social mesh, expanding the classic notion of "personal productivity" into the realm of the "inter-personal" through the linking, sharing and tagging of documents. Individuals will have a productivity centric web presence where they can work and productively interact with others. This broadly extended vision of Office is being realized today through Office Mobile and Office Live Workspace on the web, augmented by SharePoint, Exchange, and OCS for the connected enterprise.
    I don't think Dan Farber gets it. ISO approval of MSOffice-OOXML establishes MSOffice as a standards compliant web/cloud/WOA "editor" for client/Web-Stack/server systems. No need to try to squeeze all tha tcomplexity into a browser. Just use the MSOffice SDK OOXML <> XAML conversion component to convert rich, business process loaded, documents to a web ready format. OH my, XAML is proprietary and IE-8 does not support XHTML2, CSS3, SVG, XForms, RDF, SPARQL, SWF, PDF or JavaScript. Bummer. ISO has done the unthinkable and Microsoft can now break the web without worry of anti trust retribution. They are after all, simply implementing an open standard.
Gary Edwards

Meshing the desktop into the cloud | Software as Services | Phil Wainewright - 0 views

  • Instead of seeing the Web as an extension of the desktop, it includes the desktop as part of the continuum of the Web. Where then does the application sit? Not on the desktop, or on any identifiable server machine, but simply in the mesh. In other words, it becomes a service, capable of running anywhere in the cloud, including on the desktop.
  • “haven’t we seen some of this before? A service which offers both synchronization and replication? Remember Lotus Notes and Groove? … Ray Ozzie was the creative force behind Notes, Groove, and now, Live Mesh.”
    At the Web 2.0 Expo Microsoft introduced "Live Mesh", integrating the MSOffice desktop with the Web, as an integral part of the Cloud. Here we go. The race to take the open web is on, and Microsoft is off to a stunning start.
Gary Edwards

OOXML/ODF: Just One Battlefield in a Much Bigger War | Brian Proffitt Linux Today - 0 views

  • Once in a while, a confluence of random events (or not so random, depending on your belief system) can create the ideal aha! moment. The moment of clarity when all the pieces just fall into place and you realize "that's what's going on!"

    I believe I have had one of those moments. And if this thought has any basis in reality, it could mean that everything we have seen in IT is about to make a huge change.


    Brian figures out that the document wars are really about Cloud Computing. Big vendors IBM, Sun, Google and Microsoft are jockeyign for position in our cloud computing future. And this is why Microsoft MUSt get ISO approval of MSOffice-OOXML!

    What Brian misses is the key to a Microsoft Cloud that can be found int he MSOffice SDK; the OOXML<>XAML conversion component. XAML, Silverlight and Smart Tags replace W3C XHTML-CSS, SVG-Flash, and RDF. Makign the MS Cloud one where Microsoft owned protocols, formats and .NET components dominate all processes. ISO approval of MSOffice-OOXML establishes MSOffice as a standards "editor", thus masking the cloud computing shift to XAML. A shift that will lock out all other Web 2.0 - Cloud providers dependent on Open Web - W3C protocols and formats!

    Note that Brian posted this article in February, on the eve of the Geneva BRM. Since then ISO has gone on to approve MSOffice-OOXML. Note also that, a week prior to this publication, i had sent Brian a lengthy discussion entitled "Windows can't do Cloud Computing", where all of these issues were discussed except for the IBM motivations. Not wanting to interfere with the upcoming Geneva BRM and vote, I had declined Brian's request to publish.
Gary Edwards

Microsoft adds XAML to 'Open Specification' list - SD Times On The Web - 0 views

  • Microsoft is showing off one more facet of its once-hidden intellectual property. On Tuesday, it placed the preliminary technical specifications for XAML—the Extensible Application Markup Language—under its Open Specification Promise, or OSP.

    The technical documentation will enable third parties to implement XAML formats in their client, server and tool products. It includes both the 2006 implementation of Microsoft’s XAML object mapping specification and the vocabulary specification for Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF).

    A spokesperson said that the final XAML documentation would be published by June 30.

    XAML is a declarative XML-based language used to define data binding, events and UI elements in WPF and Silverlight applications, and to define workflows in Windows Workflow Foundation.
    Here we go. The release of XAML documentation is scheduled to coincide with the release of the MSOffice-OOXML SDK.
Gary Edwards

Introducing Microsoft Online Services - 0 views


    The MS Cloud has arrived!!!! Grab your ankles and kiss your ever lovin Open Web good-bye.

    This is a video describing how Microsoft Online Services can add value to your organization. Interestingly, the software-plus-service offerings from Microsoft are being marketed as a way for corporate IT to break free; reducing systems management cost and operation overhead while leveraging existing "rich client" systems. Meaning, MSOffice is now connected to the MS Cloud.

    The transition of legacy client/server systems to MS Cloud hosted client/Web-Stack /server systems can now begin. No doubt the recent ISO approval of MSOffice-OOXML played no small part in this announcement!

Gary Edwards

ECIS Accuses Microsoft of Plotting HTML Hijack | BetaNews Jan 2007 - 0 views

  • An industry coalition that has represented competitors of Microsoft in European markets before the European Commission stepped up its public relations offensive this morning, this time accusing Microsoft of scheming to upset HTML's place in the fabric of the Internet with XAML, an XML-based layout lexicon for network applications.
    Look at the date on this! A full year has passed and we now can clearly see the importance to Microsoft of ISO approval for MSOffice-OOXML. The MSOffice SDK provides an easy to implement OOXML <> XAML conversion component, pavign the way for billions of complex, business process rich MSOffice documents to be used by IE-8 and the emerging MS Web-Stack. XAML is proprietary and exclusive to the Microsoft Web.
Gary Edwards

Is HTML in a Race to the Bottom? A Large-Scale Survey of Open Web Formats - 0 views

  • The "race to the bottom" is a familiar phenomenon that occurs when multiple standards compete for acceptance. In this environment, the most lenient standard usually attracts the greatest support (acceptance, usage, and so on), leading to a competition among standards to be less stringent. This also tends to drive competing standards toward the minimum possible level of quality. One key prerequisite for a race to the bottom is an unregulated market because regulators mandate a minimum acceptable quality for standards and sanction those who don't comply.1,2 In examining current HTML standards, we've come to suspect that a race to the bottom could, in fact, be occurring because so many competing versions of HTML exist.

    At this time, some nine different versions of HTML (including its successor, XHTML) are supported as W3C standards, with the most up-to-date being XHTML 1.1. Although some versions are very old and lack some of the newer versions' capabilities, others are reasonably contemporaneous. In particular, HTML 4.01 and XHTML 1.0 both have "transitional" and "strict" versions. Clearly, the W3C's intent is to provide a pathway to move from HTML 4.01 to XHTML 1.1, and the transitional versions are steps on that path. It also aims to develop XHTML standards that support device independence (everything from desktops to cell phones), accessibility, and internationalization. As part of this effort, HTML 4.01's presentational elements (used to adjust the appearance of a page for older browsers that don't support style sheets) are eliminated in XHTML 1.1.

    Our concern is that Web site designers might decline to follow the newer versions' more stringent formatting requirements and will instead keep using transitional versions. To determine if this is likely, we surveyed the top 100,000 most popular Web sites to discover what versions of HTML are in widespread use.

    What makes the Internet so extraordinary is the interoperability of web ready data, content, media and the incredible sprawl of web applications servicing the volumes of information. The network of networks has become the information system connecting and converging all information systems. The Web is the universal platform of access, exchange and now, collaborative computing. This survey exammines the key issue of future interoperability; Web Document Formats.
    Excellent link from marbux.
Gary Edwards

When SOAs rule the world - 0 views

  • TCG Advisors envisions a new computing model for when the inter-enterprise becomes the basis of all IT infrastructure. Where can we expect the most change?

    All the action is going to be in the middle [layer] in preparation for a significant change at the top in about five years. We are all [preparing] for a new business model: the inter-enterprise network value chain. For the inter-enterprise network value chain, traditional business applications need to be re-architected so they can cross company boundaries. When people look at this re-architecting, they see two huge barriers: the middleware, because our software doesn't work this way, and the business process layer, because people don't have a lot of experience [with it]. There will be a fair amount of trial and error before we figure this out. Even thought leaders are struggling.

  • The goal has been managing information. We're shifting from managing information to managing processes. Information is an important attribute in process management, but it's not the goal. So trying to turn data into information is the wrong way to look at the problem. What we are trying now is to manage processes across multiple states, where any portion of the process can be in multiple states. So you have to keep state - which is a computing idea - and you have to coordinate actions among self-managing logic. That's the service-oriented architecture paradigm.
  • What service-oriented architectures let you do is recombine - they are like Legos - to make all kinds of innovations out of the existing components of the world. This is very productive. If you're stuck in a client/server system you can't participate in that.
  • ...1 more annotation...
  • The classic microprocessor architecture that Intel dominated is going to become much less relevant. More relevant will be a network processing style of architecture. Everything is going to become a router.
Gary Edwards

Ozzie signals Microsoft's surrender to the cloud | Software as Services | - 0 views

  • It’ll be cheaper to put apps in the cloud than to run them on your own servers:

    “It’s an inevitable business. The higher levels in the app stack require that this infrastructure exists, and the margins are probably going to be higher in the stack than they are down at the bottom … Somebody who is selling [business] apps is going to build in, more than likely, the underlying utility costs within their higher-level service. It will still be cheaper to do those things on a service infrastructure than it is on a server infrastructure.”

    Taken together, these statements — by the company’s chief strategy officer, no less — add up to a huge strategic shift under way within Microsoft. They suggest that, in five years’ time, the company will be unrecognizable compared to today, with services revenues taking a significant share while licence revenues dwindle.

    Phil Wainwright comments on Ray Ozzie statements concerning the Microsoft Cloud Strategy. Phil of course thinks MS is in trouble.
Gary Edwards

Has Microsoft lost its way on desktop computing? | The Apple Core | - 0 views

  • OM MALIK: You outlined Microsoft’s software-plus-services strategy, but what I want to know about is the changing role of the desktop in this service’s future.

    RAY OZZIE: I think the real question is (that) if you were going to design an OS today, what would it look like? The OS that we’re using today is kind of in the model of a ’70s or ’80s vintage workstation. It was designed for a LAN, it’s got this great display, and a mouse, and all this stuff, but it’s not inherently designed for the Internet. The Internet is this resource in the back end that you can design things to take advantage of. You can use it to synchronize stuff, and communicate stuff amongst these devices at the edge.

    A student today or a web startup, they don’t actually start at the desktop. They start at the web, they start building web solutions, and immediately deploy that to a browser. So from that perspective, what programming models can I give these folks that they can extend that functionality out to the edge? In the cases where they want mobility, where they want a rich dynamic experience as a piece of their solution, how can I make it incremental for them to extend those things, as opposed to learning the desktop world from scratch?

    ZDNet's David Morgenstern must have missed ISO approval of OOXML! MS has a desktop strategy, but involves proprietary protocols, formats and API's as the protective barrier for transitioning desktop bound client/server business processes to MS Web Stack bound SaaS-SOA business processes. Welcome to the Microsoft Cloud!
Gary Edwards

The Stockholm Syndrom at ISO | ODF Editor Says ODF Loses If OOXML Does | Slashdot - 0 views

  • ISO is bound to the business of "interoperability", and has very strict guidelines for interoperability requirements, that are themselves tied to international trade agreements and legal conventions. In this context, it is beyond surprising that ISO allows the "OASIS PAS" and "Ecma Fast Track" channels to remain open, with specification work remaining under the controlling influence of the vendors.

    IMHO, the change in Patrick's position is entirely due to the realization that it is impossible to map between OOXML and ODF. I don't know this for sure, but when i read the German Standards Group (DIN) report on harmonization, authorized by the EU-IDABC and provided to ISO, i couldn't help but wonder how Patrick would react. The report definitively ends his OOXML ODF mapping dream.
    Response to Yoon Kit's comments that Patrick Durusau is caught between a rock and hard place. His ISO JTC-1 group is now overwhelmed with MS OOXML supporters!
Gary Edwards

Extensible Application Markup Language (Xaml) | Microsoft Developer - 0 views

  • The Microsoft Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) technical documentation set provides preliminary technical specifications for this language based on Extensible Markup Language (XML) that enables developers to specify a hierarchy of objects.
    Download of XAML documents
Gary Edwards

The Charter Dilemma | ODF Editor Says ODF Loses If OOXML Does | Slashdot - 0 views

  • OOXML on the other hand presents ISO with a very different situation. Because of the way the OOXML - Ecma charter is worded, i don't see how ISO JTC-1 could ever fix the OOXML interoperability problems. ISO approval of OOXML would include acceptance of a charter that defines and limits OOXML interoperability to whatever MSOffice determines it to be. If Patrick and the JTC-1 tried to bring OOXML into compliance with existing ISO Interoperability Requirements, they would have to somehow amend a charter duly approved.

    Given that the JTC-1 has yet to address a two year old ISO directive regarding ODF interop compliance, what are the odds they will dare to amend an approved charter? Not good i think.

    ISO approval of OOXML is a tragedy for all of us. For sure it's the end of ODF. It's perhaps the end of ISO as a respected standards organization. The issue of open standards itself will become a joke, with the reality of standards by corporation having us all wringing our hands in despair.
    This commentary follows the Stockholm Syndrom post, which is itself in the thread based on Yoon Kit's Open Malaysia comments concerning the dilemma Patrick Durusau is in; the JTC-1 is now filled with Microsoft OOXML supporters!
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