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back to article OOXML and open clouds: Microsoft's lessons learned

Microsoft may submit its OData web data protocol for standards ratification, but seems eager to avoid the bruising it received on OOXML. Jean Paoli, Microsoft's interoperability strategy general manager and one of the co-inventors of the original XML whose work ultimately went into OOXML, told The Reg that Microsoft might submit …

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Stop

Pardon?

"People did not understand what we were trying to do [on OOXML]."

I think they did - they saw that you were trying to "standardise" a specification which included closed proprietary formats, that you were attempting to destroy ODF so that people would remain locked into Microsoft products.

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FAIL

Understanding

"People did not understand what we were trying to do [on OOXML]"

<cough, cough> People understood plenty mate.

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Gates Halo

Gotta love that line!

Oh...it was just "bad communication" when M$ tried to f*ck the standards bodies up the arse over OOXML! We just didn't understand that Ballmer & Co. were simply showing their affection by attempting to shaft everyone else - how silly we are!

All these years, I wish I'd realised how much good Redmond had to show the world and felt the love *sigh*

<solitary_tear> *sniff* </solitary_tear>

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Heart

Well duh....

" Ballmer & Co. were simply showing their affection by attempting to shaft everyone else "

Duh... what do you do to people you truly love *other than* shaft them?

It's this over-conservative society of ours that has made shafting seem like something unpleasant.

<-- Free love, man!

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Microsoft

...are the last organization on earth I would voluntarily choose for interoperability and standards. Microsoft are neither qualified nor impartial enough to be trusted with such an important responsibility.

That said, microsoft has a very large checkbook and powerful monopoly to help convey it's view.

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Bruising?

What bruising? They got away with it Scott-free. Why on Earth should they care about standards when they can just bribe a handful of people to stamp whatever they want on the cover of their application?

What a load of bollocks.

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Unhappy

sounds as deluded as Jobs

Paoli said. "People did not understand what we were trying to do [on OOXML]."

No, the problem was people understood all too well what they were trying to do and didn't like it.

Doesn't really help that Microsoft still don't understand the difference between a standard and some barely readable source code commentary. They did it with VC1 and got savaged, did it again with OOXML and got savaged, doubt they'll ever learn.

Sadly Google are repeating the same mistakes with VP8.

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Gates Horns

error

The only "lesson" Microsoft MIGHT have learned is "don't get caught being an unethical, bribing, standards-body destroying shit". But I'm not sure they've even managed that.

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Gates Horns

Leopards, spots etc...

Of course Microsoft have a soft touchy-feely approach to open standards regarding cloud data. That's because it doesn't have anything to defend, so it can act the consciencious citizen.

But when Microsoft already have control of a market, they will do whatever it takes to keep control and to hell with standards. They are quite happy to throw their weight around - see OOXML as just one example.

Classic bully boy behaviour - quiet when there is no advantage, but aggresive when they have the advantage. Sorry, but Microsoft have a long way to go to prove they are in it for the commong good.

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OSC
Megaphone

Lessons learned

1. Don't get caught

2. If you fall foul of lesson one, waffle on about having learned lessons

3. Err, that's it

"IS 29500 transitional" is still "whatever and however it happens in Office 97", but luckily the only current (non-legacy) IS 29500-strict compliant office suite is OOo so it doesn't really matter.

If I understand correctly, even MS Office 2010 will not be IS 29500-strict compliant

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Anonymous Coward

<coughs>

BULLSHIT!

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Anonymous Coward

Microsoft and shame

I know most of the people working for Microsoft are just trying to make a living and support their family, but it is just one of the many, and unfortunately growing number of companies, that the employees are ashamed to work for.

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Gates Halo

The kool-aid is strong in this one

What he said;

"I think collaboration is important in general"

What he didn't add;

"as long as everyone is using our products to do it"

"People did not understand what we were trying to do on OOXML"

Oh contraire, as already mentioned people understood all too well what you were doing and that still irks you.

Oh, and here's a clue for you, it irks us too and it will for a long long time.

"We want to deepen the conversation with the industry"

What does that even mean? Is that a euphemism for "Anybody who doesn't want to do it our way will be thrown into the bay with cement shoes on"?

This one is my favourite;

"We know the world is a mixed IT environment — this is really ingrained in our thinking,"

O'rly? Does he really believe that the company who actively and consistently does its absolute utmost to retain user lockin through application of closed standards and non-interoperability really believes this?

The bald face lying / stunning naiveté is simply astounding.

Actions speak louder than words and Microsofts actions are nothing if not consistent. Nothing has changed in Redmond.

Wheeling out hacks like this to make a few touchy-feely statements isn't gonna change anything and we won't be forgetting Microsofts actions just because they occasionally mouth the right words when it suits their business interests to do so. As someone else already said, if you guys had a cloud monopoly then your attitude would be 180 degrees different.

We are not stupid you know.

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Gates Horns

@Goat Jam

"The kool-aid is strong in this one " - made me laugh.

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Joke

This will make Azure the "Roach motel" of cloud computing

Datesets get put in.

Dataset *never* leaves.

This standard ain't done till ETL won't run.

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Welcome

to the Hotel California.

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Gates Horns

Funny

10 posts, all saying the same thing. Where are the MIcrosoft apologists now?

Hanging their heads in shame, hopefully.

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Thumb Down

Things I hate about Modern Life

No 12 in a series:

Obviously individual people have to toe the party line; this is their living after all but what is the cumulative effect on the human race of being told lie after bare-faced lie (and knowing it!) by politicians, corporate drones and other media sources through the years of their lives.

It's not going to make a better world, is it?

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WTF?

Parallel universe?

"...said Microsoft and the industry should reuse existing standards as much as possible to solve interoperability problems"

Since when did MS EVER reuse an existing standard. I mean, REALLY reuse it, rather than take it and bodge it about so that it only worked on MS products?

MS do not follow ANY standards out there, whether it's protocols, file formats, application frameworks, languages, you name it.

I can not BELIEVE anyone still falls for this crap. They do - I know they do! I still don't believe it though.

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Stop

Savaged?

No. they got criticised.

They wanted at least another decade tie-in to MS office. They paid their money and they got it. People hated them before they did and they still hate them. No fines, No trade controls, No threats from the Courts. What makes people think there was some kind of downside for MS?

If they learned anything it was that they can still get away with it.

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Hearts and minds

"He reckons, too, that Microsoft has learned its lessons about dealing with open sourcers — people it's relying on to deploy PHP and Ruby apps on Azure."

The trouble with that is most floss developers already have an opinion on MS, and it's not a good one. Since the majority of floss is released under the GPL they have already seen how untrustworthy MS ( baseless patent assertions against Linux etc.) are and probably would not touch any project rolled out by MS with a bargepole. I am in no way a programmer but as an former IT professional I know through bitter experience the greedy, manipulative, bullying that is MS's modus operandi. It for this reason that I will have no truck with the likes of Mono or Moonlight etc. MS's past will be a huge obstacle in gaining any acceptance with the developers. In any case when Linux is now in a state to compete with Windows why should anyone want to do business with a convicted monopolist like MS? Certainly server/internet developers would be writing for a minority O/S if they switched to supporting MS.

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Leaders..

"On OOXML, Microsoft led again"

Led on what, precisely ? XML-based document descriptions ? I think not.

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Boffin

GNU social

Everyone is working on moving things to the cloud. Some people are working on taking things that were invented in the cloud and bringing them back into our hands.

http://www.gnu.org/software/social/

"instead, social should be like email, where people run their own mail servers, people should be running their own social servers"

http://www.itwire.com/opinion-and-analysis/open-sauce/40419-fsf-developing-social-networking-software

Opera's Unite is along similar lines.

http://unite.opera.com/

It could be a movement, if someone gets it right. Who really loves the "leading brands" of social software that much anyway? Am I the only one uncomfortable with putting my life up there and letting someone else make all the decisions? If I get a supercomputer with TBs of storage and a perpetual high speed connection to the internet in my living room for $500, why would I need to or want to or even be willing to offload anything to "the cloud"?? For the privilege of having "relevant" ads inserted all over the place??

Oh yeah, and Microsoft, yawn who cares.

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FAIL

Is OOXML related to i4i"s patent?

...that Microsoft isn't allowed to infringe any more.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/05/11/us_patent_office_i4i_microsoft_word_xml/

Big red FAIL.

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Gates Horns

Phase One...

...Embrace has begun. Extend and Extinguish to follow shortly.

MS have, at every possible turn, tried to attack/destroy open standards and interoperability. They should not be trusted one iota in this arena. C'mon, they can't even write a browser that follows the HTML standards FFS!

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Stop

Office 2003 didn't implement OOXML

"Paoli was once one of Microsoft's XML architects who designed the XML capabilities of Office 2003, the first version of Office to implement OOXML."

Office 2003 could save to an XML format, but it wasn't OOXML. Office 2007 was the first to implement (something resembling) OOXML. Hence why 2003 requires a seperate download to view a .docx or .xlsx file.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Office_XML_formats

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IT Angle

Que?

Let me add my voice to the chorus of folks who definitely *did* understand what Microsoft were trying to do on OOXML.

Microsoft realised that government customers were demanding open document standards, so they decided they had to go along with it. They also realised that if they accepted the well-regarded ODF then their product would be compared with OpenOffice and people would realise it wasn't really much better at all, and not worth the money. So they decided to create their own standard, but given the pressing time constraints and impending legal requirements for Office to use an open standard they had to do it fast, so they hastily stuffed all the accumulated cruft of MS Office into a crappy pseudo-open format and forced it through the ISO in double-quick time and against heated international opposition at the national level and in apparent violation of the ISO's own rules, leading to a number of resignations and an ultimatum from IBM that ISO had better not pull anything like that again or they would walk out.

Yeah, I think we do understand what Microsoft were trying to do.

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Grenade

Microsoft and interoperaility in the same sentence

always gives me a good laugh.

[QUOTE]On OOXML, Microsoft led again but was left looking isolated and awakard.[/QUOTE] Actually, it's Microsoft who worked hard in order to make sure nobody could interfere with their plans by packing committees with MS employees and gold partners and by making sure there were no more chairs left in the meeting room (I'm not joking here) for opposing delegates. For those who are interested, it is a long and sad (although sometimes hilarious) story that almost destroyed ISO credibility as a standards body.

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Gates Horns

details?

author writes: "saw accusations flying that Microsoft had loaded the local standards voting processes".

Actually, it wasn't just accusations, it was loads and loads of evidence. But hey, why not frame it favourably?

As for the quote "People did not understand what we were trying to do [on OOXML].", I think he's wrong there. People really did understand what Microsoft was trying to do with OOXML. They were trying to ram a "standard" that doesn't meet ANY of the criteria for being a "standard" down the throats of people who knew better, and they did it in the most unethical, arbitrary, and damaging way possible.

Oh, and we still don't have an OOXML implementation from the folks who created it. All we got was a dysfunctional ISA tech group, a bunch of people fired because they were technically correct but unwilling to bow to Microsoft's pressure, and a "standard" that isn't.

All to satisfy the need for FUD of a company that should have been dismantled years ago, and would have been if there had been any justice in the American Justice System.

then people wonder why I'm a raving angry loony. Anyone would be after 30 years of fighting this crap.

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Dead Vulture

So many words, so little truth

“Microsoft ... seems eager to avoid the bruising it received on OOXML.”

Microsoft got exactly what it wanted (and paid for). It did NOT, however, get what it deserved.

“Microsoft instead proposed Office Open XML (OOXML) in a standards battle that saw accusations flying that Microsoft had loaded the local standards voting processes to force through OOXML”

To say Microsoft was “accused” of loading the voting process is to say that Al Capone was “accused” of involvement with the mob. Incidentally, I find Microsoft's naming of their “me too” XML format as “Office Open” a cynical slap in the face to users of OpenOffice.org.

Gavin Clarke is inaccurate in this article. He is fuzzy on the facts and soft on Microsoft's hardball stragegy.

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