The Inquirer on MS-OOXML and ODF

Georg C. F. Greve greve at
Tue Jul 17 16:29:12 UTC 2007

FYI and a possibility to get active.

The Inquirer covers MS-OOXML at

following up on FSFE's conversion hoax and links to the six questions.

[ ]

The Inquirer on MS-OOXML and ODF

   Tuesday 17 July 2007

   The Inquirer has an interesting opinion piece called
   "Microsoft twists and turns over ODF" in which they pick up on the
   MS-OOXML conversion hoax:

     The problem is that if Robertson and Paoli's early claim is correct
     would be theoretically impossible to convert a plane into a car? If
     Open XML is so complex it would be a bugger to convert into
     something as simple as ODF. Unless they have got it all wrong of

   And link to the six questions about MS-OOXML that are meanwhile
   available in eight languages. If you want to add more, please check
   this page on how to get involved in FSFE's translation effort.
   FSFE will continue to offer information on
     * the MS-OOXML archival myth
     * the MS-OOXML conversion hoax
     * why MS-OOXML means "Microsoft only"

   as deep links for the time being, because the topic is still not as
   widely discussed as it should be. Only yesterday did I have a
   journalist from a well-known news agency tell me about fearing the
   topic might be too "technical" for their readers. Formats and
   protocols are like languages. And formats for office applications
   concern virtually every computer user and every citizen of every
   government that makes use of software. So practically everyone who
   could read this. That ought to be a large enough potential readership
   to publish something.

   In a democracy it is the responsibility of the media to oversee the
   government, analyse their work and criticise when democratic
   principles are being thrown overboard -- which unfortunately happens
   all too often when there is no public scrutiny. A sad example was
   recently delivered by the Swiss standardisation body for
   e-government (eCH), which in an act of anticipatory obedience
   approved MS-OOXML as an Open Standard for Switzerland with a
   description that reads like it was written by Microsoft's
   spin-doctors, including the obviously false claim of free
   implementability across vendors and platforms.

   Microsoft certainly has huge advertising budgets, and it is known that
   they like to wave this fact in front of publishers to get friendlier
   treatment. So stories about their barely concealed manipulation of
   UN processes or US state governments usually have a hard time
   gaining traction in mainstream media.

   The BBC and The Inquirer have now given some coverage to this
   issue, but most journalists are still unaware of the significance of
   what is going on. So we will need to make them aware. Help us spread
   the word.

   Here are two things you can do easily:

    1. Email the newspapers and journalists you may know and ask them to
       have a look at
          + the MS-OOXML archival myth
          + the MS-OOXML conversion hoax
          + why MS-OOXML means "Microsoft only"
       As well as
          + Dual Standards: More Choice, Or Less?
          + Rob Weir's blog
          + Bob Sutor's blog
          + ODF Alliance web page
       Because unlike MS-OOXML, the Open Document Format (ODF) has
       support from a large group of independent and competing vendors
       and implementations.

    2. Put this banner on your web page and use it to link to the six
       questions on MS-OOXML that are still unanswered:

     <a href=""
     src="" /></a>

Georg C. F. Greve                                 <greve at>
Free Software Foundation Europe	                 (
Join the Fellowship and protect your freedom!     (
What everyone should know about DRM                   (
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 306 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <>

More information about the Discussion mailing list