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CCIA Calls on ECMA to Reject MS's Proposal
Wednesday, December 07 2005 @ 08:39 PM EST

The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) has just sent Ecma International a letter [PDF] calling upon the international standards group to reject "Microsoft's proposal for what it calls an open standard for office productivity applications."

"Far from fostering competition," the letter, signed by Ed Black, President and CEO of CCIA said, "Microsoft's proposal seems destined to assure that only Microsoft will produce software that can interoperate fully with its products."

The letter, addressed to Harald Theiss, President of Ecma, ends like this:

Mr. Theis, the world is at a crossroads. Much, if not most technological progress today takes place in a milieu of open standards. Rather than approve this proposal as is, we urge you to insist on true openness. You should demand more of any vendor that brings a standard to your committee. If Microsoft’s proposal is to have any meaning at all, competitive vendors and open source developers must have a strong role in its development. Microsoft, likewise, should promise to develop within the confines of the standard it puts forward, and should license any intellectual property within Office 12 so that all developers can be assured that their software licenses will not conflict with Microsoft’s. Once again we urge you to reject the proposal.


CCIA Calls on ECMA to Reject MS's Proposal | 163 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Off Topic Here Please
Authored by: Kosh Nanarek on Wednesday, December 07 2005 @ 08:53 PM EST

"And so, it begins."

[ Reply to This | # ]

Korrections Here Please!
Authored by: Kosh Nanarek on Wednesday, December 07 2005 @ 08:54 PM EST

"And so, it begins."

[ Reply to This | # ]

Nice Letter...
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, December 07 2005 @ 09:10 PM EST
I just wish there was a bit less hyperbole about Open Systems.

In 1972, the meaning of Open System was different than it is today. Then, Open
System was understood as being to hold the source code for a system. And for an
investment, you may modify the code yourself. Think about Microsofts
"Look, but don't touch" licences. This was very clear cut. Business
looking out for business.

Todays understanding of Open System has a more complex understanding. I don't
want to get into a discussion about what it is and is not.

But for the CCIA to state that they have represented Open Systems (as it is
understood today)since 1972 is a bit too calculated and just plain silly.

[ Reply to This | # ]

CCIA Calls on ECMA to Reject MS's Proposal
Authored by: ghost on Wednesday, December 07 2005 @ 09:14 PM EST
It's a step in the right direction, when industrial organisations like this
talks about wanting open standards, in favour of proprietary
"standards" like the one MS has proposed.

Fair enough if it really were an open standard, where anyone could use it on
equal terms.

[ Reply to This | # ]

CCIA Calls on ECMA to Reject MS's Proposal
Authored by: philc on Wednesday, December 07 2005 @ 09:28 PM EST
More and more Microsoft is standing alone.

Document format has finally become a talking point for a lot of people and
Microsoft must be feeling a lot of pressure from all sides. The more ODF makes
the news the better. The more people that find out about the format problem that
Microsoft forces on us the better. Articles are coming from around the world.
Its great.

I hope Microsoft comes to its senses and decides to support ODF. (Not ODF plus

[ Reply to This | # ]

This story ...
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, December 07 2005 @ 09:56 PM EST

... ain't all that great by itself. But, what really is great, I think, is that there are more and more stories like this. It wasn't that way a couple of years ago.

PJ, open source folks, people who care - thank you, thank you. We may win this thing yet.

[ Reply to This | # ]

$9.25 million doesn't buy fealty
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, December 07 2005 @ 10:15 PM EST
Hmm. Microsoft recently paid $9.25 million to settle CCIA claims. I guess that money only went so far.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Let's be cynical
Authored by: grouch on Wednesday, December 07 2005 @ 10:39 PM EST
ECMA rubberstamps what its members submit. This letter calls on ECMA to not do what it was designed to do. CCIA must realize that, so the letter appears to be a publicity stunt.

Microsoft is a member of CCIA. This came about as part of the settlement which resulted in the CCIA withdrawing from the European antitrust case.

Is somebody angling for some money?

-- grouch

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft spreads rumors ODF is not secure
Authored by: _Arthur on Thursday, December 08 2005 @ 12:45 AM EST
Here are Bruce Schneier comments:
Open Document Format and the State of Massachusetts

Here are Dan Greer comments (Dan has been fired because of comments critical of Microsoft, a couple years back)
Massachusetts assaults monoculture


[ Reply to This | # ]

CCIA Calls on ECMA to Reject MS's Proposal
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, December 08 2005 @ 06:21 AM EST
It looks like Mass. have said a number of things
1) We have a business requirement to be able to read and
build on our state documents; everything from citations
for traffic violations, to decisions on what the taxes
should be. They need to be accessible for this purpose for
2) We have a business requirement to communicate with our
citizens; for them to be able to read, reply to, and build
on the communications.
3) We have a business requirement that future generations,
and present citizens, can do this without needing to pay
any royalties to anyone. If you desire any royalties,
include them now in the price of the contract that you
4) We can do all this at present with pencil and paper. It
is rather expensive and cumbersome, and we would like to
do it more cheaply and conveniently; but nevertheless we
have (1) (2) and (3) as business requirements and we will
not consider any solutions which do not meet these
5) We are required to consider all tenders, from all
vendors, which meet these requirements. This we will do.

Fairly simple and principled.

[ Reply to This | # ]

CCIA Calls on ECMA to Reject MS's Proposal
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, December 08 2005 @ 07:44 AM EST
the last couple of weeks I have created numerous documents in open doc format -
from address labels for christmas cards to 80 page reports.

It just rocks and I can use it today. Why would I need Microsoft's format. I
do everything I need to do on the computer without paying the microsoft tax
along with the anti-everything tax - where I have to buy anti-spyware (that
doesn't detect business model rootkits) anti-virus anti-spam etc etc.

[ Reply to This | # ]

MS's plans
Authored by: Artiken on Thursday, December 08 2005 @ 08:18 AM EST
If my failing memory serves me correctly....

The rumor that was circulating just before SP2 came out stated. "Besides
the hardware incompatibilities there are several other 'hidden' features.

Not only will it not run with certain hardware, which is what caused some
systems to stop working after the upgrade.

It is the start of the DRM for your computer. It is the initial step in setting
up DRM for all of your data files. The eventual goal of M$ is to make your data
files totally safe from prying eyes. Now as good as this may sound, in reality,
it means that you cannot transfer your files to another computer and read/use

One scenario which sounds great for the music industry. You take your music CD
and transfer it to your HD. You can play your favorite songs from your HD and
have a massive music collection in your Multi-Media Machine. But if you transfer
the music to any other computer it will not play.

The other scenario, which is definitely bad. You type up a document or
spreadsheet, email it to a friend. Your friend cannot open it. Even if you both
have the same version of M$ Office.

M$ is offering a solution. For a small per seat per year license fee we will
give you the ability to share your files. I don't remember if the License fee is
$1,700/yr or $150.00/yr. I am not sure if it is part of their, "Eventually
all hardware will be free (as in beer) plans." You will lease the software
and the price will include the hardware and upgrades. This scheme will work
perfectly with the over the internet application suites they have planned. I
know it initially sounds like M$ is trying to force Intel into poverty status.
But if Intel partners with M$ and is willing to accept the crumbs that M$ gives
them. It will kill AMD and Intel's other competition. Which will make Intel
happy. So maybe they will go along with this scheme.

The DRM and other lock in/lock out schemes that M$ has planned will not work
with ODF. Which is why they are pushing their M$-XML document formats so hard
and fighting ODF. I don't think that they will ever include ODF in their Office
suite. They could. It would be easy enough. They just don't want to, because it
would upset their well laid out plans.

When I think of the name of their next OS (Longhorn). I don't think of Cattle or
the obvious ties to Gateway. I think of a Rhinoceros Horn Aimed somewhere in the
backside. I can see why they changed the name to Vista. Big wide open view with
nothing important to look at. It is pretty to look at, but there is nothing
really going on. Doesn't everyone want a Window with a view of a pretty Vista to
look at? Oops I hope the last sentence doesn't get me sued by M$ for infringing
two of their trademarks.

Just somethings to think about. I hope it helps in understanding why M$ is
trying to get their 'open' format accepted as a Standard and fighting ODF so


[ Reply to This | # ]

CCIA Calls on ECMA to Reject MS's Proposal
Authored by: Jude on Thursday, December 08 2005 @ 08:59 AM EST
This sounds like a promising step by CCIA, but I have to wonder what they hope
to accomplish.

The more I read about ECMA, the more I think that it was created solely to give
a thin veneer of respectabiity to what is really a subversion of the standards
process. Has ECMA ever sponsored any real standarda, or are they just a
rubber-stamp factory for companies seeking to pass off their own stuff as

[ Reply to This | # ]

A critique of and "open source" development methodology
Authored by: billyskank on Thursday, December 08 2005 @ 09:34 AM EST
If This Suite's a Success, Why's it so Buggy?

Doubtless this is like red rag to a bull for many, but we should be able to read things like this and refute what is wrong and accept what is correct (and resolve to learn from it). And the Groklaw crowd has imacculate behaviour so I'm guessing this won't be a problem.

The article takes on the popular notion that many eyes make all bugs shallow (or characterizable, in the Linus Torvalds formulation). It is true that the theory outlined in The Cathedral and the Bazaar does assume a population of users containing a large proportion of developers who are competent to debug and/or contribute to the codebase, or at least a great many users who are competent to file decent bug reports.

For the first, a large proportion of competent developers in the user base, it does not appear to be true for products like OpenOffice. It was certainly true for Linux in its early days (almost all the users were hackers) and the kernel retains enough competent contributors to drive the project forwards at a rate of knots. But projects like OpenOffice seem to have relatively small core programming teams and few outsiders contributing code. Certainly by my own experience, I am a regular user of xine and I am also a programmer by trade, but from what I have seen of the xine codebase, it is quite beyond my skill to contribute to it. I suspect that the vast majority of the code for such projects is supplied by relatively small and tight teams.

As for the second [a great many users contributing good bug reports] it seems a truism that this does not avail much if there are no resources to fix them. And it is the programmers who decide which bugs are worth fixing anyway.

One thing I certainly disagree with is where the author cites Richard Stallman - his article is taking issue with the claims of the Open Source movement, which has nothing to do with Stallman. It is the Open Source crowd who say "Open Source because it works better," whilst Stallman has always stuck to the principled "Free Software because it's right."

Some food for thought, or just an ignorant blowhard bloviating? You decide.

It's not the software that's free; it's you.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Badly written letter
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, December 08 2005 @ 12:33 PM EST
In this letter there are several mistaken meanings, such as:
"There can be doubt of the importance of..."
where they mean to say "There can be *no* doubt..."
"Lastly, there is no assurance that the Microsoft will actually..."
What kind of credibility such sloppy writing brings to Open Standards is
questionable. IBM's recent letter to the governor of Mass., by contrast, had
been proof-read by someone who pays attention to detail.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Testing Trust
Authored by: SpaceLifeForm on Thursday, December 08 2005 @ 01:07 PM EST
This is slick, very slick. NOT.

Symantec hopes to deliver anti-virus online.

"The ISP licenses our product and delivers the service -- they do the scanning, disk fragmenting and other stuff that Norton SystemWorks does -- and they deliver that down the pipe," said Sykes.

Sykes also said there was the possibility that tiny pieces of an application or a single virus scan could be resold by organisations such as online banks, which may choose to ensure their customers are not infected with a virus or spyware before they log on to their account.

"The customer goes to an Internet banking site and that site has an end-point appliance that scans [their computer]. It may say 'you have Sobig [or another infection]' and up will pop the anti-virus vendor's window that says 'do you want to fix this problem or buy a solution'," said Sykes.

This could be paid for by the customer using their credit card or by adding it to their mobile phone bill by sending a text message, said Sykes, who warned that banks could decide not to provide access to anyone with an infected computer.

Great. Imagine a naive Windows user with an infected machine. The bank says, you have a virus, pay up and fix the problem before you can do online business with us.

Now, they can't trust the machine to not get their credit card number (because it's infected with god knows what malware), not can they trust the machine to not get info for their mobile account via an e-mail. The only way to trust the system is to go off-line. Which could be a hassle, considering Voice-mail He${double-hockeysticks}. So, does the user trust that he can securely and privately deal with the on-line virus disinfection without making his/her situation even more insecure?

Why should the user trust his ISP? Or the bank?
Whom do *you* trust when it comes to your computers?

Why would you trust anything on the Internet?

Are you sure, absolutely positive that what you read on any site is what is really there?

Legalized extortion is just what the darkside would drool over.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Testing Trust - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, December 08 2005 @ 03:03 PM EST
  • Bank Security - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, December 08 2005 @ 04:32 PM EST
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