June 11, 2008

The EU To Go Where MA Could Not? [10:39 pm]

Harsh Words for Microsoft Technology - NYTimes.com

The European Union’s competition commissioner, Neelie Kroes, delivered an unusually blunt rebuke to Microsoft on Tuesday by recommending that businesses and governments use software based on open standards.

Ms. Kroes has fought bitterly with Microsoft over the last four years, accusing the company of defying her orders and fining it nearly 1.7 billion euros, or $2.7 billion, on the grounds of violating European competition rules. But her comments were the strongest recommendation yet by Ms. Kroes to jettison Microsoft products, which are based on proprietary standards, and to use rival operating systems to run computers.

“I know a smart business decision when I see one — choosing open standards is a very smart business decision indeed,” Ms. Kroes told a conference in Brussels. “No citizen or company should be forced or encouraged to choose a closed technology over an open one.”

The speech can be found here (local pdf)

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May 22, 2008

I’ll Believe It When I See It [8:36 am]

And I still won’t believe it. After all, Word “saves” files as HTML, too — unwieldy, horrible HTML that is essentially useless if you want to edit or revise the file — unless you use Word to do it (side note: another example of the NYTimes-as-Microsoft-cheerleader): Open-Source File Format Is to Be a Part of Microsoft Office

Microsoft was set to announce Thursday that it would make the interchangeable document format of a competitor available in its own market-leading Office 2007 software during the first half of 2009.

The company, under pressure from European regulators, national standards organizations and its own government clients, said it planned to give customers the ability to open, edit and save documents in Open Document Format — the main competitor to the Microsoft Word format — through a free update.

With the update, consumers will be able to save text documents in ODF format and adjust Office 2007 settings to automatically save documents in the rival format

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