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Early Reaction to Microsoft's Openness Pledge

Feb 21, 2008, 19:45 (13 Talkback[s])

The Open Road: Red Hat was Right, Novell was Wrong

"Microsoft's pledge to truly interoperate with the rest of the planet, including open-source developers (both commercial and community), leaves two clear victors in the Linux camp: Red Hat and Ubuntu. While Novell capitulated to Microsoft's early demands for a patent stooge, Red Hat and Ubuntu stood firm.

"Today, they, like the rest of the industry, got their due: a truly open pledge for open APIs, open protocols, and data portability from Microsoft, as well as what appears to be fair and reasonable terms for patent grants/licenses..."

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451 Group: What Microsoft's Open APIs Mean for Open Source

"It is worth noting that the new strategy will see Microsoft providing a list of the patents and patent applications that relate to the protocols and formats it uses for the named products. This should mean that open source developers are able to identify some of the 235 patents Microsoft previously claimed were infringed by free and open source software and will be able to license them (on RAND terms), attempt to develop around them, or challenge their legitimacy.

"Additionally, while there are a number of drivers behind this announcement (the European Court of First Instance rejection of its appeal, the growing adoption of web services and SaaS) the announcement shows that the open source/open standards movement has demonstrated that an open approach can be more fruitful in developing partnerships and business opportunities..."

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ConsortiumInfo: Microsoft Makes Major "Openness" Announcement on Eve of BRM

"Similarly, with respect to ODF, it will be important to see what kind of plug ins are made available, how they may be deployed, and also how effective (or ineffective) those translators may be. If they are not easy for individual Office users to install, or if their results are less than satisfactory, then this promise will sound hopeful but deliver little. I am disappointed that the press release does not, as I read it, indicate that Microsoft will ship Office with a 'save to' ODF option already installed. This means that ODF will continue to be virtually the only important document format that Office will not support 'out of the box.'

"I expect that there it is no coincidence that this announcement comes just two business days (and only one, for most of the world) before the Ballot Resolution Meeting convenes in Geneva next Monday. This will effectively give those participating in the discussions of Microsoft's OOXML document format no opportunity to fully understand what Microsoft has actually promised to do, while reaping the maximum public relations benefit. However, there will be greater time for the National Bodies to learn more during the one month voting period that will follow the BRM - providing that further details are rapidly made available..."

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