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..."
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
"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..."
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..."