Tag Archive for 'microsoft'

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Office 2007 and ODF support; are we surprised?

Microsoft’s “support” of Open Document Format (ISO 26300) is a joke. Seriously, is anyone surprised?

Microsoft wants to maintain their stranglehold on the Office market worldwide. They don’t want anyone to use an alternative, so they are doing what they always do.

Trimming the FAT: Linux and Patents

My first article for Linux Magazine has just gone live.

The TomTom case exposed a long-simmering problem resulting from the combination of patents, proprietary software companies and open source. Andrew Tridgell recently patched Linux’s VFAT implementation, but the cult of silence that surrounds intellectual property will bedevil open source projects for some time to come.

Feedback welcome!

-c

Ditto

Truly happy Linux people couldn’t care less about Microsoft whatsoever. Instead, they just get down to business and make things work. Whether it’s for desktop, laptop, media center use or what-have-you, instead of bickering about Microsoft they’re getting things done, which of course is what matters the most…You can find happy Linux users that say nothing of Microsoft because it simply doesn’t matter.

I agree.

I think some of us are too busy trying to convert the world and unless we scream and shout about how bad Microsoft is, we feel we can’t change anything. But we can, just by doing what we do. You can still talk to people about Free Software, still compare it to Microsoft, but it’s the childish antics that no-one appreciates.

It’s time to beat the tom-toms

If you’ve been following the news of late, you’ll be aware that Microsoft is suing Tom Tom (maker of GPS devices which ship with Linux) over claimed patent infringements, which include the FAT filesystem.

You really should read this article on ZDNet which discusses Microsoft’s reasons behind doing so, thanks to a comment made by Samba guru Jeremy Allison. Essentially, Microsoft has been getting companies to sign NDA agreements over patent deals with FAT. This is forbidden under Section 7 of the GPLv2 which means those companies are then not allowed to distribute Linux.

Jeremy Allison says,

Tom Tom are the first company to publicly refuse to engage in this ugly little protection racket, and so they got sued. Had Tom Tom silently agreed to violate the GPL, as so many others have, then we’d only hear about a vague “patent cross licensing deal” just like the ones Microsoft announces with other companies.

Make no mistake, this is intended to force Tom Tom to violate the GPL, or change to Microsoft embedded software.

Let’s hope the Free Software World can rally behind Tom Tom and help win the case. It would be a shame to see Microsoft continue to get away with this sort of behaviour. Did we not see this coming?

-c

How to compete with free

The NSW Government is considering putting Linux on the laptops for students as a part of the Rudd Government’s “Education Revolution” plan. Good idea!

But you know what will happen, Microsoft will step in and offer XP and Office for cheap (or perhaps even FREE), in order to stop Linux from gaining any momentum in the market. They will also offer discounts to NSW Government Departments on their Microsoft products, if they don’t adopt Linux on these notebooks.

The Victorian Government struck such a deal and as a result, laptops with Windows are cheaper than the Linux version – which comes with a free operating system!

How do you complete with that?