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Red Hat Turned Off by Microsoft’s Charm Offensive

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Red Hat Turned Off by Microsoft’s Charm Offensive

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Red Hat listened to Microsoft’s interoperability statement Thursday and then issued a statement of its own saying it wasn’t enough.

It thinks Microsoft should throw in the towel on getting its Office Open XML (OOXML) file format standardized by ISO and “embrace the existing ISO-approved, cross-platform industry standard for document processing, Open Document Format (ODF) at the International Standards Organization’s meeting next week in Geneva.”

It also wants Microsoft to abandon patent licenses for its protocols that “it knows are incompatible with the GPL.”

Red Hat general counsel Michael Cunningham accuses Microsoft of being “simply disingenuous” about competition and level playing fields.

“Microsoft’s announcement today,” he says, “appears carefully crafted to foreclose competition from the open source community. How else can you explain a ‘promise not to sue open source developers’ as long as they develop and distribute only ‘non-commercial’ implementations of interoperable products? This is simply disingenuous. The only hope for reintroducing competition to the monopoly markets Microsoft now controls – Windows, Office, etc. – is through commercial distributions of competitive open source software products.”

For the full statement see http://www.press.redhat.com/2008/02/21/red-hat-statement-on-microsoft-announcement/.

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