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Old 12-08-2006, 06:54 AM   #1
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LXer: Microsoft Office lock-in and the deal with Novell

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I can't urge you strongly enough to read the article entitled "How Vista Lets Microsoft Lock Users In". It details how Microsoft has built into Vista the "trusted computing" ability to lock down Office files via DRM such that no unauthorized document reader will be able to decrypt and read them. This is perhaps one of the biggest hidden weapons Microsoft has in its arsenal that could sabotage Linux and if Microsoft succeeds in its attempt to plug SUSE and all Novell's "interoperability" bonuses.

Old 12-08-2006, 06:08 PM   #2
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One of the reasons Longhorn (now called Vista) received so much bad press over several years is because of stuff like this. Microsoft even does it to their own customers by forcing them to upgrade on the odd occasion. (Although not universally true, there are many instances where you cannot open up new Microsoft file formats with older versions of Microsoft applications. The only alternative is to upgrade your copy of Access or whatever.) Now you can expect Microsoft to try to do it with open document standards as well. The wolf has put on sheep's clothing and expects us to believe they have changed. That is why no one trusted the Microsoft/Novell deal. We all know how Microsoft operates--only for the benefit of Microsoft, regardless of the cost to others.
Old 12-09-2006, 06:45 AM   #3
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I would bet that open document standards are as much of a thread (if not bigger) to Microsoft's bottom line than open source software. You're right that Microsoft has relied for years on "planned obsolescence" of their file formats, and that has forced upgrade of Office. Really, when was the last time that anyone needed to upgrade Office because of new features? But can't open a .doc file? Oooops, time to upgrade!

Having used OOo as my main office suite for a bit over a year now, I can honestly say that there are only a couple of features that I miss. However, if people could move to an open document format, that would solve a boatload of problems for me. And I bet that is the case for a bunch of other users as well.


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