National Bodies to learn more

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2008-02-22 Print this article Print

That stance was "certainly consistent with the notion of standards, and standards support, and a number of things articulated in the principles...So, yes, we are continuing through the standardization process with a variety of industry participants," he said. 

But that approach has been sharply criticized by some in the open-source community, like Red Hat's General Counsel Michael Cunningham.

He believes that if Microsoft was really committed to greater interoperability and openness, it would commit to open standards and stop pushing forward its proprietary, Windows-based Office file format for document processing, and rather embrace the existing ISO-approved, cross-platform Open Document Format.

While Andy Updegrove, a partner with Boston law firm Gesmer Updegrove, says Microsoft's latest moves appear to indicate a greater willingness to be both open and cooperative, it was no coincidence that this announcement came just two business days before the Ballot Resolution Meeting convened in Geneva Feb. 25. 

"This will effectively give those participating in the discussions of Microsoft's document format no opportunity to fully understand what Microsoft has actually promised to do. But there will be greater time for the National Bodies to learn more during the one-month voting period that will follow the resolution meeting, providing that further details are rapidly made available," he said in his standards blog .

When recently asked by eWEEK what the impact would be on adoption if the Office file format is not ratified, Microsoft's Robertson said it was already an open Ecma International standard that was available to the community and being rapidly adopted.

"We would expect that to continue. The question is whether the global community wants to have a voice in its evolution, and that is what the ISO ratification process will do," he said at that time.


Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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