[linux-elitists] [silk] a copy of windows costs $42725 in india (fwd from rishab@dxm.org)

Karsten M. Self kmself@ix.netcom.com
Mon Dec 8 02:39:26 PST 2003

on Sun, Dec 07, 2003 at 08:55:16AM -0600, Michael Herman (michael-lists@thehermans.org) wrote:
> On Sun, Dec 07, 2003 at 12:46:10PM +0100, Eugen Leitl wrote:

> >I'm seeing lots of OpenOffice installs on new machines
> >being sold nowadays. There are no software patents in the EU,
> >so you can't patent a document format, so here's a migration
> >path to open systems.
> In the US, Microsoft hasn't patented their document formats.  

They have, for the 02K3 XML schemas.  Or claim to have:

    FSF eases Microsoft schema patent fears
    By Andrew Orlowski in San Francisco
    Posted: 18/11/2003 at 09:40 GMT

> If they had, the formats would be out in the open.  Instead, Microsoft
> licenses the use of the format and keeps it locked down.  If it were
> patented and therefore available for all to see, they could loose
> their hold on the Office market share.

Depends on the licensing terms.

Note too:  there have been effective tools for, at the very least,
reading, and in many cases, writing, MS Office file formats for much of
the life of the products.  The tools, however, are not 100%, and
Microsoft works that leverage.

The tools also, until recently, weren't free.  Which largely left
purchasers in the position of having to buy two products rather than
just one.  And one of those was at Microsoft's bundled "Office" price
(4+ applications for the price of 2.1), which makes singleton
competition very difficult (though most MS Office alternatives are
priced very aggressively).

Maturity and pricing of StarOffice and OpenOffice.org is such that this
nut might be cracked.  Personally, I've grown quite the aversion to
"office suite" software in general, and largely prefer console editors
and scripting tools.


Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
    Bush/Cheney '04: Because the truth just isn't good enough
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