National Archive being scammed!

I really can’t believe it (well O.K. I can – it’s just M$ being M$), but here in the UK the National Archive Office (the place that is SUPPOSED to look after all our important documents) is being duped by Microsoft.

They are working with the evil empire Microsoft to enable access to their old Word and other proprietary document formats by – get this – running M$’s vitual machines so they can have Windows 95 and old versions of MS Office running on top of more Microsoft software, to get access to these files!

Then, to add insult to plain stupidity, they are singing the praises of M$’s OOXML specification. Yes, that 6000 page document, calling itself a technical specification that contains, amongst other things:

  • Bugs that mean dates before 1900 are handled incorrectly
  • 60 pages of CLIPART!!!!!
  • Technical implementation notes like “DoLikeWord95”
  • Proprietary encryption routines that don’t conform to ISO approved standards and have not been verified safe
  • Implementation details kept hidden or removed from public scrutiny so only M$ will be able to fully implement it
  • A strong reliance on a single vendor’s operating system.

Why oh Why oh Why are they being so stupid?

Yesterday, Sun released a free ODF plug-in for Microsoft’s Office product line which allows bi-directional conversion to and from proprietary, closed and locked file formats, and the ISO approved Open Document Format.

Surely, that seems a far more sensible route than having more M$ software, virtualised, running yet more M$ software ( and old software at that) just to get access to your files?

The National Archive news item is here:…

Sun’s ODF Plugin can be downloaded from here:….

If you are at all interested in this issue, please write, email, telephone the National Archive office and your MP. This action is NOT in the public’s interest. They will find themselves going down a road that will lead to one company only having control over your national archive… Think about it.

Oh yes. And the other very interesting fact on the news item is this: “Adam Farquhar, Head of eArchitecture at the British Library and co-chair of the Office OpenXML standards committee said:…” Head of our British Library AND chair of Microsoft’s document specification steam roller? Hmmmm… doesn’t sound too impartial to me, does it to you?

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