Archive for September, 2007


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Hi All

A bit of good news for Microsoft and its fan and the developers in favor of Office Open XML to become an ISO Standard. Let me brief the history.

Microsoft gave out the Open XML standard as its weapon in the war of Open Source Vs Open Standards. More information about Open XML is available here. The overview of the Office Open XML describes the complete specification. And the developers can consult the Microsoft sponsored OpenXMLdeveloper.org!!

Open XML is already a standard under the  European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA), article no. 376. Here’s more information about it!!

And here’s the current news about it:

 

Amid lobbying, Microsoft is seen winning an international open standard vote
By Kevin J. O’Brien

Monday, September 3, 2007

 

BERLIN:
Amid intense lobbying, Microsoft is expected to squeak out a victory this week to have its open document format, Office Open XML, recognized as an international standard, people tracking the vote said Monday.

Supporters and opponents of the move, which would help Microsoft maintain its competitive advantage in the burgeoning field of open-format documents, said they believed that the company, the world’s largest software maker, would receive a global standard for Office Open XML.

“After what basically has amounted to unprecedented lobbying, I think that Microsoft’s standard is going to get the necessary amount of support,” said Pieter Hintjens, president of Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure, a Brussels group that led the opposition. The underlying code of an “open” document is public, allowing
developers to improve and derive new products without having to pay royalties. The first open format to become an international standard, in May 2006, was OpenDocument Format, developed by a group led by International Business Machines.

Microsoft sought a similar status for Office Open XML so it could also sell software with “open” characteristics increasingly demanded by national and local governments in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Brazil, as well as Massachusetts in the United States. Up to 104 countries of two global standards bodies, the International Organization for Standardization, known as ISO, and the International Electrotechnical Commission, or IEC, both based in Geneva, have since April been casting national votes on whether to
designate Office Open XML as a global standard.

The issue has split the groups, with some members asserting that the ISO and IEC should not be endorsing the commercial product of a single company. Others say a standards designation would reflect reality, since more than 90 percent of electronic documents are on Microsoft format. Electronic voting closed Sunday. Roger Frost, an ISO spokesman in
Geneva, said his organization was tallying the votes and expected to announce the results on Tuesday or Wednesday.

The European Computer Manufacturers Association, known as ECMA, a standards group based in Geneva, endorsed Office Open XML as a European standard last December and nominated it for fast-track consideration by the ISO. “It is really impossible to say what the outcome is going to be,” said Jan van den Beld, a former secretary general of the manufacturers’ group. “Basically, Office Open XML was a form of catch-up standardization,” said Van den Beld, who was ECMA’s secretary general from 1992 until last April. “Politics aside, there are 400 million users of the Office Open format, and we basically just recognized reality.”

Erich Andersen, Microsoft’s associate general counsel in Europe, said, “We are encouraged by the positive support the Open XML standard has received, and over the next phase of the process we will work closely with ECMA and the committee to address the many constructive comments that have been submitted.” Hintjens, a Brussels software developer whose group ran the opposition Web site called noooxml.org, said Monday that he believed Microsoft had managed to curry just enough support to win passage for its standard. According to Hintjens, whose group has been tallying the votes of participants, countries including Japan, Canada, India, China, Brazil, France and Britain voted against Microsoft’s proposal. France and Britain made their “no” votes conditional, meaning they could later change them to “yes” should Microsoft alter its 6,500-page standard to allay technical and liability concerns.

Microsoft’s bid was supported, Hintjens said, by countries including Switzerland, the United States, Portugal and Germany, as well as smaller ones like Trinidad and Tobago, Kenya and Ivory Coast, some of whom became active late in the voting at Microsoft’s urging. To win passage, Microsoft’s standard must gain support from at least two-thirds of 37 countries on an information technology panel of the ISO and IEC called the Joint Technical Committee 1. Also, Microsoft’s standard cannot be opposed by more than 25 percent of all countries
casting ballots. Van den Beld said 80 of 104 eligible countries have cast ballots, more than any previous standards vote.

Under ISO and IEC rules, a so-called ballot resolution meeting will be held Feb. 25 to 29 in Geneva, where Microsoft and national voting groups will attempt to iron out differences, leading to a broader consensus behind the standard. If Microsoft prevails in voting this week, it is under less pressure to make changes it opposes. Should it lose, however, it would be under more pressure to make changes, van den Beld said.


Copyright © 2007 The International Herald Tribune | www.iht.com

After all this war, I think soon Office Open XML will be an ISO Standard.

What’s your comment on it??

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TechVista 2007

Hi folks

In my last post, I told you about TechVista! Here’s some more information on it:

TechVista is the Microsoft Research India’s annual research symposium. It features some of the best recognized scientists from across the world as speakers. TechVista brings together the research community, academia and government onto a common platform.

TechVista will be held on October 13, 2007 at the International Eros, Nehru Place, New Delhi. All the speakers at the event are either Turing Award Winners(Noble Prize for Computer Science) or really experienced Researchers and eminent personalities.

The theme for TechVista, New Delhi, October 13, 2007 will be "Computing and Technology- Shaping the Future". The following distinguished speakers will address the participants:

* Prof. Ed Lazowska, Bill & Melinda Gates Chair in Computer Science & Engineering, University of Washington
* Prof. Eric Grimson, Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bernard    Gordon Chair of Medical Engineering, MIT
* Prof. Manuela M. Veloso, Herbert A. Simon Professor, Computer Science Department, School of Computer Science,   Carnegie Mellon University.
* Dr. Michael Kass, Senior scientist, Disney/Pixar and technical Academy award winner
* Prof. Krithi Ramamritham, Vijay and Sita Vashee Chair Professor, Department of Computer Sc. and Engg., and Dean,   Research and Development, IIT Bombay
* Dr. Rick Rashid, Senior VP, Microsoft Research

TechVista New Delhi will also feature a discussion by a panel consisting of leading personalities drawn from research and policy influencers on the theme of "Computing and Technology, Shaping the Future".
Here’s the link: http://research.microsoft.com/india/techvista

(P.S. No travel expense will be reimbursed!)

Chao

Hi folks

Just had a rocking meet at the MS Gurgaon Office.
Although not as exciting as the last year’s IDC meet, which I am sure
all the people miss, who attended it!! Yet, it’s was a bit better than
expected…new partners were quite enthusiastic about it, a bit shy
though!!

And, at one time I was yelling my full volume out….to wake the dead up….lol!!

Yet, rocked it completely.

Two
officials from the Microsoft Research, Bangalore threw some light on
the MSR…and also mentioned about the TechVista coming up on October
13, 2007 for the first time in Delhi at the International Eros, Nehru
Place, New Delhi. All the speakers at the event are either Turing Award
Winners(Noble Prize for Computer Science) or really experienced
Researchers and eminent personalities.

Here’s the link: http://research.microsoft.com/india/techvista

(P.S. No travel expense will be reimbursed!)

Chao