Already being lampooned as FUD by OASIS general council Andrew Updegrove (OASIS is the the consortium that stewards the OpenDocument Format), Microsoft has posted a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) that it hopes will address any of the confusion around its convenant not to sue (developers who implement its file formats in their software) as well as questions that have arisen as result of the submission of its file formats to Ecma International.
Between the Lines
Larry Dignan and other IT industry experts, blogging at the intersection of business and technology, deliver daily news and analysis on vital enterprise trends.
Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic.
Rachel King is a staff writer for ZDNet based in San Francisco.
Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.
I'm here at the Syndicate Conference in San Francisco. The show was kicked-off with a short keynote by conference chairperson (and blogger-extraordinnaire) Doc Searls.
Via John Battelle's Searchblog, Amazon's Alexa Web search engine is offering its index and a set of Web services--such as search, category browsing and metadata crawling--for building custom search solutions. According to Alexa's site, the index has 4.
Worth reading: Dana Gardner predicts in his recently launched ZDNet blog Briefings Direct that Microsoft will win the AOL sweepstakes, leaving Google to look elsewhere for a big chunk of ad revenue. The stakes if Microsoft wins — no doubt by mere show of loot — are extremely high.
If you've been following my various rantings on this blog, particularly the ones about file formats (OpenDocument Format vs. Microsoft's Office XML-based formats) or digital restrictions management (DRM) [sic], or a lot of what I've written over the last five years about open standards and intellectual property, then you'll know that for the benefit of technology buyers (ZDNet's audience), I'm a strong advocate of open standards.
As 2005 comes to a close, my colleague at CNET Esther Dyson is busy planning PC Forum, her annual March executive conference. The theme for PC Forum 2006 is "Erosion of Power: Users in charge.
Worth reading: Declan McCullagh writes about the proposed renewal of the Patriot Act, describing the 219-page conference report as a political version of a Christmas tree, ornamented with dozens of senators' pet projects. Here's a sample of the ornaments tacked on to the Patriot Act: Reduces the amount of contraband cigarettes that qualifies as a federal crime.
Nick Carr gives Sun one of his tongue lashings and a bit of advice in a recent blog post:Sun Microsystems is a funny company. It jumped directly from hyperactive adolescence to midlife crisis, complete with ponytail.
Steve Lohr's New York Times article "Can this man reprogram Microsoft" doesn't offer much that hasn't already been endlessly reported about Ray Ozzie's background and mission to bring the services economy to Microsoft.
A lot has happened since I last wrote about the OpenDocument vs. Microsoft file formats drama that is clearly turning out to be one of the most important beachheads in the computer industry.