Microsoft Office 2007 SP2: So Much for ODF Compatibility

May 5, 2009

Rob Weir did some tests of the new Microsoft Office 2007 SP2, which is supposed to provide support for the Open Document Format, ODF, out of the box. From his tests of an ODF spreadsheet, ODF files created by Office 2007 SP2 can be interpreted only by Office 2007 SP2 and no other application that supports ODF. And Office 2007 SP2 cannot read/interpret ODF files created by any other application. And we’re talking about a large number of applications here: OpenOffice, Google Docs, KSpread, IBM Symphony, Sun’s ODF Plugin, and the CleverAge ODF plugin.

Interestingly, all the other applications are able to create ODF spreadsheets that are readable by each other, except in the case of the old version of KSpread, which the reviewer used for reasons given in the article. So it’s not the case that the ODF format does not give enough details for spreadsheet formulas to be properly interpreted. Everybody else managed to implement it correctly.

Is this a case of Microsoft paying lip service to standards, so that they can gain inroads into governments’ procurement systems that demand open standard document support? If so, it means that they think all government officials are suckers and idiots.

If that’s not the case, then you’ll have to blame the Microsoft developers: are they so imcompetent that they cannot implement an open standard when everyone else and their grandmother has implemented it correctly? And it’s not as though they cannot see how the others have implemented it: OpenOffice is open source after all. Perhaps they will say ODF is not clear where spreadsheet formulas are concerned. Then how is it every other application is able to implement it correctly?

Filed in Outraged, Opinon, News, Software, Windows.

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It’s Official: Next Version of Windows to be Called Windows 7

October 14, 2008

It’s official. Microsoft has announced that the next version of Windows, currently codenamed ‘Windows 7’, is to be named… wait for it, drums roll… ‘Windows 7’.

Hopefully it will be a much better OS than the disaster known as Vista. I think Vista has eclipse the horrors of Windows ME in my mind.

My other posts on Vista:

Filed in Windows, News.


Is Windows a Virus? (Humor)

September 1, 2008

This is a hilarious public domain joke that a friend just sent me. It’s about Windows:

Is Windows a Virus?

No, Windows is not a virus. Here are what viruses do:

  • They replicate quickly – okay, Windows does that.
  • Viruses use up valuable system resources, slowing down the system as they do so – okay, Windows does that.
  • Viruses will, from time to time, trash your hard disk – okay, Windows does that too.
  • Viruses are usually carried, unknown to the user, along with valuable programs and systems. Sigh… Windows does that, too.
  • Viruses will occasionally make the user suspect their system is too slow, causing the user to buy new hardware. Yup, that’s with Windows, too.

So far, it seems as if Windows is a virus. But I assure you there are fundamental differences. Viruses are well supported by their authors, are running on most systems, their program code is fast, compact and efficient and they tend to become more sophisticated as they mature.

So you see, Windows is not a virus.

It is a bug.

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Filed in Humor, Windows.


Microsoft: Genuine Windows Can Revert to Become a Fake Copy Behind Your Back

August 28, 2008

Microsoft has apparently released a new version of their “Windows Genuine Advantage Notification Tool”, a tool that runs continuously in the background to check that your Windows is genuine. It’s interesting that it has to run all the time, and not just once, to check that your windows is a legit copy.

By releasing such a tool, Microsoft implies a few things:

  1. Microsoft believes you are an idiot. After forking out hundreds of dollars for Windows, you somehow still don’t know if your Windows copy is genuine. Not only that, their belief in your stupidity is such that they actually think you’ll believe their spin about the usefulness of having the notification tool installed.

  2. A genuine copy of Windows that you paid for, can unexpectedly revert to being a pirated copy behind your back. There would be no need for repeated checks otherwise. Neither would there be a need for people who have paid for a genuine copy to install it.

    One can also infer from the fact that they placed the notification tool in the Critical Updates that the moment you buy Windows, it is in imminent danger of reverting to a pirated copy. It can happen any time, that’s why you need to monitor it all the time. When it happens, the hundreds of dollars you paid will go down the drain, and you’ll have to pay again.

It’s times like these that make one think that the gradual move of PCs, starting with the ultra portables like Eee PC, to Linux is a good thing.

Filed in Outraged, Opinion, Software, Windows.


Wine 1.0 Released: Run Windows programs on Linux without Windows

June 18, 2008

Wow, this is really a month of big releases! First there were the new browser versions, and now Wine 1.0 has been released too. Finally.

With Wine, it’s possible to run many Windows program on Linux without buying a copy of Windows. Yup, you can be completely freed of Windows, including the fiasco known as Vista.

Filed in Windows, Software.


Vista’s DRM Blocks Popular Shows: More Reasons to Hate Vista

May 15, 2008

As if Vista was not already notorious for its driver issues, application problems and slow performance. Now, the DRM riddled into Vista’s system that the famous computer scientist Peter Guttman warned us of when it was first released has reared its ugly head.

CNET and Ars Technica are reporting that Vista’s DRM has inexplicably blocked its users from recording NBC shows. The problem is still not resolved, so those trying to record such shows will continue to miss shows until Microsoft and the content providers deign to lift their fingers to fix it.

Two things:

  1. When you use DRM, you are totally at the mercy of the content providers and software makers. At any time, a software glitch can get you. Or the company may go out of business, or terminate that particular branch of business, and leave you high and dry. And these things have already happened.
  2. Vista is a bitch. It’s newest features over XP, and thus claim to fame, are DRM, driver problems, slow performance and application compatibility problems.

Filed in Outraged, Entertainment, Windows.


Windows XP Service Pack 3: General Public Release

May 9, 2008

XP Service Pack 3 has been released both as a separate download as well as over Windows Update. I guess MS kept their word and released it in 1H CY2008, as they cryptically put it.

Unlike Vista though, XP SP3 can be slipstreamed.

Filed in Windows.