[Linux-aus] [Osia-discuss] Re: If you could ask Microsoft a question, what would it be?

Jiri Baum jiri at baum.com.au
Sun Jan 13 05:46:19 UTC 2008


Jeff Waugh:
> Here's an idea: Engage!

When engaging an opponent who is cunning, powerful, ruthless, opportunistic, 
predatory and with a history of misleading, dishonest and even outright 
illegal behaviour, including turning on those it previously led to believe 
were its partners, it behooves one to proceed with caution. (I think all of 
those are pretty accurate descriptors and relatively uncontroversial here.)

In particular, we should be careful of the language of cooperation, since it 
is apparently alien to MS and may be interpreted as weakness to be exploited 
rather than reciprocated.

> It's not like sticking our collective head in the sand is going to achieve
> anything useful (apply liberally to topical issues such as patents, OOXML,
> standards in general, etc).

Which begets the question, is this session is likely to achieve anything 
useful? I cannot see it. Are we trying to get them to make admissions, 
waivers or promises of some kind? If so, perhaps professionals should be 
asking the questions and follow-up questions, not random geeks. Otherwise, 
we're likely to get the kind of answers that say nothing, at best, and 
re-frame the debate in Microsoft's terms or otherwise mislead, at worst.

Hardly the "lion's mouth" that you or Con think it.

BTW, since you mention OOXML in particular and standards in general, last I 
heard OOXML is still being merrily railroaded through the ISO and Microsoft 
is explicitly refusing to commit to following it, even if it does pass.
I don't think any question we ask would change any aspect of that situation.

Jiri Baum <jiri at baum.com.au>                   http://www.baum.com.au/~jiri

More information about the linux-aus mailing list