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Computer experts stage street protest in Oslo against Microsoft document format as standard


windows-vs-linux.jpgYou know what sucks? A lot of people in the US won’t protest something much more important, but these guys in Norway, who obviously don’t have a war or loss of freedoms to protest, are still taking to the streets to voice their dissent.

In this clip she says the protesters in San Francisco will not stop protesting until we left Iraq… Obviously they’ve stopped! Ugh.

Roughly 60 data experts staged a rare and noisy street demonstration in downtown Oslo on Wednesday to protest the adoption of Microsoft Corp.’s document format as an international standard and against Norway voting for the move.

Last week, the International Standards Organization narrowly voted in favor of using Microsoft’s Office Open XML, or OOXLM, format as a world standard, despite claims by opponents that it locks out competitors and forces Microsoft customers to keep buying the American software giant’s programs.

The peaceful Oslo protest was called by Steve Pepper, who stepped down as chairman of the Standards Norway committee on the issue after being outvoted in a decision for Norway to support the Microsoft standard.

He claimed the committee ignored the advice of the vast majority of the Nordic nation’s software experts, was pressured by Microsoft and displayed “scandalous behavior.”

“People shouldn’t have to pay money to Microsoft to be able to read my documents,” he said. He said there was already a good ISO standard, called OpenDocument Format, or ODF, that allows documents to be opened by programs from different software companies.

They also demanded reforms to the ISO to ensure “standardization of standardization.”

The protesters, including Oslo’s Opera Software ASA’s Chief Technical Officer Haakon Wium Lie, gathered in light rain on the street, carried such banners as “Micro$oft: Support ODF.” Many were smiling, even though some were threatening legal action against the decision.

“It’s not often that computer people get together outside for a demonstration,” said Lie about the jovial mood.

Standards Norway last released a detailed review of the process that lead to the Norwegian committee’s split decision in rebuttal to claims of pressure by Microsoft.

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