13 votes

Microsoft 365, Google cloud and Apple cloud deemed illegal in Schools of Hesse

6 comments

  1. [5]
    lionirdeadman
    Link
    Since this is not in English, here's an Ars Technica article on it, also Microsoft's response :...

    Since this is not in English, here's an Ars Technica article on it, also Microsoft's response :

    https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2019/07/germany-threatens-to-break-up-with-microsoft-office-again/

    8 votes
    1. [4]
      imperialismus
      Link Parent
      Seems like their concerns are completely valid and understandable. What government wants to have a significant portion of their documents available to a foreign government with no knowledge or...

      Seems like their concerns are completely valid and understandable. What government wants to have a significant portion of their documents available to a foreign government with no knowledge or court of appeal if the service provider decides it's in their best interest to forward it along? It's like the flipside of the US' recent attitude towards Huawei.

      This isn't the first time part of Germany has publicly broken up with Microsoft Office; some German cities including Munich and Freiburg famously ditched Microsoft Office applications in favor of OpenOffice in the early 2000s. Those open source adoption programs have had a notoriously rough ride, plagued with interoperability issues—just because one town changes its office applications doesn't mean its neighboring towns, parent state, or even its own citizens have.

      This is not a tech problem or a political problem, it's a people problem. OpenOffice has had support for Office-compatible file formats forever, and in my experience, the result is either 100% indistinguishable from an Office-native document, or 95% of the way there with the remaining 5% being unimportant formatting differences that do not change the meaning of the document or impede in any way its task to communicate whatever the author wanted to communicate. Literally all it takes to interoperate with MS Office using open source software is to select a different file format in the save dialog. If you can't train your bureaucrats to make such a simple change, you have bigger problems.

      7 votes
      1. [3]
        lionirdeadman
        Link Parent
        This is not about governmental use, this is about school use. As much as I love open source, Munich (and another region which I can't remember) has not exactly had good success doing this because...

        Seems like their concerns are completely valid and understandable. What government wants to have a significant portion of their documents available to a foreign government with no knowledge or court of appeal if the service provider decides it's in their best interest to forward it along? It's like the flipside of the US' recent attitude towards Huawei.

        This is not about governmental use, this is about school use.

        This is not a tech problem or a political problem, it's a people problem. OpenOffice has had support for Office-compatible file formats forever, and in my experience, the result is either 100% indistinguishable from an Office-native document, or 95% of the way there with the remaining 5% being unimportant formatting differences that do not change the meaning of the document or impede in any way its task to communicate whatever the author wanted to communicate. Literally all it takes to interoperate with MS Office using open source software is to select a different file format in the save dialog. If you can't train your bureaucrats to make such a simple change, you have bigger problems.

        As much as I love open source, Munich (and another region which I can't remember) has not exactly had good success doing this because other parts of Germany were using Microsoft products.

        Microsoft is also heavily known for not respecting their own format and breaking the Open Doc format by the use of proprietary code in them. You may not have had problems but that doesn't mean there is no problems.

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          imperialismus
          Link Parent
          It was a government official that issued the decree, and schools, which educate the next generation of citizens, are definitely within the government's purview and sphere of interest. Do you...

          This is not about governmental use, this is about school use.

          It was a government official that issued the decree, and schools, which educate the next generation of citizens, are definitely within the government's purview and sphere of interest. Do you disagree?

          Microsoft is also heavily known for not respecting their own format and breaking the Open Doc format by the use of proprietary code in them.

          That is why you don't save as ODF, you save as .DOC or .PPT or whatever. Which in my experience works excellently almost all the time. I'm not saying there will be literally zero instances of problematic conversions, I'm saying the issues are extremely minor, rare, and inconsequential. My basis for saying that is my personal experience. Do you have some better, more official-sounding sources that say otherwise? Some grand, large-scale, scientifically verifiable and quantifiable study of open source-MS Office interoperability? The article you linked certainly doesn't.

          7 votes
          1. lionirdeadman
            Link Parent
            My point was that this is not about national security but simply student's privacy, they don't really compare from my point of view. .DOC and .PPT are proprietary, they definitely shouldn't work...

            It was a government official that issued the decree, and schools, which educate the next generation of citizens, are definitely within the government's purview and sphere of interest. Do you disagree?

            My point was that this is not about national security but simply student's privacy, they don't really compare from my point of view.

            That is why you don't save as ODF, you save as .DOC or .PPT or whatever. Which in my experience works excellently almost all the time. I'm not saying there will be literally zero instances of problematic conversions, I'm saying the issues are extremely minor, rare, and inconsequential. My basis for saying that is my personal experience. Do you have some better, more official-sounding sources that say otherwise? Some grand, large-scale, scientifically verifiable and quantifiable study of open source-MS Office interoperability? The article you linked certainly doesn't.

            .DOC and .PPT are proprietary, they definitely shouldn't work excellently almost all the time and even Microsoft doesn't always provide backwards compatibility with them. (Microsoft office 2003 not compatible with 2011, that kind of thing)

            I can't seem to find any large-scale study on this but how about this from the Open Document Foundation :

            In fact, although the proposal associates MS Office document formats with the “industry standard” concept, it should be clear that all MS Office documents are proprietary and obfuscated, and therefore inappropriate for interoperability, even when they have been recognized by international standard bodies such as ISO. A standard document format, to be considered as such, must be implemented in the real world and not only described on paper.

            stated here

            2 votes
  2. HanakoIsBestGirl
    Link
    Good. Im in Australia and when I once visited a public primary school, it was google everything. Google docs, google slides, google classroom, google search, they even spent a lesson teaching the...

    Good.

    Im in Australia and when I once visited a public primary school, it was google everything. Google docs, google slides, google classroom, google search, they even spent a lesson teaching the kids how to use google surveys for their research topics.

    Google seems to have pretty much free rein on indoctrinating these children into likely becoming customers for life. And of all companies to make your children loyal to, google is a really shit one.

    6 votes