Irony, cynicism or simply “cara de pau”?

Imagine a fox building “fox and chicken can be friends” ads from the feathers of slaughtered chicken. Would this be irony or cynicism, or possibly both? I had the same problem when I saw the following ad:

Microsoft is a convicted monopolist. Their most successful strategy to protect their monopoly and extend it into neighboring markets has been to prevent interoperability through arbitrary modifications of protocols and Open Standards, such as Kerberos.

This is indeed precisely what the interoperability side in the European Commission antitrust investigation and decision is all about. Despite the demands of the European Commission, and in outright disregard of the European Court decision from December 2004, Microsoft has continued to prevent interoperability by not disclosing the necessary protocol information and is instead playing for time.

Even worse, they have meanwhile positioned their proprietary OpenXML format to replace the already existing universal Open Standard for office applications, the Open Document Format (ODF), see "OpenXML wrap-up after D12K" for an overview of the situation. You can read up on Grokdoc why OpenXML is really a proprietary format.

So now pretending to be a model child of interoperability is a bit too much. The best expression I have encountered so far to describe that kind of behaviour is one I came across in Brazil: cara-de-pau.

About Georg Greve

Georg Greve is a technologist and entrepreneur. Background as a software developer and physicist. Head of product development and Chairman at Vereign AG. Founding president of the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE). Previously president and CEO at Kolab Systems AG, a Swiss Open Source ISV. In 2009 Georg was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit on Ribbon by the Federal Republic of Germany for his contributions to Open Source and Open Standards.
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