Microsoft found a corpse name "ISO" and it's using it for some covert ops.

OOXML Questions Microsoft Cannot Answer in Geneva

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| At Left: Highly respected Martin Bryan. As outgoing Conveyor of ISO/IEC
| JTC1/SC34 WG1 he accused MS of stacking his group and said, “The days of open
| standards development are fast disappearing. Instead we are
| getting ’standardization by corporation,’ something I have been fighting
| against for the 20 years I have served on ISO committees.”
| The trend is that Microsoft is opening up the boring legacy bits of OOXML, in
| stupefying detail, while neglecting to document the pieces actually needed
| for interoperability at a competitive level, like macros, scripting,
| encryption, etc. In essence, Microsoft is opening up and releasing the file
| format information that competitors like have already figured
| out on their own, while still at the same time restricting access to the
| information needed to compete. And the more MS realizes it has to open up the
| specification, deprecate and modernize OOXML, what do you get? You get XML.
| XML is XML. Strip out the non-XML garbage from OOXML and you will have the
| OpenDocument Format.
| [...]
| We need for MICROSOFT TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS. Rather than hiding all the
| information we need and trying to cloak OOXML as ODF, we ask Microsoft to
| please get off the sinking ship, collaborate with the global community (which
| will welcome Microsoft) and help develop one universal file format for all.
| Long term, Microsoft can only benefit from cooperating with the market!


What Will and Won't Be Discussed at February's BRM on MSOOXML

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| So if you had concerns about Microsoft's patent policy, forgeddaboudit.
| It's been magically erased, and any comments are out of order.
| [...]
| They have chosen a room that can seat only 120 people for reasons unknown, so
| there may not be room for all the delegates. Let me guess. The head of the *
| delegation is a Microsoft guy, and the ones who can't fit in the room are the
| ones who have issues with the proposed format? You think? Hey, some of us
| remember the games that were played already over rooms too small for IBM and
| Sun. * *
| This is starting to look really, really bad. At a minimum, you have to say
| this is the very opposite of an open process. I can't help but notice too
| that Brown lists Rick Jelliffe's as one of the "cool blogs" he recommends on
| Brown's blog. I think that is what novelists would call foreshadowing. *

Portugal will send Microsoft to the BRM

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| Microsoft, as president of the Portuguese Technical Committee, is already
| controlling who will be at the BRM for Portugal. The Head of Delegation will
| be... Microsoft! *

IBM is still locked out of the Portuguese OOXML meeting

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| In spite of various communications, we [IBM] are still locked out and will
| not be allowed to participate. Microsoft will be there, as well as a special
| Microsoft guest, as will various Microsoft business partners, and others. *

Microsoft's Stephen McGibbon to represent Ireland at the BRM?

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| There are rumors circulating in Ireland that Microsoft's Stephen McGibbon
| might be part of the Irish delegation to attend the BRM in Geneva. Microsoft
| is already controlling the Portuguese delegation, you can expect that they
| will control half of the table at Geneva. O'MyGod! *

Opinion: Einstein's definition of insanity...

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| But ISO standards have a much more political dimension to them than Internet
| (IETF) or World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards. Every country can vote, *
| although not all chose to do so. Over the past few weeks, some strange and
| rather irregular national positions have come to light. My favourites were
| Cuba voting "Yes" to the fast-tracking of OOXML, even though Microsoft is
| prohibited by the US Government from selling any software on the island that
| might even be able to read and write the new format, and Azerbaijan's "Yes"
| vote, even though OOXML as defined isn't able to express a Web URL address in
| Azeri, their official language. * * *

Whither OOXML?

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| Strangely, however, Microsoft appears to be soft-pedaling its own standard.
| At GOSCON last week there was a panel on document formats, with reps from
| IBM, Sun, Adobe, and Microsoft present. Each of the company representatives
| got to speak for five minutes and present his company's perspective on
| document formats. * *
| In his presentation, Matusow appeared to be backing away from OOXML as a key
| technology. If you look at the slide he presented...
| can see that the positioning now is that the tool is key, and the
| document format secondary, which, to my mind, is a bizarre assertion,
| although it's one that aligns with a positioning that, above all, must keep
| Microsoft's tools in a predominate position. *
| It appears to me that, having realized that the force-feeding of OOXML into
| an international standards body is problematic, Microsoft is now trying to
| present a soft TCO story which emphasizes sunk costs and pre-existing product
| versions as a reason to stay on the Microsoft path, along with an
| incomprehensible assertion that two document standards would be a good thing
| (this last is the most oddball position of all; how can anyone state with a
| straight face that the world would be well-served by having two incompatible
| editable file formats?). * * * *

Corrupt countries were more likely to support the OOXML document format

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| Is this just a random coincidence? The median of the CPI index of the above
| mentioned 70 countries is 3.95. Of the most corrupted half (CPI index less
| than 3.95) 23 or 77% voted for approval (approval or approval with comments)
| and 7 or 23% for disapproval; 5 abstained. Of the least corrupted half (CPI
| index more than 3.95) 13 or 54% voted for approval and 11 or 46% voted for
| disapproval; 11 abstained - see the table below. * * *

Microsoft accused of more OOXML standards fiddling

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| However the 11 new countries are refusing to say how they will vote. These
| include Cote d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Ecuador, Jamaica, Lebanon, Malta, Pakistan,
| Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uruguay and Venezuela. Most people seem to think
| that these have been put there by Vole to make sure the standard gets pushed
| through. * *