Get a Life? - Get a Clue

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| I came across the following at the weekend:
| Speaking at a Microsoft-hosted event, analyst David Mitchell revealed he
| used to lecture police on riot control, before eventually becoming the
| senior vice president of IT research at Ovum.
| [...]
| "I feel like getting hold of people and saying 'get a life'," he
| adds. "It's only a document format. It's just got too silly."
| Only a document format?!? How can someone who's supposed to be an analyst be
| unaware of the larger issues? Document formats are the offline equivalent of
| HTML, and openness is just as critical off as on the Web. To say that "it's
| only a document format" misses the point entirely.


How to Get Your Platform Accepted as a Standard - Microsoft Style

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| In the section of an internal manual on effective evangelism, written in 1997
| by James Plamondon, Technical Evangelist, he lays out an elaborate series of
| steps to get Microsoft's platforms accepted as de facto standards. Among the
| steps lists are working behind the scenes with supposedly independent but
| actually pliable and supportive analysts and consultants.


EU Initiates Investigation Against Microsoft OOXML Push

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| But with Steve Ballmer taking over as CEO, there was supposed to be a kinder,
| gentler Microsoft - one that would play nicely with its competitors. *When
| antitrust regulators in turn challenged this new Microsoft, it issued not
| challenges to fight to the end to prove that it had done nothing illegal, but
| statements promising to "cooperate fully." * *
| But at the same time, Microsoft is still a tough competitor. *As Microsoft's
| Director of Corporate Standards Jason Matusow famously warned at his blog
| last year: *
| * * Make no mistake; all parties are looking at the full picture to find
| * * strategies that will result in the outcome they desire. Provided - of
| * * course - that they do so within the context of the rules that apply to
| * * the process, this is exactly what one should expect to happen. It is
| * * going to be a very interesting next few months. * *
| Indeed, the months that followed proved to be interesting indeed. *Microsoft
| said that some of its employees became over zealous, most flagrantly in
| Sweden, where marketing assists were promised to several business partners as
| incentives to join the national standards committee and vote for OOXM. *

EU Commission Investigating Microsoft's MSOOXML Push

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| I hope they think to investigate the smear campaigns that seem to always
| happen to anyone on the other side from Microsoft. What happened to Peter
| Quinn was by no means unique. *

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. * *