Kenya Changes From Yes to Abstain! Denmark Says No; EU Commission Investigating
Poland - Updated 5Xs - Mexico

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| [...]
| And more news from troubled Poland, with news that the EU Commission is
| investigating the process in that country. Things have reportedly gone from
| bad to worse there, with threats of lawsuits in the air if folks talk
| publicly about what is happening.
| [...]
| [More bits about Poland, Finland, software patents in OOXML]
| [....]
| Get a load of this, will you? Participants at the BRM were told that only
| technical issues can be addressed. Bill Gates, however, reportedly contacted
| the president of Mexico to try to influence Mexico to accept OOXML. Unless,
| of course, they were talking about representing dates in Excel or other
| technical issues. Hardy har. Like, totally. I'm sure.

Microsoft: who should we bribe today with 'favours'?


Microsoft Looks for the Big Guns in OOXML In-Fighting

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| Bill Gates has reportedly been making phone calls to the Secretary of Defense
| ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
| and the Secretary of Commerce to push the American National Standards
| Institute to ignore the votes of its advisory committees and vote "yes" on
| ISO standardizing Microsoft's Open Office XML (OOXML) format, the one in
| competition with the OpenDocument Format (ODF) pushed by IBM and Sun. * *
| Gates reportedly picked up the phone when the last INCITS ballot failed by
| one vote to support Microsoft.

Using NGOs to Push Agendas

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| The extent to which Microsoft can go in its efforts to get OOXML is
| interesting. Microsoft has "persuaded" several non-profit organizations to
| bombard the Indian IT Secretary and the Additional Director General of the
| Bureau of Indian Standards with letters supporting its OOXML proposal. A copy
| of the form letter they have been circulating to NGOs is given below.
| Somebody should interview these NGOs to see how much they really know about
| OOXML and open standards. * * *
| The sequence of events leading up to the spamming of GoI? is:
| Letter from an NGO thanking Microsoft (name changed to protect their
| identity)

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.