[Watch this. Wow!]

OOXML Vote: Irregularities in Germany & Croatia and a Call for an Investigation
of Norway

,----[ Quote ]
| If Microsoft gets this OOXML format "approved", it will be by irregularities
| in the voting, it seems. Here's more on what happened in Germany and a report
| on what is being called a scandal in Norway. And another odd process in
| Croatia.
| If you can read German, here's the story on what happened there. For those
| who can't, when they went to vote, they were not allowed to vote disapprove,
| so the choice was to approve or to abstain. It was a tie, 6:6, which means no
| consensus. So under the rules I've read, that would have meant that they
| should send a vote of Abstain.
| But surprise, surprise!! A solution helpful to Microsoft: the representative
| from DIN decided to cast a vote, which isn't the process. DIN isn't supposed
| to vote, because it's supposed to advise. But this, they rationalized, was a
| vote not about whether to accept OOXML on the basis of *technical* issues,
| but whether to accept the approval suggestion of the technical committee. So
| DIN voted to accept DIN's suggestion. Hence Germany ends up in the Approve
| column. I know. No doubt there will be objections filed.
| Norway's at least as bad. Here's an article from Norway, and the translation
| of the title of the article is, "Scandal in Standards Norway. I didn't write
| that headline. They did. And here's why. The article says there should be an
| investigation of the irregularities there, because while there were only two
| votes to approve, from Microsoft and a business partner, Statoilhydro, and
| all the others voted no, 21 votes, they approved anyway. Here's how they
| shuffled the deck in Norway. So they put everyone out of the room, and
| Standards Norway, three people were left in the room, and they usurped the
| decision and made it their business to decide to approve anyway.
| Unbelievable. If it was happening in only one country, you might think it was
| local difficulties. But when it happens in place after place, one can only
| conclude that Microsoft, although outnumbered in a fair vote, has sufficient
| clout behind the scenes to shove this format into the world's mouth and hold
| its mouth closed by force until the world is compelled to swallow. Remember
| that Microsoft memo that surfaced in the Comes v. Microsoft litigation? The
| one about how to stack a panel discussion at conferences so it would be
| favorable to Microsoft? The key was to get to be the moderator.
| One thing is certain. Unless ISO steps up and fixes this mess, it will lose
| the world's respect, and rightly so. Either the rules mean something, or they
| don't, but if they don't standards don't mean anything either.


Speechless. The face of corruption in its full glory. Maybe it's time for the
EC to rethink that probe and just consider an immediate/gradual embargo

Look at Microsoft fanboys responding:

Why Miguel, Why?

,----[ Quote ]
| You seem completely unfazed by the questionable tactics Microsoft has
| employed to try to ram this spec down the ISO's throat.
| Maybe it is time for you to get back to your roots. Your entanglement in
| Microsoft technology has become more troubling every year. It is as if, you
| cannot see the thorns of the brambles you are wading through. It troubles me
| personally, the free desktop world needs good coders and if nothing else you
| certainly are that.



EU Initiates Investigation Against Microsoft OOXML Push

,----[ Quote ]
| 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

,----[ Quote ]
| 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

,----[ Quote ]
| 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

,----[ Quote ]
| 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. * *


How to Royally Annoy National Bodies

,----[ Quote ]
| Guide to future monopolists on how to alienate yourself from National Bodies:
| 1. Waste NBs time in reviewing monstrous draft specifications
| 2. Claim that these specs can do everything for anyone by standardising
| marketing material
| 3. If you don't get your way at a certain level, lobby the superior above.
| Dont stop! Go all the way to the head of the nation if you think you can!
| 4. Leak press stories to journalists to pressure Ministries to make a
| decision. Quick!
| 5. Try to shut down TCs if actual technical work is done revealing issues
| with your plan
| 6. Question Question Question everything (process, fairness, the system,
| members) when things dont go your way
| 7. Otherwise create another TC with friendly experts
| 8. If the NB allows new members just by paying membership fees, encourage
| your business partners to join with marketing funds. Stack-stack-stack it
| high!
| 9. Stalk decision makers, even if it means traveling around the globe with
| them
| 10. Refuse changes in the spec especially if it breaks your product which
| you released prior
| 11. Have private interviews with TC members in the guise of funding for
| their new projects/research grants/interoperability initiatives and
| conveniently talk about their position on your spec.
| 12. Get your Business Partners to write in form letters. Some don't even
| bother to change the templates
| 13. Attend TC meetings uninvited by fabricating business cards
| 14. Send Lawyers in to Technical Committee meetings who prefer not to
| engage in "high-school" debates
| 15. Make rude and inaccurate statements against TC members in public


A Microsoft Slur in the OOXML Saga -- Did I Tell You or Did I Tell You? -

,----[ Quote ]
| Remember I told you I've noticed that people who don't support Microsoft's
| agenda end up the victim of smear campaigns?
| The New Zealand Open Source Society is reporting that an employee at
| Microsoft New Zealand recently sent an email to one of the technical bodies
| advising an NB involved in the OOXML ISO process, smearing a man's
| reputation, Matthew Holloway, apparently to undermine his technical input
| which was critical of OOXML. * *


Return of the Living Dead - Brainless Attack on MoSTI - Part Deux!!!

,----[ Quote ]
| I dont know what the attraction is, but somehow we all love the morbid
| fascination of Zombies in action. First, Microsoft^H^H^H^H^HCompTIA hires Mr
| Jan van der Beld, Ex-Ecma Secretary General, to fly all the way here in KL,
| for an event supposedly about "good multiple standards". There he challenges
| us to find a better way to Fast Track large, immature vendor dependent
| specifications. The answer is of course: "Don't do it." Later on that same
| day, like a man possessed, he turns up at a PIKOM meeting only to rant and
| thump tables.
| Then today, in our fantastic broadsheet turned tabloid "The New Straits
| Times" features a "Comment" by our so called "cooler head" Datuk Dr Mohd
| Ariffin Aton entitled "Walking the Talk on neutrality policy". If you've
| forgotten about him, you may be forgiven, but he is or rather WAS the CEO if
| SIRIM Bhd.


Tim Bray: Life Is Complicated

,----[ Quote ]
| Those with long memories might suggest a parallel between Rick’s position and
| mine when in 1997, I was sitting on the XML Working Group and co-editing the
| spec, on a pro bono basis as an indie consultant. Netscape hired me to
| represent their interests, and when I announced this, controversy ensued.
| Which is a nice way of saying that Microsoft went berserk; tried
| unsuccessfully to get me fired as co-editor, and then launched a vicious,
| deeply personal extended attack in which they tried to destroy my career and
| took lethal action against a small struggling company because my wife worked
| there. It was a sideshow of a sideshow of the great campaign to bury Netscape
| and I’m sure the executives have forgotten; but I haven’t. * * * *