EU: Europarlement testing Ubuntu, OpenOffice and Firefox

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| The European Parliament's IT department is testing the use of GNU/Linux
| distribution Ubuntu, OpenOffice, Firefox and other Open Source applications,
| the British MEP James Nicholson explained last week in a letter to Italian
| MEP Marco Cappato.

Further to a post from yesterday about an embargo on Microsoft:

Is Microsoft Now Banned from EU Contracts?

Euro MP thinks Microsoft should be banned from government contracts

Green MEP says Microsoft should be excluded from EU contract awarding procedure


EC probes OOXML standards-setting process

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| A spokesman for the European Commissioner for Competition, Neelie Kroes, told
| The Register that regulators were continuing to scrutinise interoperability
| issues related to Microsoft’s products following complaints from the
| Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS) group. *
| As part of that process, the EC formally contacted a number of national
| standards bodies, including the Norwegian Standards Institute (NSI),
| requesting more details about possible irregularities in the OOXML
| standardisation process. *
| [...]
| “It must be stressed that it is not the Commission's intention to influence
| the outcome of this process, but the Commission considers it essential to
| ensure that European competition law is not violated in the course of the
| standard setting process,” he said in an email to El Reg. *
| In January the EC began formal anti-trust probes against Microsoft in two
| cases where it was alleged that the multinational firm had abused its strong
| market position. As part of the investigation into the first case, the
| Commission said that it would scrutinise OOXML on the grounds that the
| specification doesn't work with those of competitors. * *


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.