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Support South Africa’s appeal against OOXML!

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| South Africa’s action confirms that the battle is not yet lost. Here in
| Norway we are working hard to get the Norwegian vote changed back to No and
| we think we might succeed.



The Norway Vote - What really happened

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| But lo… at this point, the “rules” were changed. The VP asserted that “Ecma
| has clearly made steps in the right direction.” The most important thing now
| was to ensure that OOXML came under ISO’s control so that it could
| be “further improved”. However, the committee was not allowed to discuss
| this. * *
| * * The VP thereupon declared that there was no consensus, so the decision
| * * would be taken by Standard Norway.
| Halfway through the proceedings, a committee member had asked for (and
| received) assurance that the Chairman would take part in the final decision,
| as he had for the DIS vote back in August. It now transpired that the BRM
| participants had also been invited to stay behind. 23 people were therefore
| dismissed and we were down to seven. In addition to Standard Norway’s three,
| there were four “experts”: Microsoft Norway’s chief lobbyist, a guy from
| StatoilHydro (national oil company; big MS Office user), a K185 old-timer,
| and me. In one fell swoop the balance of forces had changed from 80/20 to
| 50/50 and the remaining experts discussed back and forth for 20 minutes or so
| without reaching any agreement. * * * *
| * * The VP thereupon declared that there was still no consensus, so the
| * * decision would be taken by Standard Norway.
| The experts were dismissed and the VP asked the opinion of the Secretary (who
| said “Yes”) and the JTC1 rep (who said “No”).
| * * The VP thereupon declared that there was still no consensus, so the
| * * decision would be taken by him.
| And his decision was to vote Yes.
| So this one bureaucrat, a man who by his own admission had no understanding
| of the technical issues, had chosen to ignore the advice of his Chairman, of
| 80% of his technical experts, and of 100% of the K185 old-timers. For the
| Chairman, only one course of action was possible. *
| [...]
| The meeting was a farce and the result was a scandal. But it’s not over yet,
| and one thing is clear: the “little one” is unfit to represent the interests
| of Norwegian users. It’s time he was told, “Roll over, roll over…” *


Computer experts stage street protest in Oslo against Microsoft document format
as standard

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| OSLO, Norway: Roughly 60 data experts staged a rare and noisy street
| demonstration in downtown Oslo on Wednesday to protest the adoption of
| Microsoft Corp.'s document format as an international standard and against
| Norway voting for the move. *
| [...]
| He claimed the committee ignored the advice of the vast majority of the
| Nordic nation's software experts, was pressured by Microsoft and
| displayed "scandalous behavior." *


OOXML triggers demonstration in Norway: "Let's throw OOXML out of ISO"


Demonstration outside ISO conference

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| Steve Pepper, the former Chairman of the Norwegian committee responsible for
| deciding the Norwegian vote on OOXML, is calling for a demonstration to take
| place outside the building where SC34, the ISO committee that has been landed
| with OOXML, is holding its spring plenary. *
| The demonstration will take place outside Håndverkeren, Rosenkrantzgate 7,
| Oslo, Norway, on Wednesday April 9 at 12.00. Among the slogans are:
| * No to ISO approval of OOXML!
| * Defend the integrity of ISO!
| * Microsoft: Support ODF!
| * Ecma: Withdraw OOXML!
| * Norway must say no to OOXML!


2008-04 OOXML irregularities in Norway

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| [...]
| * * * 2007: committee stuffing: the NS/K 185 committee grew from 6-7 persons
| * * to 30 persons due to the OOXML case...


MEPs Question Microsoft's Eligibility for Gov't Projects

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| The Commission, which has not responded yet, is allowed a few weeks to reply.


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. *


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 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. *


Norway and OOXML

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| There is now a report from Norway on how Microsoft rallied its partners to
| try to get a favorable vote on MSOOXML.

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