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[News] [Rival] More OOXML Lobbying and Manipulation by Microsoft in Germany

  • Subject: [News] [Rival] More OOXML Lobbying and Manipulation by Microsoft in Germany
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2007 23:29:48 +0000
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Organization: Netscape / schestowitz.com
  • User-agent: KNode/0.10.4
Microsoft sponsors DIN conference

,----[ Quote ]
| An american company sponsors a lobby event for its Open XML format which is 
| organised by the German standard body and takes place in a German ministry. 
| Public officials and German rent-a-scientists join to listen to Microsoft and 
| Bitkom.   


Bundesfinanzhof wants less Microsoft

,----[ Quote ]
| summary:
| German Bundesfinanzhof presents its annual audit. The German phallanx for 
| open standards and open source, KBSt is urged to do more against 
| an "established vendor with a market coverage of 90%".  
| [...]
| It seems the Bundesfinanzhof still has a lot of work to do if lawfirms from 
| oversees get contracted by our federal administration. Microsoft lobbyists 
| should not draft German procurement policies or interpret them legally.  



What Happened in Germany [on OOXML]

,----[ Quote ]
| It looks like Germany is the new Portugal, actually. You do remember how in 
| Portugal IBM and Sun were not allowed in the room because it was 
| allegedly "too small" despite having empty chairs? Well, in Germany, Google 
| and Deutsche Telekom were allowed in the room but were not allowed to vote, 
| heise says.    


Germany remains no-go area for Microsoft's Zune

,----[ Quote ]
| "The German market for MP3 players is one of the most difficult on the 
| planet", Stephan Brechtmann said, putting Microsoft's challenge with 
| marketing the Zune in Germany in a nutshell. Brechtmann, who is responsible 
| for "entertainment & devices" at Microsoft Germany, announced that the vendor 
| won't compete against Apple's iPod in the near future.    


German Linux Trade Group to MS: Be Specific About Patents - It's the Law

(in German)

,----[ Quote ]
| "Ballmer's assertion must be viewed as the typical Microsoft approach
| to alienate the market by spreading rumors or threats", said the
| official representative of the Linux related companies in Germany
| in a statement made in Berlin on November 27th 2006. "This is
| obviously part of a PR campaign related to the market launch of
| Windows Vista....If Microsoft cannot show evidence to support
| their claims, then they are outside the boundaries of German
| competition regulations. We call upon Microsoft to either prove
| their case, or to refrain from making such unfounded statements.
| Furthermore, we call upon European Politicians to protect open
| competition in Europe. In particular, small and mid sized companies,
| which form the majority of European Linux service providers, need to
| be protected from tedious legal disputes resulting from pretended
| assertions of Microsoft."


Microsoft Germany CEO quits over strategy

,----[ Quote ]
| He said Redmond was forcing increasing restrictions on its German
| subsidiary and ignoring local requirements.


Microsoft Looks for the Big Guns in OOXML In-Fighting

,----[ Quote ]
| 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. 


Swiss Cheese [for OOXML]

,----[ Quote ]
| The present spin doctors of Microsoft and ECMA managed to convince Mr. 
| Thomann to reject every serious technical and general concern we had 
| regarding OOMXL by pointing to compatibility reasons. At the end we had a 
| majority _against_ Microsoft but which (giving the unfair rules) results in a 
| Swiss vote _for_ Microsoft. Mr. Thomann was fretting and fuming at the end of 
| the meeting how it can be that successful international companies (we had 
| representatives from IBM, Google, ...) vote against the best interest of 
| their customers and theirself!       
| Yes, this is how the democratic system at SNV / ISO works. After the meeting 
| I could not eat as much as I wanted to puke... 


No is no, to OOXML

,----[ Quote ]
| I’ve heard several reports of supporters of OOXML trying to get national 
| standards bodies to change their votes from “NO with comments” to “YES with 
| comments” because “it’s the same thing.” The logic, which I’ll explain in a 
| later post, is that any comments will trigger a ballot resolution meeting, so 
| there is no need to be so negative and vote NO.    


IBM is still locked out of the Portuguese OOXML meeting

,----[ Quote ]
| In spite of various communications, we [IBM] are still locked out and will 
| not be allowed to participate. Microsoft will be there, as well as a special 
| Microsoft guest, as will various Microsoft business partners, and others.  


OOXML does not buy its way in Italy

,----[ Quote ]
| Particularly noteworthy is the fact that among those favouring the adoption 
| of the standard without reservation a large majority is made of business 
| partners of the proposing entity [Microsoft], a law firm retained by the 
| latter, the official certified business partners association of the proposing 
| entity.     



,----[ Quote ]
| [PJ: OpenXML.info is reporting (in Portuguese, but a Groklaw member 
| translates for us) that the person who is head of the ISO technical committee 
| about to vote on Microsoft's Ecma-376 wouldn't let IBM and Sun 
| representatives in, claiming there was no room! This, if true, is ridiculous. 
| And  here is a second source reporting the same thing, also in Portuguese. So 
| in the US, we hear reports of packing the TC. Now, it's weeding out those who 
| are not likely to vote a certain way desired? Is this how standards 
| get "approved"? I don't recall ODF having to play such games. Here is the 
| rough translation:]        
| Portugal, and more concretely, its national organization of certification IPQ 
| is a member "O" (observator) of ISO/IEC for the voting of OOXML (ISO DIS 
| 29500).  
| WARNING: the first meeting of the Technical Commission "Language for document 
| definition" was on Monday 16 of July. The vote was delayed. Representatives 
| of IBM and Sun were not allowed to attend because there "was no available 
| space in the room"   
| Dear G [Sun Microsystems] due of restricted number of members of the CT 
| (Commissao Tecnica) that can attend the scheduled meeting room to host the 
| meeting, we cannot, in this stage, accept your proposal of integration of the 
| CT.   
| With my best regards,
| D [Microsoft as president of the Technical Commission]


,----[ Quote ]
|     * More details are emerging from Portugal regarding the kerfuffle there 
|     over Ecma-376. If you read Portuguese, here you go -- just click on the 
|     link. I asked a Groklaw member to do a rough translation, and if you see 
|     ways to improve it, sing out, but it gives a bit of the history of how 
|     this committee that has no room for Sun or IBM (see previous News Picks 
|     item) was formed and how it happened to choose a Microsoft representative 
|     to be president of the committee that decides whether to "approve" 
|     Microsoft's submission as a "standard". Unless I'm missing something, it 
|     appears to have been set up so Microsoft can "approve" itself. Now that's 
|     handy. Here's the translation of the part about how Microsoft is 
|     represented on this committeee with no room for IBM or Sun:]          
|       I was present on the meeting of the Technical Commission (CT) created 
|       to award the ISO standards in the area of structured documents (in 
|       Portugal)  
|       A Technical Commission (CT) did not exist when ISO 26300 (Open 
|       Document) was submitted neither when there was a submission of OOXML 
|       (ECMA 376, potential ISO 29500) for the the fast track, and that was 
|       the reason why Portugal did not submit any opinion nor had any right to 
|       vote. We expect that now, with the pressure made and the CT created 
|       there would be right to vote.     
|       The CT was created by the Computing Institute, in which is delegated 
|       the responsability for the norms of the IT sector; a delegation granted 
|       by the Portuguese Institute of Quality (IPQ), the point of contact of 
|       ISO in Portugal. Its creation is motivated mainly by the pressures and 
|       availability of some people when the proposal for fast tracking of 
|       OOXML and a neccessity to avail now the OOXML as standard ISO and as a 
|       Portuguese National Standard      
|       In the meeting they were present:
|     * 2 persons from II (Instituto de Informatica [Computing Institute])
|     * 1 person from the local government (Alentejo region)
|     * 1 person from Jurinfor [Jurinfor is a Microsoft partner]
|     * 2 persons from Microsoft
|     * 1 person from Primavera [Primavera is a Microsoft partner]
|     * 1 person from ISCTE
|     * 2 persons from Assoft [reportedly, most members of ASSOFT are Microsoft 
|     partners] 
|     * 1 person from the Inst. Informatica da Seg Social [Computing Institute 
|     of the Social Welfare Department] 
|     * 1 person from the Inst. Tecn. Informacao da Justiça (eu) [Technical 
|     Institute Information of Justice (eu)] 
| The meeting dealt basically with the bureaucracy details of the creation of 
| the CT. It didn't go into details of OOXML; that discussion will be held in 
| the next meeting, on July 16th about 14:30 in the II [Instituto de 
| Informatica, I assume]   
| The CT, thus, was composed of 8 vocal elements, one representative for each 
| of the organizations present. The II [Instituto de Informatica] is arranging 
| and hosting the initiative and is a not-named representative.  
| The 8 vocals will readily follow to the election of the president of the CT. 
| There was 1 candidate in the place (Miguel Sales Dias, from Microsoft). I did 
| not present my candidature but made myself available in case the rest of 
| representatives deemed it neccesary -- informed not adequate since to begin 
| with, as a member of the OpenDocument Alliance, I had a conflict of interest.    
| The vote results were 7 votes in favor of Miguel Sales Dias, of Microsoft, 
| who was designated to preside over the CT, and a (1) blank vote. 
| It was decided to adopt consensus as the form of adoption of any proposed 
| norm, following to majority vote in case there is no consensus in the CT and 
| if there is a strong opposition to submit any norm.   

Sock Puppets to VoteSock Puppets to Vote on Monopoly Enablement in Colombia?

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft sets the deck of card and ensures that (at least) 9 of out 14 
| chairs in the technical committee are also in its pocket. 


Microsoft is Outmuscling OOXML Opposition in Spain

,----[ Quote ]
| The Andalusian Government has reported recently the manipulation of Microsoft 
| in the National Technical Committee 71 of AENOR. On July 10th, just the day 
| before the one and only meeting of AENOR to study DIS 29500 and vote on it, 
| Microsoft announced officially (via the secretary of the Committee) that that 
| Andalusian Government and several other Spanish public entities were asking 
| for the approval of ISO DIS 29500 (what finally resulted all a fake!).     


Packing The Court At The ISO?

,----[ Quote ]
|      ...P member countries ('participating member' countries) sending 
|     representatives, and I am interested to note the majority of
|     their representatives are, as individuals, also Microsoft employees.
| [...]
| How can they not see that OOXML (ECMA 376) is unwanted by anyone outside of 
| Microsoft? How about it Brian Jones? Are you really so desperate that you
| have to resort to that?


Guest Commentary: The converter hoax

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft maintains that while it would have been easy to support the Open 
| Document Format (ODF) natively, it had to move to MS-OOXML because this was 
| the only way for them to offer the full features of its office suite. But if 
| Microsoft itself is not able to represent its internal data structures in the 
| Open Document Format (ODF) in its Microsoft Office suite, how could an 
| external conversion program from MS-OOXML accomplish this task? The answer to 
| both questions is that it is not possible because two things cannot be the 
| same and different at the same time.       


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