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[News] [Rival] Accounting Fraud at Microsoft Norway?

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Microsoft Unit Faces Accounting Probe

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft Corp.'s search-technology unit Fast Search & Transfer is facing a 
| police investigation in Norway concerning possible financial-accounting 
| irregularities.  


Needs subs to read.

OOXML Norway, anyone? Microsoft sponsored the ISO meeting there and seemingly
overrode votes on OOXML.


Steve Ballmer Receives the Egg-treatment in Budapest

,----[ Quote ]
| Update#2: OK, enough of the fun part. As the story circulates people start
| wondering what may be the background, and since the only sources are in
| Hungarian, here’s a summary of the circumstances:
|     A Hungarian Government bid, worth $25B Hungarian Forints, roughly $157M
|     was allegedly skewed towards MS. (A ‘competitive’ bid with wording that
|     all but ensures only Microsoft meets the requirements.) A Hungarian
|     Watchdog Body (sort of like the FTC in the US) challenged the bidding
|     process via the Court system, and a trial date was set for today. The
|     trial was suddenly and unexpectedly rescheduled just as Ballmer arrived
|     in Budapest. So there may be a perception of the Bully lobbying there.


Support South Africa’s appeal against OOXML!

,----[ Quote ]
| 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

,----[ Quote ]
| 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

,----[ Quote ]
| 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

,----[ Quote ]
| 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!


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.    



Microsoft Office raid in Hungary

,----[ Quote ]
| "Such behavior could lead to the exclusion of competitive products from
| the market and violate European Union rules, according to the authority
| known as the GVH."


Ecuador Tax Agency Closes Microsoft Branch Offices For 7 Days

,----[ Quote ]
| "We have twice requested balances, payment reports and complete tax 
| information, but the company hasn't given it to us, so in accordance with our 
| laws we have proceeded with the closure," the SRI official in charge of the 
| proceeding said.   

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