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[News] [Rival] Big Blow to Microsoft: Several More Appeals Against OOXML Arrive

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Now There are Two: Brazil Appeals OOXML Adoption

,----[ Quote ]
| Associação Brasileira de Normas Técnicas (ABNT), the National Body 
| representing Brazil, today filed an appeal to the approval of OOXML by 
| ISO/IEC, bringing the current total of appeals to two, with as many as two 
| additional appeals to come, based upon what I have heard from private 
| sources.    


Brazil Appeals OOXML Too! Asks Approval Be Reconsidered

,----[ Quote ]
| South Africa was the first, but not the last. Now Brazil has sent a letter 
| protesting the adoption of OOXML as an ISO standard also, and Andy Updegrove 
| says he has heard there will be more  


Big problem for Microsoft, having exposed itself with so much crime and blood
in its hands.


EU: Researcher hints at WTO conflict over ISO approval for OOXML

,----[ Quote ]
| Egyedi, a researcher of technical standards, at the Technical University in 
| Delft, the Netherlands, doubts whether ISO should have a taken into 
| consideration a second standard for electronic documents at all. ISO approved 
| the Open Document Format ODF in 2006, says Egyedi: "What are we to do with a 
| second standard, which is overlapping the first? This conflicts with rules of 
| the World Trade Organisation."     
| The standards specialist refers to the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to 
| Trade, which states that duplication or overlap should be avoided. 


How many bricks for 67Bricks?

,----[ Quote ]
| Inigo Surguy, the 67 Bricks Chief Technologist, was appointed Principal UK 
| Expert in Microsoft’s Office Open XML (OOXML) document format by the British 
| Standards Institute technical committee responsible for British and 
| international XML standards.   
| 67Bricks is part of the Microsoft Empower programme.


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


Danish Unix User Group Files Complaint With EU Commission Against Denmark For
Mandating MSOOXML

,----[ Quote ]
| The Danish Unix User Group, DKUUG, has filed a formal complaint with the EU 
| Commission regarding Denmark's mandating ECMA 376, better known by us as 
| MSOOXML, for certain procurements.  
| The complaint [PDF] is grounded in breach of the EC Treaty article 81 on 
| unfair competition. The press release says that the regulation "can be seen 
| as an attempt to continue the de facto monopoly of Microsoft in the Danish 
| state on office software, as the various public agencies and institutions 
| need to buy the products of Microsoft to comply to the regulation."     


,----[ Quote ]
| Pieter Hintjens, president of the Foundation for a Free Information 
| Infrastructure, a non-profit organisation that is campaigning against the 
| Microsoft proposal, said: "We've recorded fairly systematic manipulation of 
| the voting process. We've seen what amounts to vote-buying in Italy, 
| Portugal, Colombia, Spain. In Sweden and Denmark, much the same happened – 
| Microsoft paying their business partners to join the vote."     


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.    


Bam! Comical Creese debunks OpenDocumentFormat Alliance

,----[ Quote ]
| You are free to inspect the irregularities website that documents few cases 
| reported by the online press and blogs. We got much more reports on an 
| informal base per email. The Swedish single employee story is not credible, 
| actually committee stuffing took place in Sweden.   
|     On loopholes, that’s another subjective call, but since Microsoft 
|     competitors managed to establish control over a standards initiative with 
|     potentially dire consequences for one of Microsoft’s most important 
|     business domains, we are not surprised that Microsoft (legitimately, 
|     albeit with what some consider to be poor standards etiquette) exploited 
|     the loopholes. As we noted, we assume ISO will update its procedures to 
|     eliminate the loopholes in the future.      
| What?
|     Microsoft competitors managed to establish control over a standards 
|     initiative… 
| What?
|     Microsoft competitors managed to establish control over a standards 
|     initiative with potentially dire consequences for one of Microsoft’s most 
|     important business domains, we are not surprised that Microsoft …
|     exploited the loopholes.   
| ???
|     but since Microsoft competitors managed to establish control over a 
|     standards initiative with potentially dire consequences for one of 
|     Microsoft’s most important business domains, we are not surprised that 
|     Microsoft (legitimately, albeit with what some consider to be poor 
|     standards etiquette) exploited the loopholes.    


Final vote at the brm - catastropic failure at BRM

,----[ Quote ]
| Unrecoverable Application Error or UAE or BSOD to the nonsense ooxml stuff. 
| So, some of the stuff was hand-waved through. But the end is here. We have to 
| expose all the underhanded, manipulations that MS has done everywhere to buy 
| votes. I am glad that the EU is investigating.   


Microsoft’s secretive standards orgs in Former Yugoslavia

,----[ Quote ]
| Croatian laws keep its national body’s votes secret, so the only way for the 
| Croatian public to find out how the process went would be if a board member 
| illegally leaked information out of CSI. This is, of course, unlikely to 
| happen. And the Serbian national standardization body is not officially 
| formed, so those two votes were easy for Microsoft, and probably not only 
| ones around the globe.      


Microsoft Tech Ed 2007: OpenXML

,----[ Quote ]
| He was asked "Why did Microsoft push OOXML through the "Fast Track" process 
| instead of the standard ISO process? Wouldn't they get less resistance than 
| faced now?"  
| His response was very frank: "Office is a USD$10 billion revenue generator 
| for the company. When ODF was made an ISO standard, Microsoft had to react 
| quickly as certain governments have procurement policies which prefer ISO 
| standards. Ecma and OASIS are 'international standards', but ISO is the 
| international 'Gold Standard'. Microsoft therefore had to rush this standard 
| through. Its a simple matter of commercial interests!"     


Probe into votes on Microsoft standard

,----[ Quote ] 
| The European Commission is investigating the process under which a key 
| Microsoft document format could be adopted as an industry standard - a move 
| that would carry significant commercial benefits for the software company.  
| Officials at the European Commission's competition directorate have written 
| to members of the International Organisation for Standardisation, asking how 
| they prepared for votes in September and later this month on acceptance of 
| Microsoft's OOXML document format as a worldwide standard. Without ISO 
| acceptance, Microsoft could stand to lose business, particularly with 
| government clients, some of which are becoming increasingly keen to use only 
| ISO-certified software.      
| The ISO process has been widely criticised, however, with some members of 
| national standards' bodies accusing Microsoft and its rivals of attempting to 
| influence the vote.  
| Tim Bray, a member of the Canadian national standards body, called the 
| procedure "complete, utter, unadulterated bullshit" in a recent blog posting. 
| [...]
| In addition, in several countries, a large number of Microsoft partners 
| joined the national standards organisations just ahead of a vote on the issue 
| in September.  
| [...]
| Microsoft said it openly encouraged its partners to participate in the ISO 
| process, but was not funding any third parties doing so. The company said it 
| would cooperate with the European Commission's inquiry.   


The Art of Being Mugged

,----[ Quote ]
| The four options presented were:
|     * Option 1: Submitter's responses (Ecma's) are all automatically 
|       approved. 
|     * Option 2: Anything not discussed is not approved.
|     * Option 3: Neutral third-party (ITTF) decides which Ecma responses are 
|        accepted 
|     * Option 4: Voting (approve + disapprove) must be at least 9 votes. 
|       Abstentions not counted. 
| We were told that these options are not in the Directives and that were are 
| given these choices because ITTF "needs to act in the best interests of the 
| IEC". I don't quite get it, but there appears to be some concern over what 
| the press would think if the BRM did not handle all of the comments. One NB 
| requested to speak and asked, "I wonder what the press would think about 
| arbitrarily changed procedures?". No response. I thought to myself, why 
| wasn't ITTF thinking about the 'best interests" of JTC1 when they allowed a 
| 6,045 page Fast Track submission, or ignored all those contradiction 
| submissions, or decided to schedule a 5-day BRM to handle 3,522 NB comments. 
| Isn't it a bit late to start worrying about what the press will think?         
| We break for lunch.
| After lunch and after more discussion, the meeting adopted a variation of 
| option 4, by removing the vote minimum. I believe in this vote the BRM and 
| ITTF exceeded its authority and violated the consensus principles described 
| in JTC1 Directives.   

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