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[News] Another Microsoft Scandal: Brazilian Appeal Blocked by MS Shenanigans

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[Another case of abuse to the pile...]

OpenXML: The Brazilian appeal and the appeal of a Brazilian

,----[  ]
| At the end of this presentation, the representative of a company (guess 
| which ???) has taken the line of defense for his companions in the room: “I 
| am not prepared, at this meeting, to evaluate the arguments and decide. I 
| need more time. “It is worth highlighting that this meeting was scheduled on 
| May 8th (date of our last meeting) and officially convened on May 19th (lack 
| of time !!! again !!!).     
| From this point on, I understand that the meeting has become almost a 
| hospice, because it is insane to accept that at this point of our lifes, 
| after all the things that we saw, the main argument of opposition is 
| the “lack of condition to discuss”.   
| I say that became a hospice, because the OpenXML supporters was tied to a 
| fragile and indecent argument that “we’re not prepared to discuss,” saying 
| that in this way, Brazil could not make the protest against the whole process 
| by “lack of consensus” (as if consensus and unanimity was the same thing). 
| Just to clarify, at the ISO directives “Consensus is the absence of reasoned 
| opposition.”     
| The final decision is that we will only “protest” against the BRM and against 
| the lack of final version of the specification text, pretending that we 
| didn’t identified any problems during the Fast-Track, as if we were a bunch 
| of blind and incompetent idiots. The ABNT undertook to send our “protest” to 
| ISO on this Thursday.    


SAfrica protests Microsoft Office 2007 file standard

,----[ Quote ]
| South Africa is appealing a decision to make Microsoft Corp.'s Office Open 
| XML format an internationally recognized standard for electronic documents, 
| officials said Wednesday.  
| The South African Bureau of Standards sent a letter of protest to two 
| Geneva-based organizations that held a worldwide ballot on Microsoft's 
| application last month, complaining that the process was poorly conducted and 
| rushed.   


South Africa Appeal Puts OOXML's OK on Hold

,----[ Quote ]
| With a national standards body criticizing the ISO's process for approving 
| OOXML, will Microsoft's quest for standards status survive? 


There's also the scandal in France (see below), which a government delegate
said ought to show that Microsoft was like a "scientology cult".


CIO Exclusive: Behind the RGI Scandal: a Letter

,----[ Quote ]
| The article explains how the head of the DGME in charge of editing the RGI
| was sacked and replaced following that visit and this letter. Lemaire points
| out numerous errors and omissions in the document and points out in
| particular how Microsoft claims to have always been neutral:
| "Microsoft, in the name of pluralism and technological neutrality of the
| State, has requested that OpenXML, open standard, rights-free and documented,
| in the sense of Article 4 of the LCEN, be recommended also alongside the
| standard called ODF. Microsoft has always presented a position which is
| balanced and neutral, asking that equal treatment be respected."


The AFNOR Affair: Interview with  Frédéric Couchet, Ex. Dir. APRIL, on OOXML in

,----[ Quote ]
| Frédéric Couchet: ISO standards were traditionally the result of compromise
| between competing players. With OOXML, Microsoft obtained a standard which
| none of its competitors had adopted. The first ISO standard in this area,
| Open Document Architecture (ODA, ISO 8613) was never applied. The second
| standard, OpenDocument Format (ODF, ISO/IEC 26300), was applied but never
| accepted by Microsoft. The third standard, OOXML (ISO/IEC 29500), can help
| Microsoft commercially with governments but brings nothing to the market in
| terms of convergence between competing software products, and thus has no  
| added value as a standard.      


New OOXML Scandal - A Leaked Email Surfaces in France

,----[ Quote ]
| Le Monde Informatique and LeMagIT are reporting on a leaked email from Marc
| Meyer of the French government agency, DGME, which urges that OOXML be
| quickly added to the official list of formats that can be used by government
| entities, a document titled RGI, and then the finalized v1.0 of RGI be
| quickly published, in effect locking in OOXML, before the appeals process is
| completed. The email and the media reports indicate that the RGI was put on a
| back burner last October, when ODF was already on the list, and now,
| immediately after OOXML is approved, albeit controversially, by ISO but
| before the appeals process is complete, not to mention the format, Meyer
| urges it quickly be added to the list of acceptable formats, hence making it
| hard to remove OOXML from the list later, as a fait accompli.          
| Worse, the email indicates that work on the document was brought to a crawl
| to wait for ISO approval of OOXML. ODF was already on the list when work on
| RGI was brought to a standstill last October. There were suspicions that the
| slowdown was deliberate, and the email is giving legs to those suspicions.  
| It seems that politics has reared its ugly head, and just as happened in
| Masschusetts, questions are now being asked about behind-the-scenes Microsoft
| pressure.  


Sarkozy intervenes in France to revert the OOXML position

,----[ Quote ]
| Confidential sources say that President Sarkozy has intervened himself in the
| French position on Microsoft OOXML, asking members of the committee to revert
| their position, and support an abstention. Our sources say he was approached
| by a lobbyist during his 3-days trip in England. The intervention has been
| made on Friday.    


The France Shift From No to Abstain -- HP helped Microsoft France do it

,----[ Quote
| Here's the scoop from Les Echos.fr on France's sudden change from its No vote
| to Abstain. Microsoft France's President Eric Boustouller sent AFNOR a  
| letter [PDF] in French, of course. He tells a tale about OOXML and ODF
| progressing side by side and how if OOXML is approved, a group will be
| working hard to make the two more interoperable. Attached was a an HP
| statement of support for OOXML. HP sings the same song. And AFNOR?    
| [...]
| Could it be any more cynical? So, now we know that HP is not supportive of
| Linux and FOSS as we thought. Knock me over with a feather. So, they got them
| to change on the basis of promises for the future. I'm sure there's more to
| the story, of course.  


Microsoft's ISO win may worsen its antitrust woes

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft may have won a year-long quest to make its OOXML (Office Open XML)
| document format an ISO-recognized international standard, but claims of foul
| play in the voting process may come back to haunt the software giant when the
| European Commission concludes its latest antitrust investigation of
| Microsoft's business practices.    

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