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[News] [Rival] Microsoft Bullying in India (for OOXML) Continues

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IIT Bombay, Microsoft at loggerheads

,----[ Quote ] 
| The Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, has taken strong objection to the 
| fact that despite a "No" to OOXML by a majority of the Bureau of Indian 
| Standardsmembers, the software giant "continued to make representations to 
| the top Indian leadership (read Ministry of Consumer Affairs), pressuring 
| them to change the Indian vote".    
| The BIS represented India as a participating member of the ISO. Its LITD 15 
| committee -- of which IIT-Bombay was a part -- was responsible for examining 
| OOXML and deciding on a "No" regarding India's position at the ISO.   


They rubbed the gangsters from Redmond the wrong way by voting correctly.

New York State Publishes Study on Enhancing E-Record Access

,----[ Quote ]
| The report recommends establishing a statewide, cross-government Electronics 
| Records Committee to address, in a formal, long-term and collaborative 
| manner, all aspects of electronic record creation, management and 
| preservation.    



An Open Letter to LITD15 committee of BIS

,----[ Quote ]
| On 20th March 2008, the LITD15 committee of the Bureau of Indian Standards 
| voted against Microsoft's proposed OOXML standard. 29th March 2008 was the 
| last date for participating countries to vote on OOXML. In the interval 
| between these two dates, Microsoft went to the Prime Minister of India and 
| alleged that this committee acted against the national interest. Fortunately, 
| the Indian bureaucrats who met the PM did a good job of defending the 
| committee's vote against OOXML.      
| Prof. DB Phatak of IIT Bombay recently wrote a mail to the LITD15 committee 
| saying that, "In my opinion, these actions go well beyond the behavioral 
| boundaries for a commercial entity, some of these amounting to interfering 
| with the governance process of a sovereign country." IIT Bombay was a member 
| of the LITD15 committee and Prof. Phatak was part of a four-member team at 
| IIT Bombay that did a very intense review of OOXML before the institute voted 
| against OOXML. While Prof. Phatak is a great supporter of open source, he 
| also has a great reputation for being fair and balanced.       
| [...]
| As a committee member, I would like to place on record my deep disappointment 
| at the fact that Microsoft chose to question the decision of this committee 
| at the highest office of our country. For over a year, we have reviewed the 
| proposed standard with a fine tooth comb. Every opportunity was given to 
| Microsoft to put their points across. At every meeting they brought a 
| disproportionate number of participants along; some of these participants 
| were not even Indian nationals. I think the committee as a whole was very 
| courteous in accommodating all this but drew the line when this began to 
| detract from the functioning of the committee. The only words that came to my 
| mind when I heard that Microsoft's complaint had prompted the Prime Minister 
| of my country to review this committee's decision was "stabbed-in-the-back." 
| This was a great disservice to this committee and the country and I hope this 
| never happens again.            
| [...]
| Standards cannot (and should not) be created in a technical vaccum. Without a 
| moral and ethical framework, we cannot create standards that benefit 
| humanity. Mahatma Gandhi summed it up best when he said that, “Real swaraj 
| will come not by the acquisition of authority by a few but by the acquisition 
| of capacity by all.” I believe that this committee should be focused solely 
| on the user's swaraj (freedom) to encode and decode their data.     


Microsoft embraces and extends server promiscuity

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft of course has a long way to go before it can match market VMware 
| for virt. technology or market share. But "deep integration" with 
| SystemCenter is the key to how it will play catch-up. And if it fails, the 
| company will certainly hasten the day that VMWare will have to lower its 
| prices.    
| [...]
| A third principle is to encourage data portability, so that customers can 
| move their data, without let or hindrance. That is entirely admirable, but 
| the way Microsoft is working to ensure this, by way of a fourth principle - 
| to work with all the software standards bodies on God's planet - is the stuff 
| of battlefields, as this year's furore over Open XML shows. Microsoft is 
| content to work behind the scenes, while its rivals cry foul.     
| When the rivals stop shouting, we will know that Microsoft truly is fully 
| interoperable and is seen to be fully interoperable. In the meantime, we look 
| forward to reporting the bush wars for many years to come.   


Microsoft wins Open XML vote, frowns at Indian panel

,----[ Quote ]
| Industry experts said they were "unhappy" with the Microsoft which has almost 
| accused the committee of being packed with "open document format (ODF) 
| supporters".  
| "I am very upset and uncomfortable with such complaints. In fact, the 
| chairperson of the committee (LITD 15) offered to step down over the 
| allegation," D.B. Phatak, professor at IIT Mumbai, told DNA Money.  
| IIT Mumbai is a member of LITD 15, and Phatak was part of the deliberations 
| that have been taking place within IIT on the issue. 
| Phatak said a Microsoft official was asked if it would withdraw the 
| complaint, but the company refused as the "complaint was made by some higher 
| officer in Microsoft".  
| Jaijit Bhattacharya, country director of government strategy for Sun 
| Microsystems India, a company that has been at loggerheads with Microsoft for 
| years, talks in a similar vein.  
| "I am surprised that such allegations are made against India's top academic 
| and government institutions … such allegations lack credibility,' 
| Bhattacharya said. Venkatesh Hariharan, co-founder Open Source Foundation of 
| India said, "I am just amazed and shocked at the depths to which Microsoft is 
| willing to descend."    
| He said Microsoft's complaint is a "great disservice to the committee, its 
| chairperson and the BIS".  


OOXML: decision time is nigh

,----[ Quote ]
| Wipro, Infosys and TCS are the three big companies that accept business 
| process outsourcing from the American and other markets, hence their vote for 
| Microsoft is not a surprise at all. These are companies that maintain the 
| status quo, conservative to the core and willing to do the bidding of the 
| piper. Nasscom represents the interests of the bigger IT companies and it 
| probably had no choice but to fall in line.     


Microsoft files complaint on OOXML vote to apex office and Ministry of Consumer

,----[ Quote ]
| At the meeting held on 20th March 2008, we were informed that Microsoft has 
| complained to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and to the apex office of the 
| country about the constitution of the committee and also cast aspersions on 
| the impartiality of the chairperson of LITD15, Mrs. Neeta Verma. The 
| chairperson was furious and offered to step down from her post. She pointed 
| out that the committee has met numerous times and Microsoft never brought 
| this issue up in front of the committee nor did they check the facts with her 
| or her organization before complaining to the apex office.       


Should India change its vote No vote for OOXML? - please?

,----[ Quote ]
| Well done to the Bureau of Indian Standards for standing firm against this 
| raging bully. Hopefully one day the bully will learn how to play fair and 
| contribute positively to the standards process, and not try to manipulate its 
| way in.   
| Truly despicable behaviour. Shame on you, Microsoft, yet again. How will we 
| ever trust you? 


Steve Ballmer was in India?

,----[ Quote ]
| Interestingly, that was the day when BIS met to discuss OOXML. For those who 
| have been following this issue, India's final vote on the subject will be on 
| 20th May 2008. Talk about timing!  


Microsoft influencing partner NGOs to support OOXML in India

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft is encouraging its business partners to promote its Office Open XML 
| specification (OOXML) to the Indian Bureau of Standards (BIS) and Ministry of 
| IT. This move has incensed supporters of the rival OpenDocument Format (ODF) 
| who fear that the "soft" Indian state may not be able to stand up to 
| Microsoft pressure tactics.    


Microsoft India using NGOs to fake support for OOXML


Becoming a better company: Microsoft helps NGOs in India

,----[ Quote ]
| Of course, there has to be some trade-offs, because there should never be 
| free lunch, even for the ones who starve: Microsoft, according to this 
| article, has conditioned its help to Indian NGOs to their support of OOXML. 
| What the NGOs had to do was to send letters of support on OOXML to the 
| federal government of India.    


Microsoft "persuades" NGOs to support OOXML

,----[ Quote ]
| Our friends at Linux Delhi have put up a copy of the form letters that 
| Microsoft has been sending NGOs on the OOXML issue. Apparently, these NGOs 
| have been sending copies of these letters to the Ministry of IT and Bureau of 
| Indian standards.    


Developers around the world, unite!

,----[ Quote ]
| Monopoly and proprietary software have an advantage in influencing state and 
| governmental institutions because of their large market base and ready 
| capital. Unscrupulous ways of influencing state governments have persisted in 
| India, for example, where executives of proprietary software cajole 
| government heads to promote their brands in lieu of some form of charity 
| given. FLOSS activists must overcome this huge challenge in order to get 
| their philosophy accepted and model implemented for the good of people who 
| are still on the barren side of the digital divide.       


Using NGOs to Push Agendas

,----[ Quote ]
| The extent to which Microsoft can go in its efforts to get OOXML is
| interesting. Microsoft has "persuaded" several non-profit organizations to 
| bombard the Indian IT Secretary and the Additional Director General of the 
| Bureau of Indian Standards with letters supporting its OOXML proposal. A copy 
| of the form letter they have been circulating to NGOs is given below. 
| Somebody should interview these NGOs to see how much they really know about 
| OOXML and open standards.      
| The sequence of events leading up to the spamming of GoI? is:
| Letter from an NGO thanking Microsoft (name changed to protect their
| identity) 


Wipro Microsoft alliance is a shame for all Indians – alliance or slavery? 

,----[ Quote ]
| The alliance uses Microsoft technologies instead of challenging Gates in his 
| own game. Wipro is just a servant of Microsoft facilitating Indian cyber 
| slavery under the American corporate banners.   


An Open Letter to Wipro, Infosys and TCS

,----[ Quote ]
| This letter is to express our deep disappointment over your open support to 
| the OOXML format forced through ISO by Microsoft. Being the top IT giants and 
| thus the representatives of the IT industry in the country, it is a great 
| shock to us that you do not stand with academia of the country and its 
| representatives like the IITs, IIMs and IISc in supporting the Open Document 
| Format (ODF) which is a true Free and Open Standard already recognised as an 
| ISO Standard. Considering that a major portion of your employees come from 
| such institutions, it is a wonder to us that you have decided to go ahead 
| with this decisions.        


Candle Light Vigil for Document Freedom

,----[ Quote ]
| The Candle light vigil demands India to appeal ISO approval of ooxml based on 
| its comments and no vote. We also demands the Department of IT to draft a 
| clear national policy for the use of Free standards for data storage.  
| This programme is planned as a starting point for various events & awareness 
| campaigns on Document freedom.  

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