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[News] New Suspicions About National Bribes for Microsoft OOXML Support

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Microsoft Launches OnMyWay

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft has just launched a program called OnMyWay, by which Microsoft will 
| offer training and financial help to young people.  
| [...]
| I have a working theory for your consideration. I noticed something striking. 
| While the ads are being run so far only in those four countries, and it's 
| supposed to be a global branding campaign, if you look at who is on the list 
| of those who have gotten help from the program already, you see groups from 
| the UK, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland and 
| Italy. I took a look at how each country on this list voted on OOXML in 
| March.      
| The Czech Republic, the UK, Germany, Denmark, Finland and Norway all voted to 
| approve OOXML. 
| This was a change for each of them. In September, the Czech Republic, the UK, 
| Denmark, and Norway had voted to disapprove, so this was a change in 
| Microsoft's favor. Finland abstained in September, and it voted to approve in 
| March as well.    


In India, Microsoft dumped huge heaps of money at charities, later to be used
as pressure groups. If that's not bribery (assuming all is true), what is?
Perhaps it did this in other countries also.

Yesterday (read the update about the government contracts):

The Embrace, Extend, Extinguish of ODF Begins? - Updated

,----[ Quote ]
| I believe Sun pays Durusau to work on ODF as the OpenDocument Editor, OASIS
| TC. Sun? What's up with that? Seriously. What's going on here? If this is who
| is steering ODF in OASIS, I'm extremely worried. And if there is a secret
| working group rewriting the directives, while Microsoft and Alex Brown both
| say they want ODF transferred to ISO for ongoing maintenance, I'd say the
| Embrace, Extend, Extinguish of ODF has officially begun.



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)


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.  


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!  

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