The following short item from Bob Sutor simply cannot be ignored. As you may be aware, Microsoft uses its new ‘allies’ (namely Novell, Corel, Xandros, and Linspire) to show bogus support for formats that essentially lock rivals out of the market and secure Microsoft’s monoculture in operating systems and office suites. According to this, Microsoft is being extremely dishonest (again!).
I’m hearing reports that people in national standards bodies are being told blatantly false information about what they can and cannot discuss during the current JTC1 Fast Track process for OOXML. They are being told things, to paraphrase, like “the contradiction period decided that such and such was ok” or “we can’t consider that problem with OOXML because it was already dealt with in the Contradiction Period.”
Whatever is true here, whether lies were involved or not, please help resistance against a monopolist that endlessly uses dirty tricks. A lot of activity appears to be centered around
noooxml.org where you can sign a petition. The site now recommends that people take another type of action. Letters can be sent to eliminate disinformation and politely express the true interest of the citizens.
A decision by each National Standardisation Body in each country will happen somewhere during the holidays of July or August. Written comments should be sent before the end of June in most countries.
The ODF Alliance has posted some new documents, which you can find listed here:
See the ‘DIS 29500 “Office Open XML” Fact Sheet’ and ‘The Technical Case Against DIS 29500/OOXML’.
These documents will hopefully help some people get past the misleading and self-serving statements mentioned above. The relentless manipulation of standards bodies must end. Pseudo support, acquired through paid-for deals with companies, is no indication of quality either, but Microsoft knows how to spend its money. When it comes to the Office franchise, there is simply too much at stake.
Update: the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure has just joined the fight against this type of abuse and it even offers a monetary bounty.
The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII), said that it was putting up a 2,500 Euro prize in its fight against Microsoft’s attempt to gain international standardisation for its Office format.
Update #2: The Free Software Foundation (Europe) joins the fight by raising questions about OOXML. The six that are listed:
- Application independence?
- Supporting pre-existing Open Standards?
- Backward compatibility for all vendors?
- Proprietary extensions?
- Dual standards?
- Legally safe?