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07.20.07

Microsoft Already Plans to ‘Extend’ Its ‘Standard’; ECMA and ISO Named and Shamed

Posted in ECMA, Formats, ISO, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 10:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The weekend is almost here. The amount of news that is related the monopoly enabler (OOXML) is fairly large. Here is a quick summary.

Pamela wrote a long article which cites others. It also contains some very alarming piece of information. The takeaway: Miirosoft is proprietizing standards and ‘extending’ them. We have seen this before.

….when you proprietize standards, you touch me. And that is precisely what is happening with OOXML. Microsoft’s own expert at the Portugal meeting said so pointblank: Microsoft will add proprietary extensions, he said, to do things ODF can’t do.

Rob takes a look at some unbelievable slides from ECMA. These pretty much confirm that ECMA should be treated as nothing but a coin-in-the-slot standards organisation.

I’ve joked about the Ecma process before, but I never thought I’d see it written out officially like this. Standards are made available “on time”? Minimize the “risk” of changes? I thought the whole purpose of technical review was to find the problems and fix them? As always, the man who pays the piper calls the tune.

Bob has more to say about the questionable voting process.

I mention this because this general issue of stacking committees to force favorable votes is now under examination with respect to OOXML and the ISO/IEC JTC1 Fast Track process.

Mr. Jelliffe seems rather unhappy. He posted “Bribery Watch!”. It seems like a bizarre way of accusing people of inaccuracies or maybe even slander. These arguments needn’t get ugly, but where corruption (yes, it’s a strong word, I know) is identified and where people game the system, something simply must be said. If you say nothing, the consumer will continue to suffer whilst greedy corporation exploit loopholes. Whose side are you on?

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3 Comments

  1. Keep it anonymous said,

    July 21, 2007 at 6:42 am

    Gravatar

    What is actually going in in Portugal (and I am sure thet in many other countries) is like this:

    As seen in Groklaw:
    http://www.groklaw.net/comment.php?mode=display&sid=2007071812280798&title=Notes%20from%20Portugal%20on%20%20the%20July%2016th%20Meeting%20on%20Ecma-376&type=article&order=&hideanonymous=0&pid=0#c596254

    Notes from Portugal on the July 16th Meeting on Ecma-376
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 20 2007 @ 06:48 AM EDT
    This is as fishy/unfair as it can get.

    As a Portuguese, i really don’t see the point (besides unfair bullying) of
    having MS business parters there. In this particular case, these people are
    mostly sales/account managers who really don’t have a clue about what they are
    talking about. They just wanna have their way (M$ way) through. They are
    representatives from corporations which their core business is 100% M$ for
    decades now. Worst even, some these companies have strong political connections
    thought corporate stock share owned (guess what) by politicians.

    I strongly dislike Manuel Cerqueira presence there, who is nothing more than an
    openly M$ lackey and a clueless wannabe politician. ASSOFT is the Portuguese BSA
    version strongly focus on fighting software piracy of its two major associates
    M$ and Autodesk.

    ASSOFT is a private association but his tactics and propaganda are strongly
    backed up the Portuguese government. Being a Software association it should had
    help ANSOL developing more OSS in Portugal. Instead went through the “money
    side”:It’s has done 0%(zero) for OSS and 100% for M$ and Autodesk in
    Portugal. In fact has damage OSS oportunities here every chance it gets.

    The general tactic is the following:

    1-MS account managers bury Portuguese companies with expensive “do it all
    and pay it later” M$ solutions well served with a high poisonous
    marketing.This is the time and place they say “OSS sucks, go our way”.
    Naivelly, so they do.

    2-Most companies here cannot cope with the expensive m$ licencing costs, but as
    they are all tied up with the M$ solutions, they choose to pay much much later.

    3- Meanwhile the extortionists who keep a list a such companies (assoft who
    else) team up with the portuguese police (in fact on many ocasions they like to
    pretend they ARE the police) and go to the m$ rescue.

    4- The company is then burried in fines and lawsuits, and its managers could
    face the usual up two 3 years piracy jail sentence, not because they were really
    software pirates, but because they were defrauded by this kind of ppl, Manuel
    Cerqueira and his goons.

    5-There is a major exception to points 3-4. The Portuguese state and it’s public
    companies.Why? Assoft doesn’t want to ruin the beautiful political relationship
    it has. Ridiculous consequence:The government for instance can use loads of
    piracy, but the major Portuguese companies don’t :)

    The same tactic is applied to Autodesk Solutions.

    This is the kind of people that they *do really* want in such meetings.

    Alex

  2. Skeptic said,

    July 21, 2007 at 8:39 am

    Gravatar

    @Anonymous: While your comment is very much appreciated, could you please refrain from cheap shots such as “M$”? The problem is that Microsoft fanboys will dwell on that and unfairly try to dismiss your otherwise excellent points. Thank you.

  3. Keep it anonymous said,

    July 21, 2007 at 9:51 am

    Gravatar

    Ok, thank you for the recommendation on “M$” I just use it as a shortcut to avoid writing “Microsoft” ™, which is much longer: From now on I will write MSFT (its acronym in Nasdaq) instead.
    Anyway it was written M$ in the original post I was just quoting (so it was not me).

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