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More ‘Funny Business’: Microsoft-funded Body (Initiative for Software Choice) Among Its Document Format Lobbyists

Posted in America, ECMA, Formats, ISO, Open XML, OpenDocument at 7:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

By this stage, several stories have been covered where Microsoft used ‘politics’ and industry connection to get its way. Here is another.

Several supposedly-impartrial voices in industry always ring a bell when their name comes up. CompTIA is one of them. It is a Microsoft lobbying arm. Just a few months ago, CompTIA attacked Richard Stallman in the press. Its offspring, which goes by the innocent name “Initiative for Software Choice” (ISC) has been doing some ‘legwork’ as well. It acts as a proxy to hide its motives and financial interests (i.e. funding sources).

Some months ago, ISC had a media plug where it attacked GPLv3 (essentially by spreading FUD). Another Microsoft lobbyist did this shortly afterwards. Even Microsoft joined in. They apparently ‘take turns’, addressing ‘problems’ that they share. Here is the latest from the “Initiative for Software Choice [as long as the only choice is Microsoft]“:

Open XML recovers from brief setback to ISO approval

Some in the industry are taking a middle ground on the Open XML-ODF debate and promoting both by emphasizing the idea of choice. Melanie Wyne, executive director of the Initiative for Software Choice (ISC), which promotes neutral government procurement, standards and public research and development policies for software, said her group is promoting the existence of both ODF and Open XML as ISO standards because having only one global standard for document formats is limiting to end users.


ISC is run by CompTIA, a U.S.-based technology industry association…

Just to give you a little more background on CompTIA and its agenda, here are a bunch of fairly recent articles (emphasis on CompTIA).

Microsoft leaned on EC to spike open source report

The European Commission has resisted efforts by Microsoft to make it abandon its report into open source software, it was revealed this week.


The software giant also commissioned a respected university academic to back its case and enlisted the help of a trade association, CompTIA.

European Commission denies favouring open source

The Commission’s statement comes just days after it was lobbied to clarify its position on open source. The Initiative for Software Choice (ISC) wrote to the Commission immediately after the release of the report urging it to contact the “international press” to “set the record straight” over its stance. The ISC’s external affairs are handled by CompTIA, which is funded by several IT vendors including Microsoft.

MS leads lobby against open source (2002)

“Microsoft and other software companies are ramping up a lobbying effort aimed at convincing governments to think again where it comes to adopting open-source software. The Initiative for Software Choice, which launched quietly in early May, is chaired by an industry body called the Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), but its biggest software industry backer is Microsoft.

That’s how it works nowadays. One just needs to follow the money.

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A Single Comment

  1. FUD Hurts said,

    July 23, 2007 at 12:25 pm


    This post is brought to you by the RedHat/Canonical/F$F keiretsu. Roy Shitznowitz was hired to create long-winded posts with lots of interesting-sounding buzzwords, stylish quotes and hundreds of links that look like they were put together by a journalist, but in reality are just a disjointed pile of meaningless dribble.

    FLOSS is based on FUD, and FUD is good when it pays. Inundating the internet with FUD was never more profitable!

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