EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

08.22.07

ODF/OOXML Watch: Bill Gates Lobbies Behind the Scenes Again, Jason Matusow Deceives (Updated)

Posted in America, Asia, Deception, Europe, Interoperability, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard, SUN at 9:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

From “developers, developers, developers” (produce software) to “advertisers, advertisers, advertisers” (market poor products) to “lobbyists, lobbyists, lobbyists” (start cheating)

Yesterday we mentioned the use of large heaps of money in pursuit for standards domination. We also took a look at some of the latest ‘funny business’ around the world. There is a lot more coming at the moment, so let’s break it down into subheadings.

Deception, Deception, Deception

There have been many cases of deception coming from Microsoft recently. In fact, there have been so many that we won’t even bother linking to them (it can all be found in the Open XML archives). We recently mentioned one case of deception from Jason Matusow. He appears to be doing this again, confidentially while those who can rebut are on vacation.

Well, it’s hard to take a vacation, isn’t it? Not only is it styled as “going quiet,” but it offers an opportunity for others to present only part of the story. While much of what Jason writes is accurate, it’s curious what he leaves out – including the fact that not one ballot, but two, have been circulated to the INCITS Executive Board for simultaneous voting.

But wait! It gets worse. Bill Gates is making phonecalls. INCITS has not escaped the wrath of a ruthless billionaire [PDF].

The ‘Retiring’ Man is Secretly Very Busy

For someone who plans his retirement, Mr. Gates seems to be awfully busy. He has been getting around the technical committees, essentially trying to persuade and bend the opinions of those at the very top. It is hardly surprising. Last week we received a report on China.

Microsoft has seemed to be flying high in the Peoples Republic of China lately. Bill Gates spent several days in Beijing earlier this year in meetings with high-level officials, after hosting Chinese President Hu Jintao the spring before at Gate’s own home. And legitimate copies of Microsoft products appear to be at last gaining ground in comparison to pirated copies, albeit at the price of discounting them to almost unimaginable levels (students can now reportedly obtain a Windows/Office bundle for the incredible price of $3). Many credited Microsoft’s pragmatic decision to accept Chinese realities and not insist on having everything its own way.

If you think it was only China, then have a look at this brand-new discovery.

Bill Gates has reportedly been making phone calls to the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Commerce to push the American National Standards Institute to ignore the votes of its advisory committees and vote “yes” on ISO standardizing Microsoft’s Open Office XML (OOXML) format, the one in competition with the OpenDocument Format (ODF) pushed by IBM and Sun.

Gates reportedly picked up the phone when the last INCITS ballot failed by one vote to support Microsoft.

Well, well, well. What can one add?

OOXML in Germany

An article in Heise spoke about lobbying from Microsoft as well. Not enough details were available to tell the nature of the lobbying, but judging by what we have seen so far, it is natural to assume that Germany did not make its decision in peace. In fact, Germany became a victim of vendor lockin (in an XML ‘gown’), which it will vote “Yes” on (with comments).

It seems that Germany has fallen in the Microsoft trap to address comments with a Yes vote.

The Plug-in (and Standard) Microsoft Refused to Support

It is hard to forget certain events which seem to be a case of history repeating itself. We are referring to the ODF plug-in from Sun Microsystems. Remember that Microsoft refused to support the international standard and it will be pleased to know that not even Sun was able to properly bridge a gap where Microsoft should have never left a void in the first.

Users regularly cite lack of compatibility with Microsoft Office files as a reason for not using OpenOffice.org. OpenOffice.org does include Microsoft Office export filters, as well as a number of settings for increased compatibility, but these features provide only good, not complete, compatibility.

The item goes on to discussing the fact that Office has had its ODF functionality and support essentially eliminated.

Look back at what we wrote on Monday about Microsoft’s disregard for international standards. Microsoft hates them, ignores them, and stifles their adoption. It was well demonstrated when Steve Ballmer proudly stated “we are the standard“.

Update: the statement from Germany has finally been translated. Pay attention to the comments as well. There is a lot of suspicious activity going on and Finland will apparently abstain.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

5 Comments

  1. Andre said,

    August 23, 2007 at 5:26 am

    Gravatar

    They offer a bad deal:
    a) YES vote == current ECMA standard relabeled ISO standard
    b) YES mit comments == current ECMA standard relabeled as ISO standard, and some suggestions
    c) conditional disapproval == current ECMA standard has a change to get improved and technical comments get fixed. Microsoft will need to offer more.
    d) rejection of the standard == no ISO approval, but ECMA standard is here to stay
    No rational player, even when you are a partner of Microsoft or “really want” OOXML’s ISO approval can support options a) and b). No player risks anything except Microsoft. We know that the current ECMA standard is broken, and full of errors. so even when you want OOXML you should disapprove as a matter of negotiation strategy.
    The only explanaition for a YES vote (which is just not rational) is either an “idealistic” agenda to support Microsoft’s monopoly or the existance of other means that compensate your self-interest.
    A Yes or a “Yes with Comments” (which is formally non-existing) is a very bad business decision.

    I feel ashamed of Germany, I really do.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 23, 2007 at 6:53 am

    Gravatar

    Watch the comments in Groklaw and see some of our previous writings on this topic. I suspect there’s a lot more to this story. Germany is among the biggest opposers to monopoly abuse (which is embodied in OOXML), so there must be money or exchange of favours involved.

  3. Sam Hiser said,

    August 23, 2007 at 11:01 am

    Gravatar

    There are no “natural” supporters of OOXML as an ISO standard.

    Quoting the head of the DIN task force (from Jason’s blog)…
    http://blogs.msdn.com/jasonmatusow/archive/2007/08/22/germany-votes-yes-with-comments.aspx

    The standardization process of Open XML as an ISO standard will start now and result in the technological advancement of both standards – Open XML and ODF 1.0. The comments that were expressed by leading experts from the industry, science, public sector and politics together with the recommendation of the DIN committee, guide the way to interoperability. We will sustainably support this process in the Fraunhofer FOKUS eGovernment Laboratory and, as a member of ECMA International, provide our laboratory partner Microsoft assistance and know-how in implementing the recommendations.

    …note that Microsoft is funding Fraunhofer.

    This is a closed loop: Microsoft OOXML will become a standard — whether on Sept 2 or later, it’s a done deal — because Microsoft owns the committees in most countries.

    All supporters of OOXML are Microsoft partners; that means they are being paid or have business ties to the success of the Microsoft STACK (not just Vista|Office).

    Roy, you are right to focus on the money, but we need more transparency on the influence. More EVIDENCE.

    This is terrible!

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 23, 2007 at 8:41 pm

    Gravatar

    Apart from the Groklaw comments (some along the lines of “I hope someone took notes in the meeting and will share them anonymously”), there is more to be seen in Andy’s blog (maybe Rob’s as well). Someone began asking if the UN could get involved in antitrust actions.

    Yesterday, Henri Richard left AMD and I suspect it’s because he got tired of fighting a monopoly abuser that broke the law time after time (and always got away with it). I am beginning to be fed up seeing what I see, but the least we can all do is share the story and be the jury in the world that turns a blind eye to misuse and corruption.

    From Rob’s blog (latest):


    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | The tragedy of this is that for so many NB’s, with talented technical
    | committees, the discussion of OOXML has failed to be a technical evaluation,
    | but has quickly become a political game, where committees are stuffed,
    | governments are pressured, billionaires call in favors, competitors blocked
    | from participation, voting rules ignored or modified at whim, etc. All we can
    | do is stand by and watch as Microsoft takes over JTC1. The cost to Microsoft
    | will be great, but so much greater is the cost to JTC1. What will it mean for
    | JTC1′s future to be known as a body that does not follow its own rules, does
    | not evaluate proposals on technical merits, but has procedures so weak and
    | poorly written that it allows itself to be taken over by a single company?
    | Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
    `—-

    http://www.robweir.com/blog/2007/08/is-it-safe.html

    A Sun blogger was equally frustrated. More on this in a moment. I have heaps of stuff on OOXML, including stories about Microsoft ‘partners’.

  5. Răzvan Sansu said,

    September 2, 2007 at 9:54 am

    Gravatar

    For all interested people, full detail (technical and non-technical) are here:

    http://www.noooxml.org/
    http://www.robweir.com/blog/
    http://www.noooxml.org/petition/

What Else is New


  1. Latest High-Profile Patent Cases Against Apple and What These Mean to Linux-Powered Competitors of Apple

    A look at the latest patent news and developments surrounding Apple products (and the possible ramifications for OEMs that directly compete against Apple)



  2. “Reprehensible” Rodney Gilstrap Continues to Snub the US Supreme Court by Refusing to Let Non-Texan Companies Move Out of Texas

    Some of the latest news about patent trolls in the United States and China (where they tend to prey on US companies)



  3. The 'New' IP Kat on Patents: A Front Group for Team UPC (Bristows) and CIPA (British Patent Microcosm)

    Another quick look at today's output from IP Kat, which turned from a proponent of EPO staff into a proponent of Battistelli's oppressive agenda



  4. The Latest Lies From the EPO (Regarding Quality) and the Reason the UPC Won't Happen (Any Time Soon at Least)

    Lies are being intentionally spread inside the EPO (from the management downwards) and sobering reality about the UPC gradually sets in



  5. Lufthansa Leaks? Nokia Leaks? Prepare for Further Digging Into EPO Scandals

    Techrights to explore -- as a matter of priority -- corruption that is connected to the EPO and involves governments and corporations



  6. The Patent Microcosm Tries to Persuade the Headless USPTO to Crush Alice

    In another effort to bring software patents back to the US (they are currently being swatted like flies in the courts), the lobby of the patent 'industry' gangs up with former officials of the USPTO -- now in lobbying capacity -- and a new report is issued regarding Section 101



  7. Links 25/7/2017: KStars 2.8.0 is Out, Flash Will Die

    Links for the day



  8. How the EPO's Terrible Decisions May Implicate the Government of Germany and Lufthansa

    The role played by German authorities throughout the scandal involving Željko Topić, a notorious Vice-President at the European Patent Office (EPO)



  9. Patent Maximalists Continue to Warp the Debate/Media Coverage About Patents in Britain

    Just like in most places, including the English-speaking media in north America, British journalists omit voices of reason or simply give the podium to those seeking to increase the number of patent lawsuits (and breadth of these)



  10. In 2017 Software Patents Are Barely Valid in the United States

    Today’s simple reality is, even if the USPTO grants (or granted) a software patent, the prosecution certainty is notoriously low



  11. Patent Troll Uniloc Lost a Software Patent Case Owing to PTAB, Microsoft-Connected Troll Finjan Holdings Keeps on Suing

    The latest troll cases in the US and where they have gone (all about software patents, as usual)



  12. Links 24/7/2017: Linux 4.13 RC2, Mesa 17.2 RC1, Akademy Coverage

    Links for the day



  13. Qualcomm-Apple Dispute Escalates Further (Lawsuits Come to Europe) With the Cost of Linux-Powered Devices Also at Stake

    Another catchup with a high-profile case (complaints and lawsuits ad infinitum) that will help determine one's ability to leverage patents in bulk -- including software patents -- against phone-making OEMs



  14. Section 101/Alice: Latest News and Views

    A § 101 change which effectively strikes out software patents (if not at the patent office, then in appeal boards and courts) continues to alter the litigation landscape much to the chagrin/regret of various circles



  15. STRASBOURG: Representative of Lufthansa Accused of Corruption

    According to some international sources, it was on account of the corrupt and criminal tendencies with which he has been endowed by nature and which he used to assist international corporations in protecting dubious patents in the Republic of Croatia that Željko Topić was rewarded with a position at the EPO in Munich, although his skills and mindset indicate that he does not belong there. This is also indicated by the fact that this complex-ridden individual recently changed his place of residence in Zagreb.



  16. IBM and Watchtroll, Together With Microsoft, Among the Driving Forces for Resurgence of Software Patents

    A look at who keeps lobbying against Alice and where/how; also our assessment of why such lobbying won't be getting them anywhere any time soon



  17. Alice/U.S.C. § 101 is a Done Deal, Meaning Software Patents Are Effectively Dead in the US

    A look back at this summer’s patent cases where software patents are consistently (almost without exception) invalidated by courts, owing to § 101 (U.S.C./SCOTUS/Supreme Court)



  18. Patents Roundup: Cisco and Arista, MP3 Liberated, and 'Phone (Patent) Tax' Estimated

    Some of the very latest reports about patents in the US and how these impact the market (costs, availability, and viability of Free/Libre Open Source software)



  19. Links 23/7/2017: Wine 2.13, Krita 3.2.0 Second Beta, KDE Applications 17.08 Beta, GNOME 3.25.4, Debian 9.1 and 8.9

    Links for the day



  20. Patent Troll MPEG-LA Expands From Software Patents to Patents on Life While USPTO is Virtually Headless

    The travesty of software patents, such as patents on multimedia compression and playback, may soon be made worse as patents on genome are being aggregated by a notorious patent aggressor



  21. Lack of Independence of the Boards of Appeal at the European Patent Organisation (EPO) a Fatal Blow for the UPC

    Issues associated with the EPC, namely the lack of separation of powers at the EPO, may mean that the UPC is merely a zombie waiting to accept its permanent death



  22. [DE] STRASBOURG: Vertreter der Lufthansa wegen Korruption angeklagt

    Laut manche internationale Quellen wurde Željko Topić gerade wegen korruptiven und kriminellen Neigungen, mit welchen er von Natur begabt ist und mit welchen er den internationalen Korporationen beim Schutz von zwielichtigen Patenten in der Republik Kroatien geholfen hat, eigentlich belohnt mit der Arbeitsstelle in EPO in München, obwohl er laut seine Kenntnisse und seine Mentalität dorthin nicht gehört. Dafür spricht auch die Angabe, daß er als Person mit Komplexen neulich seinen Wohnsitz in Zagreb geändert hat.



  23. Links 21/7/2017: New Wine, Ubuntu EoL

    Links for the day



  24. The Bizarre World of US Patents and Ongoing Pursuit/Granting of Software Patents in Spite of Section 101

    A survey of recent patents that are either far too trivial, pertain purely to software, promote surveillance, or are pursued purely for vanity (when a court is likely to deem these invalid anyway)



  25. Battistelli's EPO Abuses May Soon Lead to the Death of the UPC and Return of the Old Order ('EPO Glory')

    Having severely damaged the EPO, in a selfish effort to make Europe attractive to patent trolls and bullies, Team Battistelli gradually goes away along with the UPC



  26. Links 20/7/2017: Qt Creator 4.4 Beta, Libgcrypt 1.8.0

    Links for the day



  27. Microsoft is Googlebombing “Linux” This Week in Order to Sell Proprietary Software That Does Not Run on GNU/Linux (and While Blackmailing OEMs Over Linux)

    A reminder of the fact that Microsoft very much hates GNU/Linux, lobbies against it (e.g. in Munich), blackmails companies that distribute it (using software patents) and shares all data stored by its software through back doors (for access by the NSA and other Western spy agencies)



  28. PTAB Persists and AIA Dominates in Spite of Smears and Bullying From Patent Extremists Including Watchtroll

    The America Invents Act (AIA) and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) maintain and gain prominence in spite of nefarious tactics of attack sites such as Watchtroll



  29. Patent Reform in the United States is Led by the Supreme Court, Not Industrial Lobbies

    Although lobbying by large corporations has served to change the patent landscape in the US, a lot of the big changes become possible because Justices with no vested interests (in patents and patent lawsuits) overturn decisions from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit



  30. Unified Patent Court (UPC): A Conspiracy of Lies and Silence

    The impasse which makes impossible any progress on the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is simply being ignored -- as if it never happened -- by Team UPC


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts