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

08.30.07

OOXML Watch: Sweden’s OOXML Fiasco Representative of the Norm?

Posted in America, Asia, Australia, Europe, Formats, Interoperability, ISO, Microsoft, Novell, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Standard at 9:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Votejacking escapes nobody’s eye in this digital age and the 21st century

There are several more countries whose voting process ought to be documented. Here is a relatively complete summary of information that is shared over the Internet at these moments.

Microsoft Said to Have Hijacked Vote Also in Norway, Denmark, Hungary

According to DesktopLinux, Denmark ‘pulled a Sweden’ and Norway may have ‘pulled a Sweden’ also.

Similar Microsoft vote-stuffing activities have also been reported in Denmark and Norway.

Switzerland, Germany, Portugal, Sweden (Sam has more current information), and apparently nations in South America (Colombia, for example) were all sufferers of ballot-stuffing activity, courtesy of Microsoft partners. Perhaps (just perhaps) the same tricks are being pulled virtually everywhere, but this does not necessarily get reported and then scooped to be brought to people’s attention.

Also from DesktopLinux:

Some countries, such as Brazil, China, India and Canada, have already announced that they have voted against Open XML. The final result on whether Open XML will make the grade as an ISO standard will be announced on Sept. 2.

It is worth re-emphasizing again that Microsoft significantly elevated its charity in India just 2-3 days ago. It happened days after India said “No”. One must wonder if this is related to their vote on OOXML — a vote which isn’t written in stone until September. Don’t forget Vietnam.

Reports from Hungary have just been brought to people’s attention via Digg (original article in Hungarian, in case someone is interested). The same old story appears to be coming to Hungary now (politicians got involved).

Hungarian Standards Institution to reconsider its vote on OOXML

Mr János Kóka, Minister of Economy and Transport, has sent a mail to György Pónyai, General Director of Hungarian Standards Institution (HSI), about its the Hungarian vote on OOXML issue. In this mail the minister informed the director, that the IBM Magyarországi Kft (the Hungarian subsidiary of IBM) signed concerns about the way how the Hungarian

[...]

“Since then, new members have been inaugurated to the committee of the HSI, where the only requirement of membership is a fee of 100-200 euros. Many of the new members seem to have tight relationships with Microsoft.”

So, there’s going to be a new vote, but it’s going to be like Sweden all again…

It’s all politics again. Write this down, or make a mental note.

New Zealand Strikes Back at Microsoft (and Wins)

Over in the Australian continent, we have already heard about manipulation [1, 2, 3]. Australia was defeated (by the lobbying), so to speak, but New Zealand was fortunate enough to have vocal opposition.

Microsoft got caught using another type of deception in press with a spin on the word “choice”. We saw this pro-choice pitch quite recently when Microsoft was referring to ODF while at the same time refusing to implement support for this international standard. “Cross-platform”, “contradiction”, “release candidate”, and “open” are other words/terms whose meaning Microsoft constantly bends (even dilutes or corrupts). Georg Greve had something to say about Microsoft’s offer of “choice”:

Georg Greve, president of the Free Software Foundation Europe said that Microsoft is pursuing a “classic vendor lock-in strategy”.

“The absolute nightmare scenario is that Microsoft says, ‘Update your licences, or we’ll turn off your access.’ Access to governmental data will completely depend on the existence of Microsoft,” he told Reuters.

Other arguments against accepting OOXML were aired earlier this month when the International Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) rejected Microsoft’s submission — a crucial step for OOXML’s acceptance in the US, in particular by government departments.

“OOXML is Windows-only, so where is the choice?”

It’s rather amazing how Microsoft managed to describe OOXML as pro-choice. OOXML is Microsoft Office 2007 (which is the only one to implement a version/derivative of OOXML that is close enough to OOXML, per its documentation). As Rob Weir showed, even different versions of Office are already intra-incompatible. Despite the move to OOXML, Office 2007-formatted/produced documents cannot be properly read by Office 2003 (MathML was used as an example and journals therefore rejected the use Office 2007′s output).

Additionally, OOXML is Windows-only, so where is the choice? OOXML is not complete specification (w.r.t. to existing implementation), but Microsoft keeps hiding that fact.

So, gain, where is the choice? The choice is maybe the choice to elevate the price of Office, because Microsoft can. Because it controls the ‘standard’. It sets the rules.

Eventually, and fortunately enough, New Zealand rejected OOXML, which would not suitable as a standard.

“After considerable discussion and input from key New Zealand stakeholders, a large number of whom opposed publication of the document as an international Standard in its current form, the Standards Council have concluded that the best vote for New Zealand is ‘no’,” says Grant Thomas, chief operating officer at Standards New Zealand.

OOXML Humour

More Analysis and Thoughts

Rob Weir has his share of random thoughts. He also posts various links to stories about OOXML and standards.

Wait… this just in. In a survey of most dumb-ass Microsoft-sponsored surveys, first place goes to CompTIA’s “Microsoft, Creator of Civilization, Inventor of Fire & Universal Benefactor of Mankind” and second place goes to IDC’s “4% Looks More Important in a Bar Chart if the Maximum is set to 5%.”

This is a reference to all those ‘studies’ (hired analysts) and lobbying arms that Microsoft has been using in its fight against open source and open standards.

Some folks who were never involved with or concerned about OOF/OOXML are finally catching up. It is important that not only “document format enthusiasts” get emotionally involved with something that will affect them in the future. They help spread the word.

It appears that Microsoft is just buying the OOXML ISO certification!

Linux Journal has kept silent on this topic, until now.

None of this will surprise long-term observers of Microsoft: it’s simply the way it plays.

Watch the comment about Novell’s role (interoperability lab). Very interesting.

To repeat the observation that I made about an hour ago, there’s not much to add (which hasn’t been said somewhere before), but I’ve watched this like a hawk for over a year and here are my observations in short.

  • Microsoft has used deals and partnerships (Apple and Corel included) to essentially buy support for a proprietary format.
  • Microsoft formalised a proprietary format and resorted to what is arguably fraud, corruption and extortion (yes, they do favours to politicians and contrariwise — retaliate) to get ISO’s blessing.

If you ever needed evidence that Microsoft executives are — to put bluntly — “crooks”, there you have it. If you have not seen it, then surely you have not explored the OOXML fiasco deeply enough.

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

What Else is New


  1. Today's Example of Microsoft's Faked 'Love'

    “On 7 September 2017, users began noticing a message that stated “Skype for Business is now Microsoft Teams”. This was confirmed on 25 September 2017, at Microsoft’s annual Ignite conference,” according to Wikipedia



  2. Links 10/12/2019: Kubernetes 1.17, Debian Init Systems GR

    Links for the day



  3. 'Cancel Culture' as 'Thoughtpolice' Creep

    Richard Stallman spoke about an important aspect of censorship more than 2 decades ago (before “Open Source” even existed); it was published in Datamation (“Censoring My Software”) 23 years before a campaign of defamation on the Internet was used to remove him from MIT and FSF (censoring or ‘canceling’ Stallman himself)



  4. Microsoft Still Hates GNU/Linux and Mark Shuttleworth Knows It (But He is Desperate for Money)

    We're supposed to believe that a PR or image management (reputation laundering) campaign alone can turn Microsoft from GNU/Linux foe into friend/ally



  5. Actions Against EPO Corruption and Unitary Patent (UPC) Injustice/Lobbying

    The EPO is apparently going on strike again and an action against the UPC is scheduled for later this week (protest in Brussels)



  6. “The Fifth Freedom as a Meme”

    The issue with systemd (or SystemD) has provoked or at least stimulated discussions about the limits of the famous Four Freedoms



  7. IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 09, 2019

    IRC logs for Monday, December 09, 2019



  8. Demonstration Against Unitary Software Patents, Thursday 12 Dec in Brussels

    FFII's call to demonstrate against the UPC



  9. Links 9/12/2019: China on GNU/Linux, Canonical Wants Help to Improve Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  10. Links 9/12/2019: Linux 5.5 RC1, EasyOS Buster 2.1.9

    Links for the day



  11. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 08, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 08, 2019



  12. Mandatory Education for Those Who Use and Misuse Buzzwords Would Go a Long Way

    In an age of substitution — where marketing terms replace meaningful words and concepts — it has gotten more difficult to have honest debates, for example about the scope of patents



  13. Once Upon a Time Banter Was Allowed on Mailing Lists

    Hours ago Torvalds announced RC1 of the next Linux (kernel) release; it has been a while since he last said something ‘controversial’ (following his month at the penalty box); free speech deficit can make us weaker, not stronger (advantage to those who work in the dark)



  14. Links 8/12/2019: Debian Init Systems GR, NomadBSD 1.3

    Links for the day



  15. Can We Quit Celebrating DRM in GNU/Linux?

    Over the past couple of days various news sites and "Linux" sites expressed great satisfaction [1-5] over the passive embrace of Disney's DRM ploy (Disney+), even when Disney itself rejects DRM, seeing the harms practically caused by it [6,7]



  16. You Know WSL is Bad for GNU/Linux Because Anti-Linux People, Microsoft and Its Propagandists, Want People to Use That

    Microsoft and its boosters (and media partners) haven’t grown tired of spreading falsehoods to stigmatise and take control of GNU/Linux by creating their own versions and traps for it



  17. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, December 07, 2019

    IRC logs for Saturday, December 07, 2019



  18. 5 Years Ago the Linux Foundation Turned Linux.com Into a Non-Linux Site

    One can leverage the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine to better understand how, over time, the Foundation called “Linux” deviated or diverged away from its mission statement for the sole purpose of raising corporate funds and selling influence to corporations (passing the community’s hard work to them — a form of tacit privatisation)



  19. Microsoft Redefining Ownership and Identity of GNU/Linux

    The idea that “Microsoft loves Linux” is as insane as it gets; but the lie which is “Microsoft loves Linux” is a powerful enabler of Microsoft entryism, e.g. if Greg steps down, does a Microsoft employee become the deputy of Linus Torvalds?



  20. Things That Cannot Be Said

    The limits on what we can say are mostly defined by what sources permit us to say publicly (for the sake of source protection)



  21. Fake European Patents (on Algorithms) Leading to Fake Embargoes

    Law firms have gotten their way in Germany; instead of supporting the productive workers the patent system is nowadays promoting the litigation 'industry' and it ought to be corrected



  22. From Moderate Advice to FUD and Misinformation: The Case of a VPN Vulnerability (CVE-2019-14899)

    What should have been a trivial bugfix in a variety of operating systems and bits of software — both proprietary and Free software — somehow became anti-Linux FUD, clickbait and worse



  23. Dangerous Thinker

    Society oughtn't be alarmed by people who say unusual things; it should be wary and sceptical of those corporations ever so eager to silence such people



  24. Unitary Patent (UPC) Died Along With the Credibility of Managing IP and the Rest of the UPC Lobby

    It is pretty astounding that Team UPC (collective term for people who crafted and lobby for this illegal construct) is still telling us lies, even in the absence of underlying supportive facts, and pressure groups disguised as "news sites" latch onto anything to perpetuate an illusion of progress (even in the face of a growing number of major barriers)



  25. IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 06, 2019

    IRC logs for Friday, December 06, 2019



  26. Links 7/12/2019: Fedora 31 Elections Results, Lots of Media Drama Over VPN Bug

    Links for the day



  27. Links 6/12/2019: DRM in GNU/Linux and Sparky Bonsai

    Links for the day



  28. The EPO Rejects Innovation

    The EPO ceased caring about the needs of scientists whose work involves invention; instead, EPO management crafts increasingly lenient guidelines that yield illegal European Patents (not compatible with the EPC) that heavily-besieged EPO judges are unable to stop



  29. Startpage CEO Robert Beens in 'Damage Control' Mode, Trying to Get Startpage Relisted After Selling to a Massive Surveillance Company

    PrivacytoolsIO is being lobbied by the CEO of Startpage to relist Startpage, based on no actual refutations at all



  30. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 05, 2019

    IRC logs for Thursday, December 05, 2019


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

Recent Posts