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. Links 26/4/2019: Best GNU/Linux Laptops and More

    Links for the day



  2. Research Into Who's Putting DRM Inside Linux

    Back doors may be hard to detect (requires understanding a lot of underlying code), but how about malicious 'features' or antifeatures that are put in the kernel to serve Hollywood at the expense of the kernel's users?



  3. "Dia da Liberdade" in Portugal -- Wilted Carnations in EPOnia

    "Reliable sources report that the discontent continues to simmer among the EPOnian peasantry and that the steam is slowly but inexorably building up inside the pressure cooker," tells us a guest writer



  4. The Quality of Patents is Connected to the Quality of Life of Patent Examiners

    EPO staff is not happy (a new President has not changed things) and the problems associated with low quality of patents become more visible in courtrooms



  5. American Patent Courts Keep Narrowing Patent Scope, No Matter What Few Politicians Are Doing on Behalf of Litigation Firms and Patent Trolls

    Acts of desperation in the patent microcosm of the United States, where judges now overwhelmingly reject software patents at all levels (tribunals, lower courts, higher courts)



  6. Links 25/4/2019: Rancher Labs Releases Slim OS, OpenBSD 6.5 is Ready

    Links for the day



  7. Links 24/4/2019: Chrome 74, QEMU 4.0 Released

    Links for the day



  8. Supreme Court of the UK, Which Habitually Throws Out European Patents, May Overturn Troublesome Unwired Planet v Huawei Decision

    A lot of European Patents are facing growing scrutiny from courts (Team UPC, including Bristows, publicly complains about it this month) and "greenwashing" of the Office won't be enough to paint/frame these patents as "ethical"



  9. German Federal Patent Court Curbs the Patent Maximalism of the EPO, Which Promotes Patents on Nature and/or Maths Every Single Day

    European courts are restraining the EPO, which has been trying to bypass or replace such courts (with the UPC); it certainly seems as though European Patents rapidly lose their legitimacy or much-needed presumption of validity



  10. Any 'Linux' Foundation Needs to Be Managed by Geeks, Not Politicians and PR People

    Linux bureaucracy has put profits way ahead of technical merits and this poses a growing threat or constitutes risk to the direction of the project, not to mention its ownership



  11. Links 23/4/2019: Kodi 'Leia' 18.2 and DeX Everywhere

    Links for the day



  12. Code of Coercion

    Entryism is visible for all to see, but pointing it out is becoming a risky gambit because of the "be nice!" (or "be polite!") crowd, which shields the perpetrators of a slow and gradual corporate takeover



  13. António Campinos Would Not Refer to the EPO's Enlarged Board of Appeal If He Did Not Control the Outcomes

    António Campinos and his ilk aren’t interested in patent quality because his former ‘boss’, who publicly denied there were issues and vainly rejected patent quality concerns as illegitimate, is now controlled by him (reversal of roles) and many new appointees at the top are "yes men" (or women) of Campinos, former colleagues whom he bossed at EUIPO (as expected)



  14. Links 22/4/2019: Linux 5.1 RC6, New Release of Netrunner and End of Scientific Linux

    Links for the day



  15. USPTO and EPO Both Slammed for Abandoning Patent Quality and Violating the Law/Caselaw in Order to Grant Illegitimate Patents on Life/Nature and Mathematics

    Mr. Iancu, the ‘American Battistelli’ (appointed owing to nepotism), mirrors the ‘Battistelli operandi’, which boils down to treating judges like they’re stooges and justices like an ignorable nuisance — all this in the name of litigation profits, which necessitate constant wars over illegitimate patents (it is expensive to prove their illegitimacy)



  16. IRC Proceedings: January 27th, 2019 – March 24th, 2019

    Many IRC logs



  17. IRC Proceedings: December 2nd, 2018 – January 26th, 2019

    Many IRC logs



  18. Links 21/4/2019: SuperTuxKart's 1.0 Release, Sam Hartman Is Debian’s Newest Project Leader (DPL)

    Links for the day



  19. The EPO's Use of Phrases Like “High-Quality Patent Services” Means They Know High-Quality European Patents Are 'Bygones'

    The EPO does a really poor job hiding the fact that its last remaining objective is to grant as many European Patents as possible (and as fast as possible), conveniently conflating quality with pace



  20. A Reader's Suggestion: Directions for Techrights

    Guest post by figosdev



  21. Links 20/4/2019: Weblate 3.6 and Pop!_OS 19.04

    Links for the day



  22. The Likes of Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA), Team Campinos and Team UPC Don't Represent Europe But Hurt Europe

    The abject disinterest in patent quality and patent validity (as judged by courts) threatens Europe but not to the detriment of those who are in the 'business' of suing and printing lots of worthless patents



  23. The Linux Foundation Needs to Change Course Before GNU/Linux (as a Free Operating System) is Dead

    The issues associated with the Linux Foundation are not entirely new; but Linux now incorporates so many restrictions and contains so many binary blobs that one begins to wonder what "Linux" even means



  24. Largest Patent Offices Try to Leave Courts in a State of Disarray to Enable the Granting of Fake Patents in the US and Europe

    Like a monarchy that effectively runs all branches of government the management of the EPO is trying to work around the judiciary; the same is increasingly happening (or at least attempted) in the United States



  25. Links 19/4/2019: PyPy 7.1.1, LabPlot 2.6, Kipi Plugins 5.9.1 Released

    Links for the day



  26. Links 18/4/2019: Ubuntu and Derivatives Have Releases, digiKam 6.1.0, OpenSSH 8.0 and LibreOffice 6.2.3

    Links for the day



  27. Freedom is Not a Business and Those Who Make 'Business' by Giving it Away Deserve Naming

    Free software is being parceled and sold to private monopolisers; those who facilitate the process enrich themselves and pose a growing threat to freedom in general — a subject we intend to tackle in the near future



  28. Concluding the Linux Foundation (LF) “Putting the CON in Conference!” (Part 3)

    Conferences constructed or put together based on payments rather than merit pose a risk to the freedom of free software; we conclude our series about events set up by the largest of culprits, which profits from this erosion of freedom



  29. “Mention the War” (of Microsoft Against GNU/Linux)

    The GNU/Linux desktop (or laptops) seems to be languishing or deteriorating, making way for proprietary takeover in the form of Vista 10 and Chrome OS and “web apps” (surveillance); nobody seems too bothered — certainly not the Linux Foundation — by the fact that GNU/Linux itself is being relegated or demoted to a mere “app” on these surveillance platforms (WSL, Croûton and so on)



  30. The European Patent Office Does Not Care About the Law, Today's Management Constantly Attempts to Bypass the Law

    Many EPs (European Patents) are actually "IPs" (invalid patents); the EPO doesn't seem to care and it is again paying for corrupt scholars to toe the party line


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