On August 20th we said that OOXML had apparently been defeated in Poland, but unsurprisingly there was a flip-flop. An anonymous reader of this site reported possible irregularities in the process. When Poland says “Yes” to OOXML, bear in mind that it does not tell the full story.
Microsoft has apparently been rallying its troops around the world and there is strong evidence that suggest we should remain suspicious and skeptical.
It certainly appears that Microsoft might be “encouraging” standards bodies in various countries to upgrade their ISO memberships to P level and/or join Subcommittee 34 in an effort to overwhelm any opposition to its plans.
Denmark and Norway are no exception here and it is disappointing to see that the mainstream media only talks about Sweden. There is still a great deal of rotten practices everywhere you look, but because everything is moving so quickly in so many countries, it’s just hard to keep up. Here is a portion from one attempted summarisation.
In Denmark, a source reportedly said that Microsoft pressured him to send an expression of support to Dansk Standard, the Danish standards board. By Groklaw’s translation, Version2 reported: “‘If I had not sent in a positive comment, it would have had consequences for our relations with Microsoft’, he says. Our source points to e.g. leads, support and seminars as areas that might be jeopardised if ‘he did not behave’.”
The Danish MP reportedly wants assurance that only technical factors were considered by Dansk Standard and that political or economic influences were not brought to bear.
Also, a member of the Danish parliament has reportedly lodged a pointed question with a government minister as to whether the government has had any contact with Dansk Standard with regard to the ISO vote on OOXML.
In Norway, Microsoft apparently mounted an astroturfing campaign against the Norwegian standards body Standard Norge. Out of 59 comments received by Standard Norge, 37 were a Vole form letter that many of its Norwegian business partners didn’t even bother to sign before sending them in.
The only solace we might have is that Microsoft’s licence applications will be tossed by the OSI for such ruthless behaviour.
This is not winning. These are signs of desperation.
It sometimes seems like Microsoft’s actions achieve nothing but lead to confrontations and national tension where governments are blamed (whose trust and credibility are lost as well). ISO likewise. We mentioned this yesterday. It’s not good for anyone, with the exception of those that poison the system with big money and promises.