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09.05.07

The Second ”O” in OOXML Stands for ”Oligarchy”, Not ”Open”

Posted in Africa, America, Europe, Formats, Google, ISO, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 8:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

OOXML has “corruption” written all over it

Rob Weir was among the first people to have mentioned this. We cited his essay on “hacking ISO” in yesterday’s batch. There is finally a more formal finding from the EFFI which suggests that there’s a correlation between political corruption and acceptance of OOXML as a standard. Surprise, surprise!

Corrupt countries were more likely to support the OOXML document format

[...]

Is this just a random coincidence? The median of the CPI index of the above mentioned 70 countries is 3.95. Of the most corrupted half (CPI index less than 3.95) 23 or 77% voted for approval (approval or approval with comments) and 7 or 23% for disapproval; 5 abstained. Of the least corrupted half (CPI index more than 3.95) 13 or 54% voted for approval and 11 or 46% voted for disapproval; 11 abstained – see the table below.

One new report that we have not cited before comes from The Inquirer.

However the 11 new countries are refusing to say how they will vote. These include Cote d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Ecuador, Jamaica, Lebanon, Malta, Pakistan, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uruguay and Venezuela. Most people seem to think that these have been put there by Vole [Microsoft] to make sure the standard gets pushed through.

The outcome of this was unsurprising. Since there was an admission of bribery in Sweden, who would have faith in the integrity of decision made by some of the countries listed above? They showed up out of nowhere.

The problems associated with corruption do not affect only governors of various nations. Apparently, the ISO has internal issues as well. This one source insists that the blunder in the ISO has not ended. The bias lives on.

The sad news is however that the ISO secretary blunders again. Despite the NO, ISO will have a Board Resolution Meeting in February. A BRM is basically a meeting where the ISO discusses the comments raised by the voting members and sees how it can satisfy these comments.

This is not the first time that we spot curious and suspicious moves [1, 2] being made by the ISO.

Consider this: the world’s biggest populations clearly say “No” to OOXML (see below), but the ISO is either moved by Microsoft’s money, or by all those countries that are moved by Microsoft’s money (and lobbying muscle, by proxy). Should the ISO not be immune to that?

A couple of times in the past couple of week we mentioned the Burton Group’s anti-Google Apps study. We suspected that it was linked to Microsoft somehow. In any event, Google has just rebutted the group’s claims. It still leaves you wondering what motivated such a study in the first place. It includes language that incites fear (risk to one’s career).

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