Ouch. Nice shot in the foot there.
Open Malaysia frequently has a gem to share. This time the blog brings us some news from a meeting where Microsoft spoke about OOXML.
He was asked “Why did Microsoft push OOXML through the “Fast Track” process instead of the standard ISO process? Wouldn’t they get less resistance than faced now?”
His response [Doug Mahugh, Microsoft] was very frank: “Office is a USD$10 billion revenue generator for the company. When ODF was made an ISO standard, Microsoft had to react quickly as certain governments have procurement policies which prefer ISO standards. Ecma and OASIS are ‘international standards’, but ISO is the international ‘Gold Standard’. Microsoft therefore had to rush this standard through. Its a simple matter of commercial interests!”
This confirms a point which was raised very recently, about procurement by governments. If you can pretend it’s open and bribe your way into an ISO badge that confirms it, then surely, it must be “open”. Governments will take the ISO’s word… never mind how it all got there.
Related and recent stories:
Another thing, by introducing a “new fancy” document format, MS can hold a tighter grip round existing customers and get more on the false pretence that they’ve “opened up”.
“This is how a standard is bought,” Bosson wrote later. “I left the meeting in protest – pissed off.”
He acknowledges that the rules might need to be changed.
On possible OOXML corruption in Uruguay (the translation reveals irregularities in the process)