Kool-Aid available next to Seattle, WA
A week ago, Rob Weir warned that Microsoft would fly people in to Redmond where they are likely to hear just one side of the story. He was right.
Obviously, Microsoft is pushing hard to get enough votes changed in its favor to achieve ratification as an ISO standard. That was at least partly the motivation for holding the press briefing, which resulted in a rather eclectic group of attendees.
“There were journalists from Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Ecuador, Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, and the U.S. in attendance,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Internetnews.com in an e-mail.
For all it seems, people whose decision is important to Microsoft are receiving free trips (i.e. gifts). We saw this before and we also included Rick Jelliffe, who Microsoft flies around to world to advocate OOXML. Need it even be mentioned that Microsoft also paid Rick Jelliffe to edit Wikipedia in OOXML’s favour? Who else is Microsoft paying? The list if long, yet incomplete.
That previous item that we wrote about this issue showed Microsoft take the role of the shepherd, essentially paying people for their love and treating them like sheep. A “follow the herd” phenomenon in OOXML can also be found in this new short article, which aptly titled “Burton study: Follow the herd.”
When you are a large customer you are powerful. Never admit that you still depend on Microsoft products. It is plain stupid. Start your Linux pilot. This annoys your supplier and secures you an appeasement cash-in. Consider alternative products and talk about them. That drives them so crazy that they even draft contracts that prohibits you to talk about alternative software. Eventually you find out that you don’t need their products. Better for you. Stick to midterm open standards migration. The IDABC definition gets it best, this is why they invest so much in lobbying against. I am very curious how the Open Specification Promise (OSP) would make OOXML IDABC Open standards compatible. I strongly doubt it is.
OOXML is part of a negotiation process. Can Microsoft be forced to support ODF? Absolutely. The stronger the rest of the market negotiates the better the results. No one benefits from bowing in.
Remember that Microsoft has already expressed willingness to support ODF and also remember that Burton is merely a mouthpiece to Microsoft. It’s not a truly independent source of information but more of a Microsoft partner whose success depends on Microsoft's success. The following recent video is very much recommended and it fits this context fairly well. █
“It’s a Simple Matter of [Microsoft’s] Commercial Interests!”
–Microsoft’s Doug Mahugh about OOXML in Malaysia