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Microsoft et al Caught Trolling — Lying About IBM and OOXML

Posted in Deception, FUD, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML at 1:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“If you can’t make it good, at least make it look good.”

Bill Gates

Well, well…

The usual suspects are at it again. Mary, when will you stop? The last time we complained about your blogging was only yesterday. Don’t we just expect more such gossip and spew?

Mary Jo Foley wishes to pass a word from the grapevine, but as Rob Wier shows, this isn’t anything but wishful thinking and trolling. They try to tell you what to think.

It is hard to resolve the pecking order of posters in the Microsoft blogger echo chamber. So let’s just remark that all the usual suspects assisted in this one: Doug Mahugh, Stephen McGibbon, Oliver Bell, Gray Knowlton, etc. Mix together, shake, repeat, turn the crank and presto! Out comes news.


By analogy to patent trolls, what we’re seeing here is the behavior of a standards troll — defining a conformance clause so vague that everything in the world is considered to support it, and then searching through competitor’s web sites in hopes of finding some place where they stumbled into supporting it, and then trying to extract some advantage from it.

The point should be to look for examples of where OOXML is supported to the highest degree, to point out the best examples of high-fidelity interchange that your standard allowed. You would think that with so many people at Microsoft with “interoperability” in their job titles, that this would be obvious. I guess not. But don’t be sad. You can always count on “supportadmin3″ to cheer you up!!!

If you spot people talking about OOXML support from IBM, then just point them at Rob Weir’s blog. The endless pattern of deception needs to end. It’s tiresome and we have seen this for over a year. The Web is getting filled with disinformation that Microsoft sponsors.

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  1. SubSónica said,

    January 22, 2008 at 2:37 am


    And now what is next? Microsoft infiltrating local Linux users group in order to undermine the grassroots support from the GULS for Free Software?
    Maybe recruiting brains for their next OS -that would be a copy of Linux-?
    Maybe they are just trying to “know their enemy” in order to better undermine and gain some brainshare…? beware, Sidney LUG folks…!


  2. SubSónica said,

    January 22, 2008 at 2:42 am


    BTW.:Hope the guys can ask the questions with more “punch” and that they don´t let the MSFT execs escape before they are K.O., hey, they asked for it!, it was MSFT who approached the LUG!!!:

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 22, 2008 at 2:56 am


    That’s just part of the newest strategy, for sure. Try to go and join the ‘enemy’ and then tell the ‘enemy’, “stop criticising Microsoft. They are nice people.” (a photo of Bill Hilf or Bruce Byfield springs to mine here). Where have we seen similar maneuvers just a week ago? Oh, here we go:

    Microsoft Keeps Its Enemy Closer (and Away from GNU/Linux).

    LUGs should be smarter than this. They should remember how Microsoft wanted to “build a bridge” with FOSS, only to start an extortion racket a few months later. This is the company that pays people money to sue Linux. It’s also the company that called a certain something a “cancer” and said that it has financial obligations, i.e. “you owe us money when you write your own code.”

  4. Stephane Rodriguez said,

    January 22, 2008 at 5:15 am


    I think we are in the middle of Microsoft’s media blitz.

    Last week was Burton Group childish attempt to tell the world what little they understand about OOXML, along with Brian Jones’s side-stepping the undocumented specs issue (making it impossible for anyone to formally verify Microsoft’s number one claim and stated goal that this new file format is done for backwards compatibility) by starting yet another empty and useless open source project (isn’t that the way Microsoft espouses a certain level of DeIcazafecalation of things?)

    This week we have the IBM FUD, not that it’s new. I am sure we’ll have support for OOXML for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum very soon…

  5. Rene said,

    January 22, 2008 at 5:56 am


    I went to Microsoft DevDays 2007 where Wouter van Vugt (NOT a Microsoft employee) specifically mentioned OOXML being supported by IBM. He also said the OOXML specs were truly ‘open source’ because some PHP-project used OOXML for something.

  6. ml2mst said,

    January 22, 2008 at 6:58 am


    [quote]Wouter van Vugt (NOT a Microsoft employee)[/quote]

    Nor an unbiased person ether:


    Beyond Microsoft, nothing else exists in his universe.

  7. Stephane Rodriguez said,

    January 22, 2008 at 7:52 am


    For the record, Wouter employed by Infosupport, a Microsoft shop, spent last year with Doug Mahugh to participate to Microsoft tech conferences all around the world (with emphasis on countries not inclined to vote Yes at ISO). His job was to evangelize OOXML. Microsoft also went as far as investing in him and released a quick book about OOXML. Doug “Mr bribery” Mahugh talks about him weekly.

    Now he’s a consultant specializing in how to integrate OOXML and sharepoint. Needless to say, this is perfectly in line with Microsoft agenda.

    Enough said.

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 22, 2008 at 8:16 am



    The media blitz started a long, long time ago. I can still vividly remember this unbelievable outrage. 800lb gorilla…

  9. Wouter van Vugt said,

    January 23, 2008 at 3:37 am


    Just to set everything straight. I am a narrow sighted guy, non-Microsoft software is outside of any scope defined within my company. Open XML is just about as much open source as the the ‘W’ key on my keyboard (it is a great Open Standard though) I no longer work for Info Support, which I still think is a great company to work for, so I don’t mind the connection. I have been doing Microsoft software, Office integration and development on the .NET platform way before Open XML came into my line of sight.

    Please continue to mis-inform again.

    “Beyond Microsoft, nothing else exists in his universe” I especially loved this one. Lol!

  10. Rene said,

    January 23, 2008 at 4:04 am


    I never said Wouter van Vugt is narrow sighted, and I don’t believe he is. He’a aware of lots of non Microsoft stuff. As an expert on the subject of Microsoft Office and MS Office XML he may be biased, but who isn’t?

    Fact is however that he implied support by IBM for Open Office XML during his talk at DevDays.

    I stand corrected on the point of him saying the specs were ‘open source’. He did not say that. I’m sorry, my bad, guess I typed too fast.
    What he did say was it was that OOXML is a ‘truly open standard’ because some PHP project can work with Office 2007 XML files.
    I think he’s aware that other projects that are Open Source can open and generate Office 97 documents, and this does not prove Office 97 documents to be an open standard.

    Any proper XML-tool will be able to do something with any valid XML-document (including OOXML).

    I wouldn’t have mentioned it here if I didn’t have the feeling he was making these two points to give his (technical) audience the feeling OOXML is an undisputed open standard that has the support of IBM, while he’s perfectly aware it’s not.

    Once again, I didn’t misquote him on purpose, and I am sorry about that.

  11. Wouter van Vugt said,

    January 23, 2008 at 9:16 am


    :) I called my self narrow sighted, but I am glad others don’t feel the same way!

    The reason why I feel Open XML is a true open standard has little to do with some guy building a PHP library for it. It is due to:
    - Open XML being owned by a standards group which maintains it (ECMA)
    - Open XML being fully disclosed and documented
    - Having multiple implementations available

    Safe to say I am not a purist, and absolutely biased (Microsoft gives me software which enables me and my customers most, I love it!)

  12. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 23, 2008 at 10:02 am


    I think it’s important to stress that ODF/OOXML is a question that applies to the general population, not a selected number of customers who happen to stock software from a particular single software vendor.

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