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Brett Winterford Had Kool-Aid in Redmond (and Then Came ODF FUD)

Posted in Australia, Deception, FUD, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML, OpenDocument, Turbolinux at 12:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The best pro-OOXML propaganda money can buy

At the end of last week we alluded to Sam Varghese's piece of spinmeisters when discussing threats as a competitive weapon. Spinmeisters are expected to be well paid. These are the people that will have you (or the press) believe anything. Spinmeisters are often driven by some corporate interests and Sam warns that their number is rising. Several months ago Sam also wrote the article “Shills Abound”, which warns about the type of stuff that we find in OOXML/ODF studies from IDC (funded by Microsoft) and the Burton Group, which has very recently given some pro-OOXML/anti-ODF presentation to the press in Microsoft’s own yard. There is also the Yankee Group. Remember that analysts are not always required to say who funds their operation. Sometimes the funding comes through investments rather than commissioning.

“Good publicity in exchange for a paid-for trips is a no-brainer.”This brings us to the point of this post. The spinmeisters from Redmond are at it again (yes, again). Several months ago we gave examples where Microsoft flew in some Linux journalists to its campus and even bribed bloggers for positive publicity. Microsoft gets its money’s worth. Good publicity in exchange for a paid-for trips is a no-brainer. And here is a brand-new example from ZDNet Australia which quotes Microsoft employees on the subject of OOXML and ODF:

“It obviously works,” he said. “Apple, Novell, Turbolinux, Google can all do it. For somebody like Apple to bake natively the format into their operating system, it says a lot.”

Brett Winterford travelled to Redmond as a guest of Microsoft.

Novell and Turbolinux are a case of paid-for support for OOXML (Microsoft buys this support [1, 2, 3]). The inclusion of Google is utter FUD for the same reason that IBM inclusion would be FUD. Microsoft recently lied about IBM and got slammed for it.

So there. Here you have another bias article that was composed after a seemingly-free trip to Redmond, WA where Microsoft partners delivered grossly-biased talks. We spoke about these free trips some time ago and nothing seems to have changed. Sugar Daddy buys some sugar.

More FUD can be found in the following new article:

“ISO has a policy that, wherever possible, there should only be one standard to maximise interoperability and functionality,” she says. “We have an international standard for digital documentation, ODF, which was developed by Microsoft, IBM, Sun, Oracle and the open-source community some years back. ¶

Microsoft throws lies about ODF in this article. It’s almost as though some of these articles are intended to promote Microsoft rather than focus on the technical deficiencies of OOXML, the documented briberies, and the endless manipulations which themselves alone justify getting the boot in Geneva.

Novell gets 'bribed'

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  1. Victor Soliz said,

    January 29, 2008 at 10:38 am


    For somebody like Apple to bake natively the format into their operating system, it says a lot

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry . OOXML is implemented natively into apple’s OS , yeah right. For starters it just comes in a “read only” feature in their office suite and it doesn’t support it at all, even though, it wouldn’t really say much, Apple and MS are, after all, buddies. So their mutual support wouldn’t surprise me at all.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 29, 2008 at 10:56 am


    Stay tuned. I’ve found some other ‘zombie journalists’ who drank the kool-aid and took Microsoft’s gift in exchange for good publicity. I’ll post about it tomorrow.

    What you hear coming from this article (the portion that you quote included) is the effect of brainwash

  3. Brett Winterford said,

    January 29, 2008 at 6:09 pm


    G’day Roy

    I can understand your concern about this issue. And I’m glad you picked up on the underlying message in my piece – that Microsoft is making a huge investment in getting this vote up. But I strongly object to being labeled a ‘Microsoft Zombie’.

    I have merely given Microsoft a platform to say their piece, a ‘right of reply’. The vast sum of info out there on this issue is very anti-Microsoft (if you’d taken some time to read my other pieces on the issue, you’d find that I have been quite critical of their efforts).

    The article details some of the lengths Microsoft is going to to get this vote across the line. Read the first three paragraphs again. Are you sure I sound like a ‘Microsoft Zombie’? I am telling you, quite matter-of-factly, the efforts Microsoft is going to. And then there is that little disclaimer at the end – in bold in fact, that says Microsoft paid for the press to come to Redmond, I’m not exactly hiding that fact from you am I? It’s there for all the world to see.

    I think you need to take a deep breath before labeling somebody as one of Microsoft’s goons. Research my other stories on the same issue. Also note that from that same event I have filed two other stories – one in which Microsoft is accused of making a mockery of the standards process.

    With regards to the quotes you have used – they are just that. Quotes. I quoted a Microsoft executive. Doesn’t exactly make it my opinion.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 29, 2008 at 9:43 pm


    I beg to differ, Brett. I also see that your article has been getting around. e.g. in Paul Allen’s CNET:

    Microsoft makes last-gasp OOXML push

    That’s how Microsoft ‘manufactures’ articles that leave out all the ‘minor’ details like the briberies, the fact that (proper) OOXML is Windows-only, that there are patents and so for. Microsoft shows some journalists a good time and it receives some public disinformation in return. It rewrites history this way. It’s a pattern, Brett, which is why it was brought up.

  5. Brett Winterford said,

    January 29, 2008 at 11:30 pm


    Hey Roy

    We’ll have to agree to disagree.

    A trip to Kirkland is hardly a good time. Especially leaving Sydney in summer. Felt mostly like work to me.

    Try not to jump on every journo that doesn’t attack Microsoft, eh?

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 30, 2008 at 12:12 am


    I do not attack journalists, but I point out the fact that there are — as far as I can tell — financial incentives involved. As I said before, it’s a pattern we must address and make widely known in order for it to be resolved. See this for example.

  7. OpenXML Rocks said,

    January 30, 2008 at 10:48 am


    Ha ha … this made me spill my morning coffee Roy.

    You’ve rightly called out the FUD, but the quote is from your buddies in IBM! IBM Australia Government Programs Executive Kaaren Koomen to be precise. Too funny :-)

    By the way – have you heard that a different IBM Government Programs Executive offered outsourced jobs to a country if they voted against OpenXML? Can you dig into this after you’ve corrected the post?


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