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02.26.08

Standards Australia Feet Still on Fire, Microsoft Spin Persists

Posted in Australia, Deception, Microsoft, Open XML, Standard at 4:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We are not done discussing Rick Jelliffe just yet, and neither is the mainstream press. In our last coverage of this saga we saw the following comment from Rui Miguel Silva Seabra, who added:

Rick Jellife never approved a comment of mine in which I correct him when he said “Sun and IBM didn’t like the rules in Portugal”.

The rules were grossly disrespected in Portugal, and both Sun and IBM made some protest for this reason.

If this is not a demonstration of bias, what is? For some reading about the Portugal stories, start in [1, 2] and follow the links. Remember, in case you are new to this, that Rick Jellife is paid by Microsoft for consulting work and was also paid to edit Wikipedia in Microsoft’s favour. Despite all of this, he has flown over to Geneva where he now represent Australia.

Several companies, including the Waughs in fact, have criticised the move. From a new article:

Representatives from IBM, Google, Catalyst IT and Waugh Partners expressed their concern the appointment of Topologi director Rick Jelliffe to the delegation was not indicative of the wider industry view on OOXML standardization.

There is more in another new article.

Senior project manager at Standards Australia, Panjan Navaratnam, will head the delegation and shoulder the responsibility for all Australian positions. He will be supported in an advisory role by technical expert Rick Jeliffe.

Despite some concerns surrounding the objectivity of Jeliffe, Standards Australia insists that its delegates are not participating as an agent of any personal or organisational viewpoint.

Some would say that Rick Jellife is a scapegoat. It might as well be true because there are other people out there whose role is similar. Consider the Burton Group, for example, as well as various journalists who accepted free trips to Redmond and then issued Microsoft ‘press releases’ or ‘informercials’ as articles for the international press (e.g. [1, 2]).

Being part of a bigger problem or being able to blame others for corruption does not suddenly makes yours acceptable. It is very important to raise issues of misconduct where they exist because there are ongoing antitrust investigations into the abuse of ISO.

To name another interesting new observation, watch this catch from Glyn Moody:

Get a Life? – Get a Clue

I came across the following at the weekend:

Speaking at a Microsoft-hosted event, analyst David Mitchell revealed he used to lecture police on riot control, before eventually becoming the senior vice president of IT research at Ovum.

[...]

“I feel like getting hold of people and saying ‘get a life’,” he adds. “It’s only a document format. It’s just got too silly.”

Only a document format?!? How can someone who’s supposed to be an analyst be unaware of the larger issues? Document formats are the offline equivalent of HTML, and openness is just as critical off as on the Web. To say that “it’s only a document format” misses the point entirely.

“Missing the point,” as Glyn puts is, is means of diversion. It’s important to stay focused on the question Microsoft is trying to escape. It cannot answer these questions and it attacks the messengers instead. With another huge antitrust fine looming (probably to be announced tomorrow), it’s clear that Microsoft has plenty to hide.

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