02.29.08

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Expect Microsoft to be Harshly Slapped for Abuses of ISO

Posted in Antitrust, Asia, ECMA, Europe, Fraud, Microsoft, Open XML, Standard at 2:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“If you flee the rules, you will be caught. And it will cost you dearly,”

Neelie Kroes (about Microsoft), February 27th, 2008

Bob Sutor found an important bit of text in the MarketWatch article about Microsoft’s latest fine.

In addition, Microsoft recently acknowledged that the commission is also looking into lobbying efforts for its Open XML file format, which has been derided by critics as insufficiently accessible. Microsoft unsuccessfully sought last year to receive approval from the International Organization for Standardization, or ISO, to have Open XML declared an international standard.

As you are probably aware by now, the Commission is onto Microsoft's tail as it digests and analyses the endless abuses by Microsoft in pursuit of OOXML as a standard. From Google’s text search alone, this site receives over 10,000 visits a month (‘OOXML’ being a common search term), so it’s natural to assume people do their research on this issue and end up in here. Any comment and insight you can add will probably assist tremendously and be very visible.

Going ‘back’ to the BRM (present days), LinuxWorld has an article about the secretive nature of a process deciding on open standards, which affect everyone (to give another example of secretive discussions, consider eastern Europe).

Delegates at the meeting must decide to accept each of ECMA’s recommendations, reject them or make some other change instead.

What if the delegates wish to raise and discuss new problems? The rules forbid this. To make matters worse, the experts had very limited time to review 6,000+ pages, so not many complaints, corrections and suggestions could be made. This hopefully gives you an idea of how pointless this BRM actually is [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. It’s a shotgun wedding. China complained about this, but got pretty much ignored by ECMA (Microsoft).

Looking more closely at the article from LinuxWorld, someone spots the following:

Robbery at the BRM?

LinuxWorld mentions that the BRM organisors are making a paper ballot on all the 900 comments. It seems that the BRM organisors are “robbing national delegations of the opportunity to propose their own modifications”.

[...]

The purpose of this robbery might be to avoid any fix to the standard. MS-ECMA have not proposed any changes, and this robbery is designed to get the message that the BRM have fixed some issues.

Tim Bray has some photos from the BRM in his blog, in case you are curious. It doesn’t seem too rosy, but as the article above puts it, no chair are flying and people do not shout.

OOXML is bad

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