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03.20.08

OOXML Defeated Easily in India; Microsoft in Hot Water in New Zealand Over Smear Campaign

Posted in Asia, Australia, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument at 9:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“We do NOT want to ship the ’standard’ with Windows because we want to make the native APIs more attractive. We want to evolve the standard APIs rapidly, and not have ISVs [independent software vendors] spending time on something that is cross-platform.”

Bill Gates

In spite of the fiasco that we repeatedly mention, Microsoft was unable to simply buy enough votes in India.

Breaking News: India’s Final Vote On MS Office File Standard Is ‘NO’

[...]

Sources tell tech2.com that with 13 Against, 1 Abstain and 5 For, the technical committee entrusted with deciding whether Microsoft-backed OXML format will be accepted, has stuck by its earlier decision.

Thanks to our reader ‘CoolGuy’ for the headsup.

As for other encouraging news, Microsoft appears to be getting a good slap on the wrist for the smear campaign which was mentioned yesterday. Thus scandal now appears in the local technology press, as opposed to just one group’s Web page and Groklaw (both reaching a ‘niche’). Judge for yourself.

Standards New Zealand has asked a Microsoft employee to rectify statements made in an email to the Trinidad & Tobago Computing Society about New Zealand OOXML advisor Matthew Holloway.

The emails were sent as standards organisations around the world engage in sometimes heated debate over whether Microsoft’s Office Open XML (OOXML) file format should be accepted as a standard alongside the Open Document Format.

Also from New Zealand, here is a report which exposes Microsoft’s fearful reaction to the situation in the country. Attempts to change votes have not been going as well as Microsoft had hoped.

According to ISO’s own website, it became apparent during its February meeting in Geneva that it was not possible for all comments raised by participating nations to be reviewed individually so a voting procedure to decide the proposed modifications was agreed to.

“A total of 43 resolutions, involving dispositions or groups of dispositions, were accepted, most of them unanimously, some by consensus and only four by simple majority; four were refused.”

InternetNZ executive director Keith Davidson continued, “ODF appears to be the suitable generic international standard. Endorsing another standard such as OOXML could threaten the open and interoperable tenets on which the Internet is built.

“We urge Standards New Zealand and other national standards bodies worldwide to vote against adoption of OOXML.”

Back in September 2007 Andy Updegrove predicted that Microsoft would get its way by stacking committees (basically cheating). He turned out to be overly pessimistic because Microsoft did not get its way, even though it pretended that it did.

Let us hope that the Fast Track process will be rubbished in a matter of days (just over a week left). There is plenty of momentum going for ODF at the moment.

Steve Ballmer on ODFThank you, India, for a very sober vote.

Microsoft, meet ODF. You are going to have to familiarise yourself with that nice chap, no matter how you feel about product-independent and proper standards which take away your predatory lock-in.

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