“When you control the minds, you control the people…”
Shortly after Bruce's call (or plea) for assistance in getting into OSI comes this fairly strong message at a very strategic time. From OSI’s Web site:
OOXML needs to die. It’s clear that OOXML is a faux standard — not because it’s a vendor standard. There are lots of vendor-created standards which are real standards (e.g. PostScript). No, OOXML is a botch because it’s expressed in terms of an undocumented Microsoft graphics library. OOXML is all “and then a miracle occurs”. You’ve seen that cartoon, right? Where the left and right sides of the blackboard are filled with equations, and the blank space in the middle says “and then a miracle occurs”. Well, when there’s a miracle required, there’s no science even if the miracle is surrounded by scientific-seeming accoutrement. A standard which is expressed in terms of miracles is still a miracle and not a standard.
Any standards body that approves OOXML needs to blush. Any company which submits OOXML as a standard needs to blush.
Bob Sutor has just taken some search engines for a joyride. He is not entirely pleased with what’s Microsoft search engine tries to show him.
I’m not sure there’s a concrete conclusion here though it is clear to me that Microsoft Live Search has the least useful and relevant set of links about ODF in the top ten beyond the Wikipedia entry. I find that odd. Perhaps they just have a really quirky relevance algorithm.
On several occasions in the past, people showed that searches on Windows and Linux in Microsoft’s search engine return very biased results. This is hardly surprising and it’s also the reason Microsoft must never be permitted to dominate search engines and become the gateway for dissemination of information. Yahoo, anyone? Remember Microsoft’s "evangelism is war" (keyword: “Jihad”). Microsoft barely tolerates an alternate point of view.
With regards to ODF/OOXML, you are also encouraged to read the following past posts:
- Microsoft Launches “Get the Facts”-esque Smear Campaign Against ODF and OOXML’s Critics
- Microsoft’s OOXML Viral Marketing Reaches YouTube
- HOWTO: Poison the World Against ODF
- Novell, OOXML, and Microsoft’s Control of Search Engines, Media
Just to point out some key issues from these posts:
- Smears are directed at ODF through advertisements and pointers Microsoft buys (e.g. from Google)
- Viral marketing efforts have entered YouTube, with an account called “Open XML” taking the lead
- Manual tweaking (intervention) of search results is suspected, but Microsoft claims this to be a bug with the crawler/indexer, which dropped many sites by accident
- Microsoft is still getting caught spamming search engines and also spamming Web sites with what’s known as “referrer spam”
- Microsoft has a tremendous effect over journalists, some of whom it invites to take free trips
- There is the suspicion that former Microsoft employees can affect the flow of information by entering other companies
- Payments are made by Microsoft to people who are not working at Microsoft and write information that is favourable to OOXML
Whatever applies, it is rather clear that information on the Web is polluted by Microsoft’s ‘PR Machine’. Be very, very careful.
One must not forget about Munchkins, personal attacks (e.g. against Rob Weir) and even smears campaigns. Feeding the so-called “OOXML trolls” (usually Microsoft employees or business partners) should probably be discouraged. It encourages them to do more of the same. It’s a case of feeding.
Over in USENET, we have a serious Munchkin issue. It’s best to ignore them. The personal libelous attacks there are the worst and the Munchkins, including Microsoft business partners like Jesper Stocholm, poke with bargepoles even folks like Bob Sutor. At times like these, Microsoft would do anything to shoot down and derail ODF. Microsoft is desperate to secure its most important lock-in amid secret financial woes. █
“Microsoft looks at new ideas, they don’t evaluate whether the idea will move the industry forward, they ask, ‘how will it help us sell more copies of Windows?’”
–Bill Gates, The Seattle Weekly, (April 30, 1998)
[Substitute "Windows" with "Office"]