If Microsoft gets this OOXML format “approved”, it will be by irregularities in the voting, it seems. Here’s more on what happened in Germany and a report on what is being called a scandal in Norway. And another odd process in Croatia.
If you can read German, here’s the story on what happened there. For those who can’t, when they went to vote, they were not allowed to vote disapprove, so the choice was to approve or to abstain. It was a tie, 6:6, which means no consensus. So under the rules I’ve read, that would have meant that they should send a vote of Abstain.
But surprise, surprise!! A solution helpful to Microsoft: the representative from DIN decided to cast a vote, which isn’t the process. DIN isn’t supposed to vote, because it’s supposed to advise. But this, they rationalized, was a vote not about whether to accept OOXML on the basis of *technical* issues, but whether to accept the approval suggestion of the technical committee. So DIN voted to accept DIN’s suggestion. Hence Germany ends up in the Approve column. I know. No doubt there will be objections filed.
Norway’s at least as bad. Here’s an article from Norway, and the translation of the title of the article is, “Scandal in Standards Norway. I didn’t write that headline. They did. And here’s why. The article says there should be an investigation of the irregularities there, because while there were only two votes to approve, from Microsoft and a business partner, Statoilhydro, and all the others voted no, 21 votes, they approved anyway. Here’s how they shuffled the deck in Norway. So they put everyone out of the room, and Standards Norway, three people were left in the room, and they usurped the decision and made it their business to decide to approve anyway.
Unbelievable. If it was happening in only one country, you might think it was local difficulties. But when it happens in place after place, one can only conclude that Microsoft, although outnumbered in a fair vote, has sufficient clout behind the scenes to shove this format into the world’s mouth and hold its mouth closed by force until the world is compelled to swallow. Remember that Microsoft memo that surfaced in the Comes v. Microsoft litigation? The one about how to stack a panel discussion at conferences so it would be favorable to Microsoft? The key was to get to be the moderator.
One thing is certain. Unless ISO steps up and fixes this mess, it will lose the world’s respect, and rightly so. Either the rules mean something, or they don’t, but if they don’t standards don’t mean anything either.
Groklaw contains many pointers to back with evidence. Further to this, consider the following set of posts (ordered by precedence).
- OOXML Irregularities in Germany (and Britain Again)
- OOXML Muscling Its Way Through German Politics
- Microsoft Apparently Invaded Vodafone to Made Deal
- Stephane Rodriguez’s Latest on OOXML Intra-operability, Munich’s Mayor Protests Against OOXML
- OOXML Abuses: Making Room for Antitrust Regulators
- OOXML/ISO Watch: Microsoft May Have Broken Antitrust Laws
- The Latest News on the Microsoft OOXML Fiasco (Updated)
- OOXML Watch: Sweden’s OOXML Fiasco Representative of the Norm?
- Steve Ballmer Makes Phonecalls to Flip Those Votes in Favour of Monopoly (Updated: China Says “NO”)
- OOXML Watch: More Deception and More Manipulation, Norway ‘Corrupted’
- ISO Reform Demanded, OpenISO Formed by Norbert Bollow (Updated)
- OOXML Watch: Poland and Hungary Allegedly Influenced by the Microsoft Money
- Microsoft’s Exclusionary Deal in the UK: BECTA
- Quick Mention: Microsoft’s Web Standards Abuse May Incur the Wrath of Europe
- ODF and OOXML in Denmark
- Quick Mention: Norway Favours OpenDocument Format in Government (Updated)
- A Look Back at OOXML BRM, Stacking, ISO’s Admission of Failure
- Nokia and Finland: A Mystery Behind OOXML and Silverlight
- Rob Weir and Bob Sutor Return to Discussing the OOXML Frauds
- Week of Corruptions :: Day 4 :: Briberies in Sweden
- OOXML ‘Corruption Train’ Arriving at Sweden (Updated)
- Quick Mention: ODF Adoption Leads to More Microsoft Abuses in Croatia
- (Software) Patents Degradation in the American and European Systems
- When Will We Finally See Lawsuits Over Microsoft’s OOXML Frauds?
- OOXML in East Europe — More Nations, Same Dirty Tricks (Updated)
- OOXML: What Happened in the Czech Republic?
- Lobbying by OOXML Proxies and Death by OOXML Binaries
- The Effect of Burton Group FUD and the Source of the FUD (Microsoft?)
There are several more posts and summaries which can be found by following the links or searching the Web site.
Andy Updegrove keeps track of the votes, but regardless of the outcome, antitrust issues, The European Commission and several other factors are likely to stand in the way. We shall see what ‘propaganda’ Microsoft unleashes regardless of ethical/legal breaches, probably using a one-sided press release that surely mentions none of the abuse. We saw that in September, despite the fact they had lost. █