EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

04.02.08

ISO Rubber Stamp for OOXML? Not So Fast (Track)

Posted in America, Antitrust, Asia, Europe, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML at 9:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

OOXML under fire

OOXML is badWe experienced some downtime earlier, due to an overwhelming load on the server. This hopefully won’t happen again, especially at this crucial time.

Let’s just go very quickly at the overlooked facts which Microsoft and its press are less than keen on informing you of.

Two Months for Appeal

The story is not over yet and with various ongoing investigations, antitrust concerns and enormous scrutiny, this battle won’t be an easy one for Microsoft. Over at Groklaw, it’s even stated that OOXML “sits on hold”.

Now that OOXML has been shoved through, (and if you are new to the story, here’s a very complete and succinct history of what happened by James Hogarth on Tideway), we find it cut and bleeding on the other side. What about appeals of the travesty? There is an appeal process, although you may have noticed that Standards Norge’s decision was objected to elsewhere. Perhaps folks have gotten the idea that ISO is a bit tilted at the moment.

NetworkWorld agrees and here is what’s stated there, based on the simple rules in the ISO/IEC JTC1 Directives.

If any national standards organizations do make appeals to the Joint Technical Committee of ISO (JTC1) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) that worked on the draft, then Microsoft may have to wait several months longer while the appeal is heard, according to Section 11 of the ISO/IEC JTC1 Directives.

Microsoft is already expecting some difficulties. It’s actually acknowledging that these challenges lie ahead.

Now that Office Open XML (OOXML) has been certified as an ISO standard, there is a possibility that the vote leading to that result will be challenged. It seems Microsoft is already counting on it.

Antitrust Issues Kick In

The vote on OOXML may actually be illegitimate for various reasons, including the possibility of WTO intervention. Over at InfoWorld the antitrust question and related implications are being brought up.

Microsoft’s ISO win may worsen its antitrust woes

Microsoft may have won a year-long quest to make its OOXML (Office Open XML) document format an ISO-recognized international standard, but claims of foul play in the voting process may come back to haunt the software giant when the European Commission concludes its latest antitrust investigation of Microsoft’s business practices.

More Irregularities in the Press

Reports about wrongdoings haven’t ceased spreading. Some of them actually reach the more popular press [via Open Malaysia] where the story about Malaysia is told.

Minister ignored objections

According to Open Malaysia, the Malaysian Industrial Standards Committee for IT (ISC-G) took a vote on Mar. 27 to decide the country’s stance on the OOXML-ISO vote, with 13 disapprovals, five abstentions and only three approvals.

By eventually taking the decision to abstain in the OOXML ISO ballot, Maximus Ongkili, who is two weeks into the job as Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation–following the country’s Mar. 8 general elections–appeared to have ignored the ISC-G’s majority “disapprove” vote.

The BSI is not off the hook yet, either. Far from it in fact.

The British Standards Institution (BSI) has always been one of those iconic central points of reference in British life – a kind of Big Ben for standards. But it’s a little hard to square that image – perhaps hopelessly outdated – with the BSI’s recent decision to vote in favour of Microsoft’s OOXML document standard.

You don’t have to take my word for this cognitive dissonance. Someone rather more qualified than me to comment on the process to produce the final version of the proposed standard is Tim Bray. He’s generally credited with being one of the fathers of XML, which of course lies at the heart of OOXML. It’s true he’s currently employed by Sun, the main backer of the rival ODF standard, and so potentially biased, but I don’t think anybody has ever impugned his integrity because of that.

Britain’s situation was last summarised yesterday. There will be a formal complaint about what seems like serious misconduct. There will be at least one investigation and a decent amount of evidence is already available.

Over in France (see yesterday's post), the founder of OpenISO protests against what has happened. He seems determined to explore and to help bring justice.

Having participated within the responsible technical committee of the Swiss Association for Standardization and considering the decision-making process that has been used to be unsatisfactory, I find it interesting to look at how things have been handled in other countries, in order to see what can be learned from that. I plan to focus my attention in this regard on countries where the primary language is German, English or French, so that I will be able to understand any relevant documents which might become available to the public or personally to me.

To sum up, the story isn’t over until — as some folks say — “the fat lady sings.” It’s not just a question of procurement though. Microsoft’s OOXML might still lose its ISO and it appears to be facing an uphill battle as highly disturbing findings continue to emerge or resurface. These not only shatter the already-stagnant image of the company, but might also have it lose this small battle, in which it invested a helluva lot.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 31/7/2014: Zorin OS Educational 9, Android Nearing 90% Share

    Links for the day



  2. Microsoft-Linked Codenomicon and Bluebox in the Business of Smearing FOSS/Linux/Android

    odenomicon and Bluebox, two companies with strong Microsoft links, fill the media with negative articles about Android



  3. Is Microsoft Being Raided Not Just for Anti-Competitive Reasons but for Bribes and Back Doors?

    News about raids in Microsoft China mostly lacking when it comes to background, context, and information about Microsoft's crimes in China



  4. Former Microsoft Engineer Working on Windows BitLocker Confirms Government Asks Microsoft for Back Doors

    Recalling the times when even Microsoft staff spoke about secret government collaborations and back doors



  5. Ruling Against 'Abstract' Software Patents is Already Derailing Patent Attacks on Linux and Free Software

    Patent litigation against Android/Linux impeded by the introduction of arguments that cite the Supreme Court



  6. Links 30/7/2014: Chris Beard as CEO of Mozilla

    Links for the day



  7. New Optimism in the Age of Doubt Over Software Patents

    As the tide turns against software patents, even in their country of origin, their opponents come out of the woodwork to celebrate



  8. Links 28/7/2014: New Linux RC, Plasma 5 Live in Kubuntu

    Links for the day



  9. Links 27/7/2014: KDE 4.14 Beta 3, KDE 4.14 Beta 3 Released

    Links for the day



  10. Apple and Microsoft Are Proprietary Software Companies and the Media Should Stop Openwashing Them

    New examples where proprietary software giants are characterised as FOSS-embracing and FOSS-friendly by gullible or dishonest 'journalists'



  11. Bloomberg's Microsoft Propaganda

    Bloomberg delivers 'damage control' and PR ahead of the layoffs announcement; Microsoft uses Nokia to hide it and Bloomberg helps Microsoft by radically modifying headlines



  12. Frequency of Browser Back Doors in Microsoft Windows is Doubling

    The vulnerabilities which Microsoft tells the NSA about (before these are patched) are significantly growing in terms of their numbers



  13. FUD Entities Entering the FOSS World

    Symantec enters the AllSeen Alliance and Sonatype is once again trying to claim great insecurity in FOSS due to software licensing



  14. Groklaw Back in the Wake of ODF in the UK?

    Renewed activity in FOSS-leaning legal site Groklaw amid numerous victories for FOSS



  15. Links 26/7/2014: New Wine, Chromebooks Strong Sales

    Links for the day



  16. Links 25/7/2014: GOG With GNU/Linux, Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS

    Links for the day



  17. Links 24/7/2014: Oracle Linux 7; Fedora Delays

    Links for the day



  18. Valerie Strauss Explains Why Gates Foundation's Lobbying for 'Common Core' (Privatisation) is a Swindle That Makes Microsoft Richer

    Continued criticism of the Gates Foundation's lobbying and masquerading, with more journalists brave enough to highlight the corruption



  19. USPTO Officially Sets New Guidelines to Limit Scope of Software Patents in the United States

    Even patent lawyers finally acknowledge that the incentive to file software patent applications has been reduced, as the scope of patents on software has been noticeably narrowed and they are harder to acquire, let alone enforce in a courtroom



  20. UK Government Adopts OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Microsoft Already Attacks the Government Over It, Showing Absolutely No Commitment to Open Standards

    Only "Microsoft as the standard" is the 'standard' Microsoft is willing to accept, as its response to the Cabinet Office's judgment reveals



  21. Microsoft Layoffs of 2014

    Another quick look at Microsoft's horrible state of affairs and why it has virtually nothing to do with Nokia



  22. Links 22/7/2014: Linux 3.16 RC 6, New UberStudent

    Links for the day



  23. Links 20/7/2014: Jolla in India, Mega Censored in Italy

    Links for the day



  24. Longtime Mono Booster Joins Microsoft-linked Xamarin

    Jo Shields almost joins Microsoft, settling instead for its proxy, Xamarin



  25. Linux Foundation Welcomes Patent Aggressor Red Bend Software

    The Linux Foundation's AllSeen Alliance welcomes as a member a company that uses software patents to sue Free/Open Source software



  26. Matt Levy From Patent Progress (and CCIA) Does Not Really Want Patent Progress

    Matthew ('Matt') Levy moved into a foe of patent progress last year, but he still runs a site calls Patent Progress, in which he diverts all attention to patent trolls (as large corporations such as Microsoft like to do)



  27. Attacking FOSS by Ignoring/Overlooking Issues With Proprietary Software

    The biasing strategy which continues to be used to demonise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) along with some new examples



  28. Links 19/7/2014: CRUX 3.1 is Out, CyanogenMod Competes With Google Now

    Links for the day



  29. Microsoft's Massive Layoffs Go Far Beyond Nokia; Nokia's Android Phones Axed by Microsoft's Elop

    Microsoft's rapid demise and permanent exit from Nokia's last remaining Linux platform (after Microsoft had killed two more)



  30. Patents on Software Already Being Invalidated in Courts Owing to SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Patents

    The Federal Circuit Appeals Court has just "invalidated a software patent for being overly abstract," says a patents expert


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts