04.24.08

Microsoft Goes Visiting South Africa Shortly After Pro-ODF Policies (Updated)

Posted in Africa, Bill Gates, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Patents, Standard at 6:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A reader has just sent us a little valuable headsup about the recently-reported news of South Africa adopting ODF. His message is in italics below:

I am concerned about the recent wise movement by the South African government favouring truly open standards (ODF) and against software patents being sabotaged by Microsoft Corporation:

1 South Africa choses ODF/ISO26300 (and NOT MSOOXML) as National standards:

http://www.tectonic.co.za/?p=2365

http://www.oss.gov.za/MIOS_V4.1_final.pdf [PDF] (page 19)

By the way, this happens little after the MSOOXML at ISO fiasco battle and after the South African minister of Public Service and Administration slammed software patents and Microsoft for not adopting ODF:

http://www.tectonic.co.za/?p=2304

2 Jason Matusow (Microsoft’s Director of Corporate Standards) [whom we have many reasons not to trust, e.g. [1, 2]] flies to South Africa to do “external outreach”

(maybe “covert-ops” at policy level rather than just “outreach” are in the making? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covert_ops )

….is a reversal of the policy favouring ODF on the horizon? Microsoft no doubt sooner or later will attempt it, as we have witnessed in many other countries before. Let’s keep an eye on this to see if we are wrong or not…

Quick recap for background:

There are many more examples and interesting past incidents from South Africa too, due to some strong pro-FOSS sentiments over there. Microsoft was seen making visits to that country when there was a ‘crisis’ (in the Microsoft sense of the word). Remember Bill Gates’ recent visit to Paris when the police dealt a blow to Microsoft and moved to GNU/Linux? He got some children "addicted", as he himself calls it. That’s just the way it works, but it’s typically hush-hush. Let’s keep an eye open.

flickr:2401893632

Update: someone sort of suggested a couple of days ago that Microsoft’s lobbying arms might step us to do the ‘dirty work’ in South Africa

If Microsoft thinks it can now inject its immature OOXML as an alternative format in South Africa’s MIOS, they certainly are facing an uphill battle. SABS and DST will undoubtedly expect to hear a lot of whinging about “choice” and “market forces” lobbied at certain Ministerial Departments. Will CompTIA and ISC please step up?

This goes to show that certain Ministries of Science and Technology can stand up for the interests of their citizens, and not have to feel pressured by a single foreign multinational. If only this independence was more prevalent around the world.

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This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2008/04/24/ooxml-south-africa-lobby-speculation/

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A Single Comment

  1. LinuxIsFun said,

    April 24, 2008 at 7:15 am

    Gravatar

    Softies trying to save their jobs as the axe of FOSS is hanging on their heads…

    M$ struggling for survival…

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