05.09.08

Microsoft Literally Pays ISO (Sponsors ISO Meeting) (Corrected)

Posted in Europe, Finance, ISO, Microsoft, Standard at 2:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

In Norway at the very least

ISO Sold Out to ECMA

ooxml_demo_4.jpg

There was clearly a transaction of money made by Microsoft in Norway, which passed it on to ISO. Good catch. Watch the picture inside this page and recall our old entry about soft briberies.

A reader of ours sent the following artwork that he had produced some hours ago. Click on it for a Full-sized version. It’s mildly amusing.

The Nightmare

The BSI, which seemingly shares some people with ISO (e.g. Alex Brown) has already been taken to court. It got sued over (mis)handling of OOXML (Correction: see more accurate description in the comments below]. Let’s see what the guys in Norway do next. OOXML is not a standard yet. Technically, it can never be.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

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

11 Comments

  1. Alex H. said,

    May 9, 2008 at 3:06 am

    Gravatar

    I was going to raise this issue the other day, but you made the same mistake again today.

    BSI haven’t been sued. What happened is that UKUUG requested a judicial review: that means they’ve asked a court to review whether or not the process BSI followed was correct (_not_ whether or not their conclusion was correct). Unlike a lawsuit, if they are granted a review and then the review goes against the BSI, there is no penalty. The decision is set aside, and BSI reconsiders it: they can of course reach the same pro-OOXML conclusion again.

    Don’t expect the BSI review to happen before the end of this month. The administrative court has a large backlog of cases and is actually doing extra shifts at the moment to get through it: a review (if granted) would be largely symbolic.

  2. ZiggyFish said,

    May 9, 2008 at 6:35 am

    Gravatar

    Athouvh it’s not a lawsuit as such it’s still a inquiry into the conduct of the BSI and at anytime can revoke the ISO standardization of OOXML

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 9, 2008 at 6:44 am

    Gravatar

    I’ll correct the text in any event. Thanks, Alex.

  4. AlexH said,

    May 9, 2008 at 8:38 am

    Gravatar

    ZiggyFish – I actually don’t think that the ISO status of OOXML is under threat from that enquiry.

    We have this “appeals” time limit. An “appeal” doesn’t mean “I want to change my vote”, it means “there was a problem with this process”. For this review to result in BSI issuing a formal appeal to ISO, the court has to request a judicial review, the review has to happen, the BSI decision has to be set aside, the BSI has to re-consider it’s decision, the BSI then needs to come to a different decision *and then* decide to lodge an appeal.

    I just don’t see that happening in three weeks.

    Personally, I doubt the decision will be set aside – I’m not even sure a review will be granted. The premise of the request – that the technical committee at BSI voted against OOXML – seems to be wrong, so the issue of the process being flawed seems to be moot.

    That’s not to say I’m defending what happened at ISO; I think both ODF and OOXML have caused trouble at ISO (ODF for being developed outside of ISO and the ISO standard now effectively being obsolete, OOXML for the obvious pressures Microsoft & those invested in the Office ecosystem put on the process). I don’t think BSI did anything wrong though, and I think overall it’s better for OOXML to be in ISO control than Microsoft control – people forget that Microsoft and ECMA no longer control the development of the format. If that had happened with ODF, I don’t think OOXML would have been approved.

  5. Roy Bixler said,

    May 9, 2008 at 9:00 am

    Gravatar

    Maybe a better way to phrase it would be that the BSI vote was “formally challenged”? This may not result in BSI changing their vote, but it does shine a light on the whole process and show that there was strong opposition to the BSI’s stance on OOXML. I can only hope that other countries will follow this example if, as it seems, some other national standards bodies like Norway, Poland, Germany, etc. remain defiant that “they did nothing wrong.” If the latter is true, then I think their processes leave a *lot* to be desired. I even recall that someone pro-OOXML like Jesper Stoclund agreeing that the ISO standardisation process itself is weak and relies heavily on the integrity of the national standards bodies, which seem highly suspect in a number of cases.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 9, 2008 at 9:02 am

    Gravatar

    Alex,

    Microsoft does not obey what’s in ISO’s hands, regardless. It never intended to. It said so explicitly over half a year ago, so that last argument of yours is moot, IMHO.

    Moreover, your description of what happened there in pursuit for a standard underplays what was a “brutal and corrupt process” (Tim Bray’s description and one of the biggest scams in computing history (another person’s take). It was sheer corruption, I assure you as one who has watched this since 2006.

  7. AlexH said,

    May 9, 2008 at 10:27 am

    Gravatar

    Roy S,

    The Microsoft/ECMA proposal for maintenance wasn’t accepted; the ISO plan is the one laid out with a maintenance committee responsible for the standard and another for harmonisation with ODF. So, you shouldn’t confuse the current situation with what was previously put forward: if Microsoft don’t play ball with the ISO maintenance process, then they can’t claim to output an ISO standard document format. That would then make the entire process of standardising their format pointless: and so far, they’ve been pretty good at keeping up with the changes in the format as it went through previous standardisation.

    As for sheer corruption – I think that’s the in the eye of the beholder. Every standard which goes through has significant corporate supports who have a vested interest in seeing it accepted. Take for example MPEG: it’s an ISO standard, but it’s heavily patented and you have to pay a pretty penny to use it. The latest MPEG isn’t like some technical work of art, either – they basically took Apple Quicktime and documented it. Adobe did the same thing with PDF. ISO standards are actually, more often than not, just a proprietary standard which was later documented.

    Whoever lost the argument over OOXML would have complained bitterly about the process being corrupt, undue influence, etc. The basic math was that Microsoft has more friends interested in working with Office than IBM has friends working with ODF.

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 9, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Gravatar

    ODF is not IBM. That’s just the same old Microsoft FUD (trying to warp the problem, making it a seem like a giant vs. giant duel).

    Regarding the rest, Microsoft won’t care about ISO compliance. It’s all about pretense and perception. It’s about marketing.

    On the corruption bit, no… it was by all means corrupt. Maybe you just haven’t watched it closely enough to see the bullying, the bribery, the blackmail, etc. It was disgusting, it was scandalous.

  9. AlexH said,

    May 9, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Gravatar

    I wasn’t saying ODF is IBM (it’s not; it’s Sun ;) I was saying that the primary protagonists anti-OOXML within the ISO system were IBM or IBM-supported. You can choose not to believe that, but I know what I’ve seen.

    If you don’t think Microsoft care about ISO compliance, I honestly think that you’re misguided. Standards compliance isn’t important to Microsoft’s home and business customers, it is important to their Government customers. Government purchasers tend to be less affected by marketing, and if Microsoft claim ISO compliance when it doesn’t exist I suspect they would be relatively well aware of that.

    As for bullying/bribery/blackmail.. I think that’s too easy a retort, to be honest. There are stories on both sides and if you only listen to one side’s stories then of course you come away with that impression. I think it’s very easy to make allegations about the process when you disagree with the result; let’s see how many of those check out factually and turn out to be true. The BSI case will be a very good example.

  10. Roy Bixler said,

    May 9, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Gravatar

    Here’s a pretty good example of one aspect of the argument, which is the question “was OOXML really suitable for ISO’s fast track approval?”:

    http://lehors.wordpress.com/2008/03/26/clarification-on-what-the-fast-track-is-really-about/

    It seems that it’s an honest matter of interpretation but I do feel that, if Stoclund’s interpretation is correct, then there is little that is respectable in a standard that’s been “blessed” by ISO. It would mean essentailly “we’ve cajoled enough national standards bodies and ISO officials to see things our way.” It does not mean originally what I thought an ISO standard means, which would be that there is broad consensus among technical people around the world that the proposed specification is a mature and tried-and-true one.

  11. AlexH said,

    May 9, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Gravatar

    Roy B – indeed.

    You don’t need to look through many ISO standards to disabuse yourself of the notion that they are technically brilliant often.

    For example, ISO 9660 – the CD format we all use (.iso files, right?) Would anyone who cared about doing things technically correctly limit file names to 8.3 format? Who other than DOS/CPM couldn’t support long file names, and was anyone using DOS really burning CDs? If you wanted to “do things right”, you’d just remove that restriction and not have it available in the standard.

    But that’s not how standards work.

What Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 19, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 19, 2021



  2. Links 20/1/2021: WireGuard for pfSense and New US President

    Links for the day



  3. Links 19/1/2021: Krita 4.4.2 Released and JingOS Hype

    Links for the day



  4. Team UPC Keeps Pretending That UPCA Can Still be Resurrected (Even Without the UK, Which is Strictly a Requirement)

    The latest distortion of facts regarding the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement (UPCA) as seen from the lens of people who seek to profit from such distortion



  5. 'Ethical Source' is Not Ethical and Not a Movement But a Misguided Self-Serving PR Stunt

    Something which is neither enforceable nor ethical is being promoted by profoundly unethical media in the pockets of large corporations



  6. InteLeaks – Part XXI: Intel Seeking Advice From a Bunch of Clowns (Harbor 'Research')

    A firm called Harbor 'Research' is making dubious recommendations to Intel; as shown in the above video, there's also an obsession with buzzwords (typically suggestive of a lack of technical grasp/understanding)



  7. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 18, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, January 18, 2021



  8. The US Election Was Not Rigged, But the Nomination Process Was (Undermined to Maintain Control by Oligarchy)

    Cheating/driving the left out of the Democratic Party seems like a longstanding tradition and we know who stands to gain from it; moreover, problems remain in the voting process because it's controlled by secret code of companies like Microsoft (in spite of the openwashing)



  9. InteLeaks – Part XX: Redacted (for Names Only) Release of Intel File About Developer eXperience (DX) Meddling in GNU/Linux

    Today (or tonight) we release the first 'phase' of InteLeaks in a sensibly redacted form; coming up next is a surprise from Team Microsoft



  10. Sites in Bed With the EPO and UPC 'Covering' the 'News' Without Mentioning Any of the Overt Abuses

    It is rather sad that blogs like IP Kat have turned into proponents of abusive EPO management and Team UPC increasingly resorts to lying using pseudonyms (to avert criticism and accountability); much of the rebuttal or response that’s hinged on reality/facts can only be found in comments, which are still subjected to a face-saving moderation process (conducted by Team UPC)



  11. Suppressed Facts of the Free Software Movement and Its Community of Volunteers – Part IV: Stories From the Depths of the Free Software Foundation (FSF)

    To reduce or alleviate suspicions and a potential of mistrust the FSF needs to become more transparent and liberate information (such as the real reason Bradley Kuhn left, as noted in the previous part)



  12. Links 18/1/2021: GNU Radio 3.9, Wikipedia at 20

    Links for the day



  13. InteLeaks – Part XIX: Intel's Web 'Experts' Seen as Microsoft Champions Dealing With the Platform Microsoft is Looking to Destroy

    Things aren't rosy at Intel because the hires aren't suitable for the job of documenting and/or presenting GNU/Linux-centric products (whose target audience is Free software developers)



  14. Adding Images as Characters to the Daily Bulletins of Techrights

    Our daily bulletins now have inside them coarse graphics, depicted using characters alone, and the tool used to generate them announced a new release earlier today; we showcase some of its features (in a new video)



  15. Links 18/1/2021: Weekly Summaries and Linux 5.11 RC4

    Links for the day



  16. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 17, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 17, 2021



  17. The Oligarchs' Parties Will Never Choose the Side of Software Freedom Because Free Software Cannot Bribe Officials

    The tough reality is that next week's (or this coming week's, depending on what Sunday counts as) inauguration ceremony is partly symbolic as all the same and important issues remain largely untouched, for corporations control almost everything of significance



  18. COVID-19 Has Actually Helped Software Freedom Due to Financial and 'Spare Time' Factors

    Developers and users are increasingly exploring what the Free software world has to offer; this is actually measurable and it contradicts claims to the contrary



  19. Future Plans and Using Videos to Complement Text

    Remarks on recent and impending site changes; We are not replacing text with video, we're just trying to enhance the presentation a bit, especially where visuals help make a point or where browsing through Web sites (or leaks) is more suitable than static, linear presentation



  20. InteLeaks – Part XVIII: Intel Does Not Know How to Properly Do Research and It Seems Apparent Unscientific Methods Are Used to Justify Poor Documentation

    There appears to be a severe crisis at Intel; they cannot recruit scientists (or those whom they recruited are walking away) and as a result the company produces bad products with poor documentation (or highly defective chipsets that top-notch marketing cannot compensate for); in this video we walk through some examples of how studies are being conducted (as already noted in Part XVII)



  21. Suppressed Facts of the Free Software Movement and Its Community of Volunteers – Part III: The Free Software Foundation (FSF) Seems More Like a Victim of Destabilisation Campaigns

    The Free Software Foundation (FSF), which turns 36 later this year, is looking to raise money that helps support the GNU Project, soon 38 years old and likely the most important Free software project to exist (ever)



  22. Links 17/1/2021: EasyOS on Raspberry Pi and GNU libsigsegv 2.13

    Links for the day



  23. InteLeaks – Part XVII: The High Cost of Microsoft Windows Users in GNU/Linux Development Teams

    A look inside Intel explains what holds back the technical team, which bemoans the lesser technical people getting in the way and not even using the product that they are writing about



  24. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 16, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 16, 2021



  25. Suppressed Facts of the Free Software Movement and Its Community of Volunteers – Part II: Why Bradley Kuhn Left the Free Software Foundation (FSF)

    The founder of the FSF is still at the FSF (albeit not publicly) and the person who lobbied to oust him has basically been 'banished' by the founder



  26. Links 16/1/2021: LibreOffice 7.1 Release Candidate, Zeroshell 3.9.5, FreeBSD Report, and GhostBSD 21.01.15

    Links for the day



  27. Free Speech on the Web Not Respected by Companies That Used to Support Software Freedom

    Mozilla does not have to make its Web browser about politics; it can just make an excellent piece of software that is neutral about the Web pages that it renders, based on the user's personal preferences



  28. Suppressed Facts of the Free Software Movement and Its Community of Volunteers – Part I: We Are Under Attack by Corporations and Their Salaried Facilitators

    The corporate takeover (taking over the Commons, produced by volunteers who are motivated by altruism) is a subject we must speak about and somehow tackle; this series will highlight uncomfortable or difficult truths



  29. InteLeaks – Part XVI: Intel Cannot Do Command Line, Even When It's Vastly Simpler and More Suitable for Development

    The Developer eXperience (DX) team at Intel seems to be full of Microsoft drones instead of developers and/or mildly technical people; this has not only harmed the quality of documentation but also upset staff, alienating people who actually understand what developers need (more than buzzwords like "DX")



  30. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 15, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, January 15, 2021


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

Recent Posts