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Another Formal Complaint About ISO/Microsoft: South Africa’s Turn

Posted in Africa, Antitrust, Europe, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 7:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Norway’s vote might soon be flipped to a “No!”


Some short while ago it was Denmark, which joined several other countries amid complaints that came from many different directions simultaneously (e.g. Norway’s protests, India’s street protests, the UK’s BECTA shoots at OOXML, BSI targeted, Poland’s investigation, multiple EU probes). And now, ladies and gentlemen, welcome South Africa.

At least one National Body has submitted a formal complaint to ISO and IEC. South Africa was rather vocal about the Fast Tracking process of OOXML from day one.

Yoon Kit has already extracted the text from the PDFs, of which he had put up some screenshots. This happened just moments ago. Norway’s Steve Pepper comments further it in his blog. Pay attention to this:

South Africa’s action confirms that the battle is not yet lost. Here in Norway we are working hard to get the Norwegian vote changed back to No and we think we might succeed.

This development in South Africa could not come at a better time because of the emotional factor that will be earning sympathy. Microsoft has mocked South African people (some more of this at the end of this very recent post and even here). The exposure of the slurs was very high (some big front pages last night). Watch SJVN’s rather blunt response to this:

Those Dumb South Africans


None-the-less, it seems Matusow is convinced that “The developing world still views OSS as ‘free as in no money,;” and … “I heard this same point of view for 5 years all over Asia, parts of Europe, and Latin America.” So, I guess it’s not just South Africans, but a lot of people, all those non-English-speaking foreigners, who aren’t capable of understanding open source.
And, Microsoft wonders why so many counties really are ‘anti-Microsoft!’

See his reference to the "anti-Microsoft" label. He too, despite being a very respectable journalist, is sometimes being assigned this label by known or anonymous (cowards) critics. Apparently it’s unacceptable to denounce crime and insults. It makes you not anti-crime and anti-insults, but anti-Microsoft. But what does that say about Microsoft? That it’s crime and insults? That Microsoft cannot be named when it commits a sin?

Side note: The Web server is somewhat wobbly at the moment. Scalability issues on the face of it. If you see some sparks and bolts flying, please holler.

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  1. Tomas de Torquemada said,

    May 23, 2008 at 8:58 am


    Not that it matters, but South Africa is the first country to raise a formal issue with ISO. Other objections have been at a national level only.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 23, 2008 at 9:02 am


    Yes, they courageously take the lead here. Hopefully some other government will join in and endorse SA’s message.

  3. AlexH said,

    May 23, 2008 at 9:17 am


    I think SA stand a better chance that Norway do, for sure.

    Whether or not they succeed, I think this is the final nail in the coffin of the PAS & fast track procedures. From the looks of it, we won’t have another ISO document standard before 2010, optimistically.

  4. master_chief said,

    May 23, 2008 at 10:28 am


    India should also file a formal complain

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 23, 2008 at 10:35 am


    India tried to sort of proactively file one against India. It’ll be good if large nations like China, India and Brazil put their weight behind it. Brazil has spilled the beans on the BRM already, showing what a farce it really was.

  6. master_chief said,

    May 23, 2008 at 10:46 am


    MS thinks they can buy their way out of everything….

    I second that. People should email their national bodies asking them to do so. That will be a good move.

    Pleassse call your National Body and complain to them about this


  7. black said,

    May 23, 2008 at 9:23 pm


    Your “national body” is likely corrupt too, everyone is becoming corrupt. Revolution will likely be the only option of the few who care.

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 24, 2008 at 8:47 am



    People can search the Web and potentially find out about their national body’s corruptions too because many such incidents were caught and documented. In such a case, multiple complaints can be made. The EC is receptive. The more evidence is spread and the louder the complaints get, the better chance we have (defeating vendor lock-in, charging those who were guilty, cleansing standards bodies and so on). I’ve done what I can about the BSI, which will need to face legal action.

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