A reader from India has just sent us a pointer to this good testimony that will join many others we've accumulated. We knew it was coming. To put it in the words of he reader, along with selected bits the has mailed to us: “See some more updates from india: An Open letter by Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay Professor. He is writing about Microsoft dirty tricks to tarnish people and institutions associated with OOXML standradisation process.”
The letter is very long, but you can read some of the highlights below to gain basic insight.
3. My personal anguish.
My first anguish is the way the name of my colleagues and my Institution, along with names of several others on the committee LITD 15, have been maligned and tarnished by Microsoft. My second anguish is that Microsoft persisted in its attempt to pressurize Indian leadership to change the Indian stand, in spite of the fact that a due process established by the Government had completed its job, recommending no change in the Indian vote. These two things, amongst others, have caused me to lose my peace of mind and my sleep over last two months. I share my thoughts (which sometimes have been rather wild), and my anguish in this section.
3.1 My colleagues, my Institute, and some other maligned organizations
I have detailed in the previous section, our approach and work that our team did at IIT Bombay. One of the complaints raised by Microsoft was about the Indian delegation itself. The delegation included Dr Sharat Chandran from my Institute as a member.
Words from the famous star-wars movie episodes perhaps most aptly describe the Microsoft behaviour. I believe these were “Either you are with me, or you are my enemy”. Perhaps in the context of Microsoft, these should be rephrased as “Either you are with me in exactly the way I want you to be with me, or you are my enemy”.
To illustrate how someone could react to this mudslinging by Microsoft, I have written a hypothetical complaint titled ‘Microsoft is looting the nation in alliance with Indian IT giants’. While constructing this hypothetical complaint, I have used what I call the ‘Microsoft patented mud-slinging algorithm’. I have included it as a stand alone appendix (Annexure A) to this letter. The purpose is to demonstrate that such complaints and counter complaints would lead all of us to disaster. This hypothetical counter complaint shows Microsoft as working at national and International forums to maintain and enhance its monopoly in global markets, and as attempting to ensure its monopoly strangle-hold on Indian desktop Market. It also paints INFOSYS, TCS, WIPRO and NASSCOM as willfully helping Microsoft in this evil design, and thus acting grossly against Indian National interests. The last one has hit me very hard emotionally, even though the construction was done by myself and it is purely hypothetical. The significant contributions made by these organizations to the Indian IT story are well known. The past and present leaders of these organizations are icons of modern India. I have the privilege of knowing them closely and being counted amongst their friends. I am sure that a large number of my countrymen will react very strongly if anyone was to really engage in such slander against them. I will be one personally eager to counter any such foolish attempts to malign these great names. These people and their Institutions are and must be treated with genuine respect.
If no citation from the new standard (as on 20th March 2008) is available from these members, should the nation now conclude that these 4 organizations deliberately acted against Indian national interests? If there is any evidence of support now found to have been given by any one of these 4 organizations to the efforts of Microsoft to pressurize the Indian Government to change our vote, should the nation now conclude that there indeed is a ‘secret alliance with Microsoft to loot the country’?
Hard questions friends, with no easy answers.
In conclusion, I will reiterate that my anguish, caused by Microsoft by slandering Individuals and organizations represented on committee LITD 15 of BIS, runs very very deep.
This is no isolated incident. In fact, we have been told that more such personal letters are likely to appear in the future totell the stories of people whose life was changed for the worse because of the Beast from Redmond — that which accepted no barriers in its destructive hit-and-run path to obstruct competition. If you want to see somethingreally ugly from Microsoft in India, watch this. █