07.17.08

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Yet Another OOXML “Hidden Agenda”

Posted in America, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument at 1:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

ISO in moneyBad behaviour takes no summer vacation

Some observers might still remember how Microsoft tried to intercept Brazil's appeal. It’s even more difficult to forget how Microsoft involved presidents of several countries, not to mention possible evidence of back-room deals that involved the big software vendors. Hewlett-Packard intervened too at the last minute.

Now comes this complaint from Brazil, which appealed ISO's decision (it seemingly talks to deaf or arrogant ears [1, 2, 3, 4]).

OpenXML: Finally the hidden agenda is emerging

Not so long ago, the major evidence for me was the number of countries that changed their votes in the last days OpenXML voting, signaling a major political agreement for the approval of standard, but now, a few months later more strange thing is happening.

The last of them is that we in Brazil, and all other NBs, will have to cast until July 29, our vote regarding a proposal for a “new work item” at SC34, which deals with the translation between ODF and OpenXML documents. If this proposal is approved, it will be generated by SC34, trough an “accelerated process”, a technical report on the subject.

I think this discussion is really natural, but we need to observe a simple detail: “The approval of OpenXML as an international standard is under appeal !!!”.

Whereas Brazil complains about the appeals in this context, Rob Weir questions another separate aspect. He summarises this as “toy soldiers”.

One example is the proposals in SC34 to create a new project to create a Technical Report on translating between ODF 1.0 and OOXML 1.0. This might have made sense at some point in the past. But this proposal seems out of place now.

Consider:

1. No one supports ODF 1.0 today. All of the major vendors have moved on to ODF 1.1, and will be moving on to ODF 1.2 soon.
2. No one supports OOXML 1.0 today, not even Microsoft.
3. No one supports interoperability via translation, not Sun in their Plugin, not Novell in their OOXML support, and not Microsoft in their announced ODF support in Office 2007 SP2.

[...]

Given the leisure to do the job right, my bet is on Microsoft. Everyone knows it for what it is now. There is no longer need for elaborate attempts to disguise the fact that OOXML is and will remain a Microsoft-only standard.

ISO should really be scraped before this goes any further. Likewise, the European Commission’s investigation of Microsoft’s OOXML abuses must be completed before ISO even considers approval.

It is very obvious that Microsoft has abused the process all along. It’s laughing all the way away from the bank, carrying bags of loot without a single policeman in sight.

OOXML protests in India
From the Campaign for Document Freedom

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