SO insulted its own intelligence when it chose to pretend that it had done a good job with Microsoft OOXML . People inside ISO and people who participated have already admitted that Microsoft abused the rules, but such people are either ignored, gagged, or have already left in protest or fear. It is very embarrassing.
In Switzerland, for instance, having witnessed the abuse a year ago, one man decided to create OpenISO (also mentioned in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11]). The name quite obviously implies that ISO is not open. It implies that a replacement was desperately needed.
Now it goes further. Watch this timely pointer.
Of course, ISO’s officials attitude to recommend a straight dismissal isn’t helping the matter either. Although they are definitely being consistent I’m afraid in this case they are just being consistently wrong. They remind me of these abusive governments that spend their time trying to shush the opposition rather than understand it. They should know better though.
History is full of governments that were thrown out by oppressed people. If ISO and IEC officials think they are somewhat shielded from this kind of trouble they need to think again.
Here is the main proposal of interest. where you will find another recommendation of a replacement to ISO.
ISO/IEC and OOXML: The judge, the jury and the hangman
Those who have been following the OOXML issue would have noted that India was among the four countries that had appealed against the ISO/IEC approval of OOXML. The next step in this drama (charade?) is that the heads of ISO and IEC have replied to the four countries. The replies essentially dismiss the claims made by the four countries with studied nonchalance. I am not surprised. After all, if I was asked to pass judgment on my own goofups, I am not likely to hang myself. Enough has been said on how Microsoft has compromised ISO on this blog and others and I will not add to this.
We Indians have had enough of the East India Companies looting our country, and leaving a trail of bloodshed, poverty and famine behind. We have had enough of India being a soft state. If these companies want to sell in India, they better follow Indian rules and obey Indian laws and stop acting against the interests of the people of India. If you think those are harsh words, I’d recommend reading Prof.DB Phatak’s blog and his detailed commentary on Microsoft’s activities around OOXML. As they say, there is no smoke without fire and if a respected professor like Prof.Phatak is so furious, imagine what caused it.
For those who are unfamiliar with the ordeals of Professor Phatak, start here. Microsoft may have gone as far as bribing charities (circumstantial evidence); shortly after the fiasco had surfaced, the MD of Microsoft India ran away. Several sources suggested a connection between the two events.
Former Microsoft consultant Rick Jelliffe has posted his own particular brand of science fiction/fantasy, this time in his favorite subgenre, a parody of a drug-induced psychosis, where after uneasy slumber Rick awakes in some alternate parallel universe and finds that JTC1/SC34 is open and transparent and OASIS is closed, and decides to write a rambling blog post about it.
Watch the first comment, which we wrote about here. Does Microsoft wish to ruin ODF using a Microsoft-influenced ISO? Groklaw sure supports this assertion.
That said, the new suite claims to be ahead of Office 2007 in one more specific respect. According to Interfax, EIOffice 2009 is compatible with ODF as well as OOXML files. (Details on how difficult that might have been to achieve can be found here).
While Evermore may not cost Microsoft many sales in the West, it could prove to be a formidable opponent in what I expect will soon be the largest market for software in the world – China, with its 1.3 billion people. China is determined to promote its own software industry, and Evermore also will have a distinct price advantage, at least relative to Microsoft’s standard list prices. The top edition of EIOffice 2009 will sell for RMB 1,198 ($174.92), as compared to the RMB 4,902 ($717.83) price in China for Microsoft’s professional Office 2007 edition.
“I have lost my sleep and peace of mind for last two months over these distasteful activities by Microsoft.”