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Norway Changes OOXML Vote, Receives New Microsoft Search Base (Updatedx2)

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument at 3:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

In a couple of previous posts, we already mentioned Microsoft’s attempt to take over ODF [1, 2] and Glyn Moody has just weighed in on this too.

Why would Microsoft acknowledge ODF’s victory? Given an insanely combative nature that for the last 30 years has seen the company fight on and on and on – often past the point of rationality – why on earth would Microsoft meekly concede that “ODF has clearly won?” Could it be because it plans is to *co-opt* that victory by taking over ODF itself through the ISO committee it effectively runs?

That was predictable, assuming it turns out to be true.

As ISO’s reputation continues to decline [1, 2] due to corruption, Norway's nation standards body is imploding, but there may be more to the story there. This is all very speculative, but a reader has just sent us aheadsup on this news article, adding: “kinda makes me wonder why Norway voted pro-OOXML.”

Microsoft to build new search base in Norway

Software giant Microsoft said Tuesday it would establish its base for enterprise search technology in Norway, with a main office in Oslo plus offices in Trondheim and Tromsø.

Isn’t Microsoft supposed to be cutting down on expenditures?

Remember the story from Norway and how this decision ascended all the way up to the very top. Also Recall that post about 'soft bribery' and remember how Microsoft used top-level politicians for OOXML, including heads of nations in Mexico and France.

3 days ago in Groklaw, at the sight of an article bearing the headline “Microsoft to open research centers in Europe,” PJ picked out the sentence: “Steven Ballmer, the Microsoft chief executive, said at a news conference here that the three “centers of excellence,” to be based near Paris, in London and in Munich, would employ several hundred people all together.” She then added: “France, Germany and UK. I can’t shake the nagging memory that these three helped out with their OOXML votes.” This happens to come just months after Microsoft offered freebies to other countries which changed their votes in favour of OOXML. No good reasons were given at the time.

Microsoft has just launched a program called OnMyWay, by which Microsoft will offer training and financial help to young people. It has begun dispensing help in Europe already, but more largesse is to come. If you look at the How We Help page, it says “Microsoft may provide help in the form of finance, educational materials or equipment.” I’m told the ads are seen in four countries so far, Germany, France, the UK, and Australia.


The Czech Republic, the UK, Germany, Denmark, Finland and Norway all voted to approve OOXML.

This was a change for each of them. In September, the Czech Republic, the UK, Denmark, and Norway had voted to disapprove, so this was a change in Microsoft’s favor. Finland abstained in September, and it voted to approve in March as well.

More details and a related discussion can be found here. We have some more supportive evidence shall readers require it.

Protest against OOXML

Update: Groklaw has just mentioned this as well, stating: “Funny how countries that buckled under in the OOXML vote keep popping up with new Microsoft investment. By the way, you don’t want to miss the photograph of Ballmer.”

Update #2 (07/10/2008): Some Mac/Apple fan sites are suggesting that there might also be a connection to this: Norway Presses Apple To Open Up iTunes.

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