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07.15.09

Microsoft UK’s Chief ‘Accomplice’ Jumps Ship

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument at 3:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Land of hope and glory - UK flag

Summary: The CIO of Newham, which let Microsoft inherit Britain, heads into early retirement and the timing is exceptionally curious

AT THE beginning of this month, Glyn Moody was getting prepared for a faceoff with Microsoft and its main lackey in the United Kingdom, Mr. Steel. It was to be a debate about Microsoft’s OOXML. It was later on that Moody publicly posted examples of OOXML abuses, as we noted yesterday. Now there is a surprising update from Moody:

[T]he CIO of Newham, Richard Steel, for whose benefit the meeting was being held, has rather suddenly and unexpectedly announced that he is retiring. In the wake of this news, I contacted Microsoft, and we agreed that there was little point holding the meeting as originally planned.

On the one hand, this is wonderful news because Mr. Steel helped Microsoft colonise the United Kingdom (digitally) [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], but on the other hand this whole important debate/grilling is called off and it is not known who will inherit Steel’s place (better the devil whom we know than one whom we don’t understand yet). Microsoft and him are probably afraid that they would otherwise have to explain OOXML abuses, of which there are hundreds that are known. Microsoft relies on this conversation being suppressed, buried and forgotten, but it never will. As one person put it yesterday, “This is classic Microsoft “embrace, extend, extinguish”, except now applied to standards bodies.”

“I have lost my sleep and peace of mind for last two months over these distasteful activities by Microsoft.”

Professor Deepak Phatak

“The disparity of rules for PAS, Fast-Track and ISO committee generated standards is fast making ISO a laughing stock in IT circles.”

Martin Bryan, Formerly Convenor, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34 (OOXML) WG1

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