EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS


Microsoft’s Corruption of Standards Carries on

Posted in Deception, ISO, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 6:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Standards - Brown
Click for larger version

Summary: Microsoft further corrupts the integrity of standards while pretending to be opening up

A lot of noise is being generated out of Microsoft’s announcement that it would ‘open’ an Outlook format, which some Free software like Thunderbird was already able to decipher anyway. Microsoft did something similar with proprietary Office formats that developers had already reverse-engineered due to Bill Gates' brutally anti-competitive attitude.

A reader has mailed us a cartoon on the subject (see above). “Some or all of the attached might be used,” he explains, but “it might have more impact if the dialog were about standards. What was that ‘standard’ that Microsoft wanted developers to use, but guaranteed failure for those that tried it?”

For those who are thinking that Microsoft has changed its ways after the OOXML corruptions, look no further than Rob Weir’s latest post.

However, in other cases (in fact most of the cases), the Microsoft-dominated WG4 appears to have overstepped the permissible bounds for corrigenda, and indeed gone far, far beyond what it stated it would be doing in corrigenda. Let’s look at a few examples.

(Sadly, the general public is not given access to the text of the draft corrigenda (the DCOR) but those on the inside can follow along by reading N 1252 in the SC34 document repository.)


I invite you to go back to the defect log [PDF] and search for “BRM”. You will find several oddities. For example, among these proposed changes are some that actually reverse BRM decisions. Yes, you heard me correctly. SC34/WG4, the Microsoft-dominated committee that maintains OOXML, is undoing various BRM decisions that enabled OOXML to be approved in the first place. Why? Well, of course, to make the standard conform more to Microsoft Office.


So although Microsoft Office does not conform to ISO/IEC 29500 today, I have no doubt that within a few months it will fully conform. But not a single line of code will have changed in the Office product. Office 2007 will be retroactively made to conform to ISO/IEC 29500. What will happen is the standard will be modified to match that single vendor’s products, by misapplication of an ISO procedure intended for fixing minor drafting errors.

So why go through all this trouble? I believe this is all about getting the OOXML standard “corrected” so Microsoft can push for it to get it officially adopted around the world. The only reason they’ve held back so far is because MS Office does not actually implement ISO/IEC 29500 today. So it would have been counter productive for them to push for official adoption. However, once this oversight is remedied, by changing the standard to match their product, then watch out.


So Microsoft is now off extending OOXML, and this whole ISO escapade with OOXML seems for naught. (I hear also that Microsoft is also backing off the submission of their Extensible Page Specification (XPS) to ISO as well, saying that “an Ecma Standard is good enough”.) It appears that Microsoft got what they wanted from ISO and is moving on. Who said it would last more than a night? As my grandmother used to say, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?”


The pattern is clear: OOXML will be extended by Microsoft much faster than it will be standardized and corrected by ISO. This will make the ISO version of OOXML, currently not supported by Microsoft, even more irrelevant in the future.

Who didn’t see that coming? If ISO does not toss out OOXML as informed people are demanding, then it will drift further into oblivion [1, 2, 3, 4].

ISO in money“This year WG1 have had another major development that has made it almost impossible to continue with our work within ISO. The influx of P members whose only interest is the fast-tracking of ECMA 376 as ISO 29500 has led to the failure of a number of key ballots. Though P members are required to vote, 50% of our current members, and some 66% of our new members, blatantly ignore this rule despite weekly email reminders and reminders on our website. As ISO require at least 50% of P members to vote before they start to count the votes we have had to reballot standards that should have been passed and completed their publication stages at Kyoto. This delay will mean that these standards will appear on the list of WG1 standards that have not been produced within the time limits set by ISO, despite our best efforts.

The disparity of rules for PAS, Fast-Track and ISO committee generated standards is fast making ISO a laughing stock in IT circles. The days of open standards development are fast disappearing. Instead we are getting “standardization by corporation”, something I have been fighting against for the 20 years I have served on ISO committees. I am glad to be retiring before the situation becomes impossible. I wish my colleagues every success for their future efforts, which I sincerely hope will not prove to be as wasted as I fear they could be.”

Martin Bryan, Former Convenor of ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34 [OOXML] WG1


Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New

  1. Battistelli Ruins Not Only the EPO But Also the Whole of Europe By Ushering in Software Patents That Patent Trolls Love So Much

    Battistelli's bad leadership at the EPO threatens to bring to Europe all the ills and menaces of the patent system in the United States

  2. EPO Spokesman Lies to IP Watch in Order to Save Face and Save the King (Battistelli)

    Rewriting history (revisionism) regarding Battistelli and what was demanded amidst abusive behaviour from him

  3. Unitary Patent (UPC) is Dead, But 'Managing IP' and Selfish Patent Law Firms Still Try to Resurrect It

    The latest attempts to shore up the Unitary (or Unified) Patent Court and who's behind it other than the usual suspects

  4. Links 20/10/2016: Linux 4.10 Preview, ONF and ON.Labs to Merge

    Links for the day

  5. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC 'Study': The Raw Outcome Shows Distortion of the Facts at the EPO's Notorious 'Social Conference'

    Results of the Staff Survey carried out by PwC, in order to provide some propaganda for Battistelli's expensive Social Conference

  6. Addendum: EPO's Alberto Casado Cerviño, WIPO's Francis Gurry, and EUIPO's Archambeau

    Photos taken as part of an IP event which took place in Riga (Latvia) in March 2015

  7. Worrisome Connections Between EPO VP2 Alberto Casado Cerviño and Patricia García-Escudero Márquez

    Exploring the potential conflicts of interests implicating the EPO's Boards of Appeal Committee

  8. Site's Infrastructure Under Attack and Upgrades Ahead of Major New Publications

    Protections for the Web site have been improved and capacity increased in order to avoid or at least prepare for another week of abusive/spam traffic

  9. Team Battistelli's Conspiracy Theory: SUEPO is Behind Everything, EPO Management is Trying to Tell the Media

    Attempts to blame SUEPO, the staff union of the EPO, even though SUEPO has nothing to do with articles that are critical of the EPO while many thousands of EPO employees are disgruntled

  10. Links 19/10/2016: Canonical Livepatch Service, Plasma Plans

    Links for the day

  11. The 'Sarah Sharps' of Microsoft: Not the Kind of Scandal the Media Cares Enough to Write About

    Another example of the large (industrial) scale of sexual discrimination at Microsoft -- a company that tries to advertise itself as diverse or tolerant and stigmatise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) as intolerant and/or not diverse

  12. EPO Caricature: EQE Questions

    The latest EPO cartoon, this time about European qualifying examination (EQE)

  13. The Long History or Seeds of Control by Fear and Punishment at the EPO

    The latest hogwash from Team Battistelli (Pinocchio), the latest instance of software patents promotion by EPO Principal Director, and an old (decade-old) nugget of information from the Forum for Principal Directors

  14. Subject of the European Patent Office's Abuses Raised in European Parliament by Ulrike Müller (ALDE)

    A local copy of a bunch of questions asked less than a month ago by Ulrike Müller at the European Parliament, regarding the unacceptable state of affairs at the European Patent Office (EPO)

  15. French Article About the EPO "Crisis"

    Le Monde, which covered EPO suicides and nervous breakdowns a year and a half ago, revisits the subject

  16. Battistelli Wants Us to Believe a Patent Office in a Freefall (EPO) is “Stronger and More Sustainable”

    Still in denial (or self-deluding for self indulgence), Battistelli writes about the EPO as though everything is rosy and people are happy

  17. Leaked Documents Shed More Light on What Happened to Alison Brimelow and How Battistelli Rose to Power

    How Battistelli's (almost) all-male (and all-white, mostly French) management came into being, not too long after Ms Alison Brimelow got elbowed out the Office

  18. Leaked: Outcomes of 149th Administrative Council's Meeting at the European Patent Organisation

    The raw details or a summary thereof, based on the above which serves to confirm what we wrote about several days ago, right after the quarterly meeting had ended

  19. Danish Press Coverage of the European Patent Office and the Problems Explored by Techrights

    Jesper Kongstad does virtually nothing to deny the arguments (or "accusations") and instead alludes to the style of the writings about him

  20. Links 18/10/2016: Release Candidate of Leap 42.2, Looking Ahead at GTK4

    Links for the day

  21. Links 17/10/2016: JS Foundation, Ubuntu 17.04 Named ‘Zesty Zapus’

    Links for the day

  22. EPO Updates: Battistelli in Trouble, Grossenbacher and Battistelli Having a Fight, EPO Doubles Down on Željko Topić

    Interesting updates from the European Patent Office (EPO), where things have taken a turn for the worse for Battistelli while Željko Topić secures an extension of his notorious contract

  23. EPO Social Conference Another Example of Astronomical Waste of Money by Benoît Battistelli

    Having paid the media and attempted to scare/intimidate staff into silence (even among one another), Battistelli now pays some firms to lie for him and present the lies while staff representatives are blocked from entering the presentation

  24. As Expected, Benoît Battistelli Puts Longtime Ally Roland Grossenbacher on Top of Boards of Appeal

    Benoît Battistelli's predecessor Roland Grossenbacher, who has a track record of protection and support for Battistelli (no matter the magnitude of abuses), reportedly takes a key position with Battistelli's approval, debunking the notion that the appeal boards will enjoy greater (perceived) independence from the Office

  25. UPC Preparatory Committee Projects Optimism in an Effort to Salvage Its Dying Project, the Unitary/Unified Patent

    Refusing to let the UPC stay in its grave, Team UPC keeps digging up and dishing out UPC misinformation, in front of an audience that need not be preached to as it's already converted (effectively an echo chamber)

  26. Outline of Latest Press Coverage Regarding the European Patent Office (EPO)

    European media is beginning to cover scandals associated with the European Patent Office (EPO), in spite of Battistelli's attempt to silence and manipulate it, at the expense of millions of Euros per year

  27. Links 16/10/2016: Linux 4.9 RC1, Wine 1.9.21

    Links for the day

  28. Links 14/10/2016: 20th Birthday for KDE, Apache OpenOffice 4.1.3

    Links for the day

  29. EPO Administrative Council Meeting Turning Point - Part V: “Siegfried Bross as President of the Boards of Appeal!”

    Retired judge Siegfried Broß is jokingly named as the person who should head the independent Boards of Appeal that keep the Office in check

  30. EPO Administrative Council Meeting Turning Point - Part IV: When ~1,200 EPO Workers March in Protest and European Politicians Say “Battistelli Must Go”

    Battistelli's reign of terror at the European Patent Office (EPO) has brought the Office to a boiling point and no magnitude of lies cover the harsh reality which workers are protesting against


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time


Recent Posts