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

10.28.09

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

flickr:2401893632

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. The 'Offenses' of EPO Staff Representatives Boil Down to Truth-Telling

    Dutch television examined the documents of the mock 'trials' against SUEPO leaders and concluded that whistle-blowing (i.e. exposing abuses by EPO management), not misconduct, is the reason for overzealous dismissals



  2. Rumours About Dismissal of Benoît Battistelli and New Letter From Union Syndicale Federale Blasting Battistelli's Behaviour

    hings have been heating up since the dismissal of staff representatives at the European Patent Office (EPO) and some even spread rumours about withdrawal/dismissal of the EPO's President



  3. VirnetX Case Against Apple Shows Not the Problem With Patent Trolls But With Software Patents

    What the media really ought to be talking about after the high-profile VirnetX case, rather than obsess about the status of Apple or patent trolls in the Eastern District of Texas



  4. Diápositivas de Nueva Charla Explican la Connección Entre la Corte De Patentes Unitarias (UPC) y Patentes de Software

    Benjamín Henrion habló el pasado Domingo acerca de las patentes de software europeas -una presentación que habla de la Corte Unitaria de Patentes, por la que la OEP aboga sin cesar y que es lo que significa para las patentes de software.



  5. Las Políticas de Microsoft Alienan Incluso a los Hinchas Más Acérrimos de Microsoft, Incluyendo Pro-Microsoft Web Sites

    El agresivo comportamiento de Microsoft y su BAJA CALIDAD DE PRODUCTOS dejan algunos de sus últimos restos de ´hinchas´ descorazonados y molestos.



  6. Links 6/2/2016: CoreOS Rocket 1.0, Scientific Linux 7.2

    Links for the day



  7. Maybe It's Time for Class Action Lawsuits Against Microsoft for Forced Vista 10 'Upgrades', Which Were Definitely No Accident

    The sheer arrogance of Microsoft, which silently changes the operating system on people's computers (without their consent), makes lawsuits imperative, not just a possibility



  8. Readers' Article: A Strange Conspiracy of Silence in the German Media (Part II)

    Željko Topić's allegedly dark background, which includes a suicide, a retreat of potential witnesses, German funds in Topić's private bank account and several more interesting bits



  9. Links 5/2/2016: Wine 1.9.3, Slackware 14.2 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  10. Links 4/2/2016: Red Hat Upgraded, Ubuntu Tablet

    Links for the day



  11. The Siege Continues: Patent Lawyers Want More Patents, Including Software Patents, In Spite of Alice

    Lawyers who make money from patent disputes make rather apparent their aspirations, which include patent saturation even in domains that are patents-exempt



  12. European Patent Office Pretends It's Business as Usual and Prepares New Vanity Pieces

    The PR strategy of the EPO, whose destructive patent strategy continues unabated (for now), latches onto Colombia and strives to manufacture mythology wherein the public, patent examiners and patent applicants are all very happy with the EPO



  13. The 'International' Trade Commission Imposes/Reinforces Software Patents to Establish Another Embargo

    The International [sic] Trade Commission is meddling in competition and allowing a US giant, Cisco in this case, to potentially block rivals (no imports from abroad) using software patents



  14. Readers' Article: A Strange Conspiracy of Silence in the German Media (Part I)

    The views of some of our readers regarding reluctance in the German media to challenge the EPO's violations of German law, probably because Germany benefits from being a host nation of the EPO



  15. Benoît Battistelli's EPO: From Show Trials and Mock Trials to a Self-Aggrandising Propaganda Event Later Today in Rijswijk

    A headsup from a reader regarding today's highly misleading event in Rijswijk (e.g. to mislead the media or seed positive media coverage in the Netherlands) and how it was set up



  16. Caricature of the Day: EPO President

    New caricature about Benoît Battistelli, his bodyguards, and the assault on free speech at the European Patent Office



  17. Company Known as European Patent Office Provides Tips on How to Patent Software in Europe

    The European Patent Office (EPO) uses its attendance at CeBIT, which is a corporate expo, to promote software patents in spite of the European Patent Convention (EPC)



  18. Links 3/2/2016: Dell GNU/Linux Laptop, Wine 1.8.1

    Links for the day



  19. The Most Detailed Explanation (Yet) of What's Wrong With the EPO

    The EPO's insistence that it remains above the law is not only coming under fire by the media but is also being challenged based on people who are familiar with the applicability of law to international organisations



  20. Angry Trolls: Rovi (of Angry Birds Fame) Helps Microsoft's Largest Anti-Linux Patent Troll, Intellectual Ventures (Corrected)

    nce known as a game maker and later made notorious for mass surveillance on gamers, Rovi now liaises with the world's largest patent troll



  21. Patent Invalidation Statistics and Cost of Patent Litigation (Even If Bogus) Show That Patent Scope and Examination Standards a Problem in Europe, Not Just the US

    Far too many bogus patents (patents that should not be granted in the first place) and spurious patent lawsuits that end up in favour of the defendant serve to show the external cost (or externality) when it comes to low-quality patent systems that strive to grant a lot of patents irrespective of merit



  22. Es Oficial: Por Medio de Entrismo, Microsoft Ha Convertido a la Pro-Linux Nokia en un Parásito de Patentes Anti-Linux

    Microsoft ha convertido a Nokia en un troll de patentes que ahora ataca a Linux y Android.



  23. Richard Stallman: Patentes Europeas de Software Regresan con la Corte Unitaria de Patentes (UPC)

    Debates acerca de la UPC estan siendo peleados por profesionales de software (entidades prácticantes) y elementos PARÁSITICOS como los abogados de patentes.



  24. SUEPO (EPO Staff Union) Appears to Have Launched a New and Improved Web Site After Attempts to Crush ('Decapitate') SUEPO

    SUEPO, the largest staff union of the European Patent Office, shows signs of strength rather than signs of weakness amidst attacks on the staff and a lot of media coverage, political interventions, and much more



  25. Links 2/2/2016: Chimpbox Quad Core, UNICEF Supports FOSS

    Links for the day



  26. Münchner Merkur Explains That EPO Staff is Defecting to SUEPO, Even The Council Distrusts Battistelli Now

    Press report from Munich, highlighting the crisis of leadership at the EPO, where the President is increasingly viewed as a villain



  27. Microsoft's Policies Alienate Even Microsoft's Biggest Fans, Including Pro-Microsoft Web Sites

    Microsoft's aggressive behaviour and low-quality products leave even some of its last remaining 'fans' disheartened and upset



  28. Slides of New Talk Which Explains the Connection Between the Unitary Patent (UPC) and Software Patents

    Benjamin Henrion's Sunday talk about European software patents -- a presentation which speaks of the Unitary Patent Court that the EPO lobbies for and what it means to software patents



  29. UEFI is Bricking PCs, Yet Again

    A few remarks about a new defect which is starting to attract media attention this morning, serving to highlight the lesser-discussed dangers of UEFI/EFI



  30. Under Battistelli's Regime the European Patent Office is Rapidly Rotting

    Technical problems, patent maximalism (in a desperate effort to artificially elevate patent-related figures) and other serious issues observed inside the European Patent Office (EPO)


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts