Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft OOXML Corruption Watch -- Jason Matusow Goes Batting with FUD and Deception (Updated)

Let the following postings from the past couple of days teach you what really is driving OOXML. Buying OOXML support from Novell was apparently not enough, so Microsoft takes a step further.

The Cradle of Independence Rolls Over for Microsoft

The alarming thing is that Massachusetts is just one of several states that are in the same boat. Bill Gates and Company get wind that a state is thinking about adopting an open format and they send in the lobbyists.


Microsoft rewrites history in Massachusetts

It’s worth remembering that in response to the proposed adoption of ODF, Microsoft’s government affairs director, Brian Burke, promoted an amendment to a state bill designed to remove the decision-making powers of the Massachusetts Information Technology Division.



Now that's lobbying. (And let's not forget Florida's own Men In Black).



Meanwhile Jason Matusow, Microsoft's director of corporate standards, covers the news that ETRM 4.0 includes both OOXML and ODF under the headline “Policy Makers Being Balanced & Reasonable“.



The suggestion that Massachusetts was previously somehow being unbalanced and unreasonable is pretty rich.



Microsoft FUD Watch, 8-3-07

At first glance, Robertson's statement is fairly innocuous. He is referring to Massachusetts' decision to support OOXML (Open Office XML) formats. The best FUD isn't immediately obvious. Microsoft PR agency sent this statement proactively, with lots of additional information. Usually, I have to pull out information kicking and screaming; it doesn't come this easy. There is a reason, and it's FUD.

Microsoft is trying to fast track OOXML through ISO ratification, but there has been resistance. Even the United States ISO representative committee has, so far, failed to support OOXML standards ratification. Microsoft needed some good news, and Massachusetts delivered some—and powerful, because the Commonwealth had planned to dump Office altogether.

Microsoft's Doug Mahugh and Jason Matusow piped in with blogs about the OOXML support by Massachusetts, which was expected, by the way. It's all FUD because the reasoning is this: If Massachusetts now considers OOXML open, it must truly be open. The Commonwealth also considers Adobe's PDF as open, too. It's not.


PJ gets it right on this one when she says:

"You know what Microsoft's problem really is? They've lost the ability to feel ashamed."

She picked up some words from Jason Matusow. Remember Portugal? Microsoft has no regrets on Portugal's exclusion of IBM. From Jason's own mouth:

My understanding is that there are ongoing discussions about the size of the group. IBM and others are not currently part of the TC and that concern has been raised within the TC. The NB as well as the TC are both focused on making sure they are operating precisely in respect to the rules of the process. From what I am hearing, the process is completely above board and being handled professionally with oversight from the NB. IBM and others are desirous of expanding the membership, and that issue will continue to be pressed by them I am sure. The TC has another meeting this week, so there will be more discussion on this as things progress.

There is no question that all over the world the competing interests in the Open XML standardization process are going to use all tactics available to them within the rules. Microsoft and its partners (particularly those who have bet their businesses on Open XML), continue to advocate that it is best to enable our customers to choose the technology that best meets the needs of their business.

Make no mistake; all parties are looking at the full picture to find strategies that will result in the outcome they desire. Provided - of course - that they do so within the context of the rules that apply to the process, this is exactly what one should expect to happen. It is going to be a very interesting next few months.


Well done, Microsoft, and thank you for continuing to show us why federal agents wanted to break apart the company. We are not alone here thinking that this is beyond unethical. It is corrupt, and it should be illegal. Hopefully some diplomats will be courageous enough to step in and take appropriate action.

Update: perhaps we posted this too soon. Here's an addendum -- yet another example of manipulation and media gaming by Microsoft.

That primary source is a statement posted by Microsoft SA (as in South Africa) at a PR site called MyPressportal, urging the South African National Body to vote "yes" on OOXML. The version below is complete and unaltered.

So here's the game mentioned in the title to this blog entry: you've all seen those pictures in the paper where you are supposed to look for the things that aren't "right" in the picture (why does the man have two different color socks? How come the car is missing one tire?) If you are so inclined, read the statement below, and in the comments field tell us if you find anything that (how to say this delicately) doesn't sound quite "right," either because it is inaccurate or as a result of leaving out important facts.


Please help Andy get feedback on this one. Let us prove that Microsoft deceives in the press.

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