Bonum Certa Men Certa

Last-minute OOXML Games: Spot the Misconduct

"...What have we here?"

Pointing fingers is easy, but getting a hold of 'smoking gun' evidence (e.g. of the Microsoft briberies in Sweden) can be hard. In cases where concrete evidence is missing, all one can make is observations and new interesting observations we now have from Greece:

After the voting of the Greek HoD you may ask why the votes were 14 in total, when the organisations appointed to the committee are just 12. That's only the latest of the magical wonders around OpenXML.

[...]

New voting members are joining the committee at the last minute:

However, during the discussion, the representative of the Information Society showed the fax he had received, to which was attached the decision 19103/08 of the ELOT administration, dated 1 February 2008, which modifies the composition of the Committee by adding four new organisations: the Ministry of Education, two departments of the Ministry of Economics, and Information Society S.A. The representatives of NTUA had not been informed of this decision.



Who would join at the last minute for no given or apparent reason? Why? Why at this late stage? We have spotted quite a lot of what seems like Microsoft manipulation in Greece recently, e.g. [1, 2, 3].

Memories from August 2007 seem to be returning. Recall the fact that Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates reportedly made calls to very high-level diplomats after it had emerged that the United States would object to OOXML. Microsoft's last-minute lobbying endeavors turned out to be successful.

“Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates reportedly made calls to very high-level diplomats after it had emerged that the United States would object to OOXML.”We later observed some very peculiar activities of this kind in Poland (with similar stories in Hungary) [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. This is all very well documented, apart from a trail of phonecalls. High-level officials suddenly called for a second vote canceling the first one. The second one had Microsoft grossly over-represented.

While in Greece's case there is little more than just suspicion, the saga in Australia [1, 2, 3] simply continues.

Look at this press release from Standards Australia, it is really funny how they carefully weight their words:

The article also incorrectly describes Rick Jelliffe as a ‘Microsoft developer’. While Mr Jelliffe consults widely to industry and government including Microsoft, he has never developed Microsoft products.

Let's rewrite it like this to see if it changes something:

Rick Jelliffe is not a ‘Microsoft developer’ as such. While Mr Jelliffe is being paid for consultancy work by Microsoft, he is not developing Microsoft products.

Where is the money?


This, ladies and gentleman, is the man who will act as devil's advocate in the face of ECMA, which is yet another party that is merely being employed by Microsoft. Many people who attend the meeting in Geneva (including referees) seem to be paid by Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. They will make a decision that affects Microsoft enormously and may have its long-term survival at stake. But you know what Microsoft says: "Evangelism is WAR!

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