Bonum Certa Men Certa

Week of OOXML Corruptions Ends, No Causalities Claimed

Flashback: day 1 :: day 2 :: day 3 :: day 4 :: day 5

"If you flee the rules, you will be caught. And it will cost you dearly."

--Neelie Kroes (about Microsoft), February 27th, 2008



OOXML Announcement Near



The final decision on OOXML will not be made any time soon. However, there will soon be an announcement that concludes a week of ECMA/Microsoft chit-chat with international guests [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Here is how Microsoft, master of the ceremony, puts it:

"There's a lot of collaboration going on between the various national bodies attending the meeting at the moment, so we can expect to hear an announcement on the outcome of the meeting from its convener by the weekend," said Sarah Bond, platform strategy manager for Microsoft.


Ushered by the typical lobbying arms, Microsoft seems rather confident. It is likely to deceive like it did the last time, so Bob Sutor has already warned readers, some of whom are journalists, about this.

Here Come the Paid Lobbyists



As we stated and showed on numerous occasions, if you believe that BRM delegates were left to wander in peace, then think again. Microsoft employee took over Geneva, so to speak, and lobbied [cre 2622 even by stalking delegates].

Typical spinners like CompTIA [1, 2], whom Microsoft funds, have been there all along and here comes another lobbying arm, ACT. The name is deceiving because the "Association for Competitive Technology" is actually being paid by Microsoft to ensure there is no competition. What's in a name, eh? Here is a notorious lobbyist, Jonathan Zuck, wearing the hat of "Competitive Technology" while concealing "Microsoft Wallet":

Reactions to the BRM have been mixed. Jonathan Zuck of the Association for Competitive Technology, which counts Microsoft as a member and issued a statement in support of the standard, said that OOXML is just as deserving as ODF of standardisation, as “only OOXML offers full fidelity for storage of existing documents” from prior versions of word-processing software.


Sutor Already Out Swinging



Probably prepared for a predictable outcome from this farce, Bob Sutor already questions the credibility of the process in a relatively long blog post. Among the many points that he raises:

# How many total comments were there and how many were fully discussed with consensus reached at the meeting? # What percentage of the total comments were fully discussed with consensus reached this week? Was it closest to 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, 50%,60%, 70%, 80%, 90%, or 100%? # Conversely, what percentage of the total comments were voted on without a full discussion and consensus reached? Was it closest to 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, 50%,60%, 70%, 80%, 90%, or 100%? # Individual or closely related comments from countries were considered in country alphabetical order, cycling through as many times as necessary. How many full cycles were there?

[...]



The scope of the process aside, in a separate article he slams the secrecy of the process.

Whatever the outcome of the vote, that secrecy is one of the things that should change in the way IT standards are developed, Sutor said.

"Minutes should be published. This secrecy ... has to end," he said.


It is fortunate enough that this whole fiasco is already under investigation by the European Union. Let us wait and see whether justice can be restored.

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