12.03.07

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Microsoft ‘Pulls a Portugal’ in Ireland (Microsoft to Decide on… Microsoft)

Posted in Deception, ECMA, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML, Standard at 2:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

OOXML on the trash canA couple of weeks ago we wrote about irregularities in Portugal where Microsoft’s latest ‘felony’ was having a fox watch the henhouse. Analogies aside, Microsoft does everything it can to ensure that its own people are those who vote on its own specification (ECMA standard). There is a long track record of this and as disturbing as it is, rarely does anyone seem to intervene and put an end to it.

At the moment, in Ireland, it appears as though the nation’s representative is — wait for it — a Microsoft employee! Once again, just like in Portugal, they get away with this, so No OOXML gives its readers a phone number for people to call and protest against the decision.

There are rumors circulating in Ireland that Microsoft’s Stephen McGibbon might be part of the Irish delegation to attend the BRM in Geneva. Microsoft is already controlling the Portuguese delegation, you can expect that they will control half of the table at Geneva. O’MyGod!

In other OOXML news, Andy Updegrove makes progress on his eBook which covers the confrontation involving OOXML and ODF. Here is a fragment of text.

Microsoft came late in the game to the server marketplace, but unlike some markets it tried to penetrate with limited success, the competitive landscape for servers was very different. This was because most Microsoft’s PC customers also used servers, and these customers could gain technical advantages by buying products from the same vendor that would need to work together. They could also expect favorable bundled pricing as well, and that pricing could be very attractive indeed as Microsoft first entered the market for server operating system software. In addition, the dominant operating system in the server marketplace, called UNIX, was already losing ground to new competing products.

Still, fourteen years after introducing its first version of Windows usable on servers, Microsoft has today not a 90% market share, but a rising [42%] position, sharing the server niche with declining sales of UNIX systems, which continue to be offered in various proprietary flavors by vendors such as IBM, Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard, and also with an “open source” operating system called Linux, which is dominant in applications such as Web hosting, and enjoys a roughly equal market share with Microsoft overall.

A long post from the weekend covers plenty of those manipulation games as well. This is just a recurring, ever-lasting pattern, and it is unlikely to end until people stand up and demand change.

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4 Comments

  1. Finland calling said,

    December 4, 2007 at 7:05 am

    Gravatar

    Hello, once again.
    SFS had a meeting on Friday and they chose Finland’s representatives for BRM as follows:

    Manu Setälä (COSS, Centre for Open Source Software)
    Ville Oksanen (Effi, Electronic Frontier Finland)
    Kimmo Bergius (Microsoft Finland, Manager)
    Susanna Vahtila (SFS, IT-standardization expert)
    Aki Siponen (Ministry of Finance, Counsellor)

    Siponen will also be the chairman of this delegation.

    Let’s see how the votes went previously:
    COSS and Effi voted no with technical comments.
    Kimmo’s opinion we certainly already guess.
    Ministry of finance revised their opinion during the meeting and voted yes.
    That leaves us with Susanna Vahtila as a swing voter.
    Based on that Lassi Nirhamo was fired from SFS due to his opinions.. doesn’t look good.

    Since Susanna is a big unknown in our equation, let’s dig in a little deeper to see what we can find.

    Software business cluster describes her job at SFS as “Official standardization functions (ISO, CEN) like workgroup voting, distribution of documents, registration of attendants and travel allowances.”
    This looks like a basic secretary. For some reason her title is “manager” in “preparing of standards” on their personnel page.

    A memo from ministry of the interior meeting in March 2006 enlightens us with this excerpt:
    Problems are for example: Drawing a line between official and de facto-standardization, organization of funding, lack of coordination and personification of standardization work.
    SFS has no expertise in teleinformatics field, neither chances to take part in unofficial standardization.
    Coordinator in IT standardization could be some organization in public administration, but then they should pay attention also for private entities.

    Also, “Finnish vote on Fast Track ballot JTC1/N 8455 on Ecma Open” in english can be found at
    http://wiki.assemblix.net/Office_Open_XML#Suomen_vastaus_ISO.2FIEC:lle_nopeutetun_k.C3.A4sittelyn_osalta
    Signed by another secretary on Susanna’s behalf.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 4, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    Gravatar

    Hi again, ‘Finland calling’. I have a question which I hope you are able to ask.

    What was the stance of Lassi Nirhamo on OOXML?

    http://www.tietokone.fi/uutta/uutinen.asp?news_id=31500
    http://boycottnovell.com/2007/09/27/odf-sun-google-ibm/#comment-2198

  3. FC said,

    December 4, 2007 at 4:16 pm

    Gravatar

    He was against OOXML approval which eventually led into SFS firing him before his probation was over.

    I did that translation of the meeting back then..

    http://boycottnovell.com/2007/08/20/ooxml-poland/#comment-1812

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 4, 2007 at 4:25 pm

    Gravatar

    So it seems safe to assume that pressures were applied to his position/role. There are many other examples (notably two CIOs in MA). Examples even include Mr. Geer, a security guru was was fired or decided to leave after criticing Microsoft for security issues (his employer had ties with Microsoft).

    OOXML,the advertiser’s dilemma (papers not criticising those that advertise), security consultancies… the influence and money are worth keeping an eye on.

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