03.18.08

Quick Mention: It’s Romania’s Turn for Microsoft’s OOXML Stacking

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Open XML at 7:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Buying an election to buy some vendor lock-in

There is hardly a single committee which was not stacked at the last minute, or at least made a suspect. Romania, on the face of it, is no exception. Someone who looked at mysterious last-minute additions brings back very recent memories from Greece.

Have a look: OOXML vote in Romania, signs of committee stuffing [via Andy Updegrove]

Today four have joined the committee, all of them seem to be MS partners (Fujitsu-Siemens is one of them, the others are local software companies). The sad thing is that these companies or people have not shown interest in the subject so far, have not participated in the 6 months online debate but are probably going to cast their vote in favor of OOXML . What they are doing is perfectly legal, after all anyone can join the committe, but it’s sad to see attempts at public debate and the chances of it changing something getting offset by throwing money at the problem at the last minute.

I’ll keep an update on how things are progressing and the results and details of the vote when it happens.

Are any of those partners offered Microsoft money to do the stacking? We saw that before. More recently we even saw Microsoft using charities to do its dirty deeds.

“A stacked panel, on the other hand, is like a stacked deck: it is packed with people who, on the face of things, should be neutral, but who are in fact strong supporters of our technology. The key to stacking a panel is being able to choose the moderator. Most conference organizers allow the moderator to select die panel, so if you can pick the moderator, you win. Since you can’t expect representatives of our competitors to speak on your behalf, you have to get the moderator to agree to having only “independent ISVs” on the panel. No one from Microsoft or any other formal backer of the competing technologies would be allowed -just ISVs who have to use this stuff in the “real world.” Sounds marvellously independent doesn’t it? In feet, it allows us to stack the panel with ISVs that back our cause. Thus, the “independent” panel ends up telling the audience that our technology beats the others hands down. Get the press to cover this panel, and you’ve got a major win on your hands.

Finding a moderator is key to setting up a stacked panel.”

Internal Microsoft document

OOXML is bad

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