03.25.08

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Microsoft’s Latest Charades of Deception for OOXML’s Sake

Posted in Africa, America, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Patents at 9:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

South Africa

A reader has provided us with some updates about South Africa’s stance on OOXML.

Referring to an article we recently mentioned he says: “It is always nice seeing a top politician with clear concepts.” He provides a link to the corresponding video.

Further to this, the reader adds a link to this followup article which strives to add ‘balance’ (corporate balance). Here is what he told us:


Notice that it is most interesting analyzing the typical reply by a Microsoft (angered) exec, instructed with the “Microsoft mindset-du-jour” trying to disqualify free software while equating it to valueless-charity while insisting in trying to monetize open source through software patents-taxation.

Also, what a difference in reporting news between Tectonic and mybroadband.co.za!!!


South America

The type of spin we nowadays find coming from Microsoft (or its trusted proxies) is far from an exception. It has gone on for over a year, but it intensifies whenever crucial votes are looming. Watch this new story from a Brazilian delegate.

More issues now have surfaced regarding some tactics being used to get OOXML approved as a standard. This time it’s from a delegate from Brazil, who is challenging the “Law of Silence,” the expression he coined in an earlier blog post for the restrictions on revealing details of the BRM meeting. He alleges that he believes Microsoft has itself violated it. It relates to Microsoft’s claim that 98% of issues were resolved at the meeting, which he says is inaccurate, but his question relates to why Microsoft can talk about the BRM and no one else can. He thought that number was handled at the BRM, when a slide with that figure on it was shown, challenged, and he thought handled; yet he hears from a colleague in Chile that the same slide just showed up there, with the same figure, and with Dr. Sam Gyun Oh’s name on the slide, the Chairman of SC 34, in a “presentation made by Microsoft to demonstrate how everything was resolved in OpenXML”.

Eventually, Brazil voted "No" again. You may also find the following recent remarks from a Brazilian delegate interesting (“I Have Never Seen a Person So Nervous and Ashamed in My Life”).

Dangling rules and moving goalposts

“Confusion! Burden. That ought to do the trick.”

It is rather amazing how frequently the rules at ISO are changed on the spot or on the fly. We last saw this only a week ago. It appeared to have just happened again.

Groklaw told “New rules for changing your vote on OOXML. Yup. Like we didn’t expect that. I know you don’t want your votes to end up ignored, so here’s what I think you have to do by March 29″. Well spoken. Agreement for disapproval is not enough, your national body needs to vote correctly or the specification might get closer to a pivotal approval. Don’t forget that to continue with a BRM for a text with 2300 comments had been their idea — and to go fast-track with 19 difficulties.

[...]

Yes, it is okay for ISO to approve a broken standard because you didn’t follow their formalities. Or that Sweden gets no vote because of usances on the national level which were dissolved by submitting no vote in the September ballot (non-vote is different from an abstention and kicked Sweden out of the process!)

So again, if nations do not vote 'properly' (i.e. like Microsoft wants them to), they have to tread on coal.

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