03.28.08

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OOXML Irregularities in Germany (and Britain Again)

Posted in Europe, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML, Standard at 5:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Now comes the information from Germany. While the nation’s so-called ‘representatives’ voted “Yes”, there is a helluva lot more to this story.

The gist of it all is that rules were not obeyed and they were changed on the spot. We saw this before. Moreover, Microsoft’s partners overwhelmed the panel, which comes to show the effect of multi-nationals and large foreign companies not serving the needs of those whom are allegedly represent.

8 votes were in favour of “YES”, 6 were in favour of “ABSTAIN”, some pointing out that they would have preferred to vote an outright “NO”. 4 voted “abstain to the DIN vote”, i.e. on the vote between “YES” and “ABSTAIN” to ISO. 2 of the 4 had initially voted for a German “ABSTAIN”, but under pressure changed within 48 hours their vote from a German “ABSTAIN” to “abstain to the DIN vote”; one of the 4 was compelled by instruction to vote “abstain to the DIN vote”, even though he wanted to vote at least “ABSTAIN”. That means: without very strong pressure from Microsoft Germany would have voted “ABSTAIN”, with 9 to 8.

Groklaw comments on this update, compares the situation described here to ISO’s rules, and concludes that something was definitely rotten.

Andy Updegrove is reporting now that Germany is another odd case. He says a friend is telling him that DIN told the committee there they couldn’t vote no, only yes or abstain. So the bottom line is it will not change its September Yes vote. I know. Weird. They certainly can vote no, according to my reading of the ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34 website. Maybe they should vote again?

If not vote again, the European Commission needs to take a careful look at this. Here is another new post about the situation in the UK.

Inigo Surguy, the 67 Bricks Chief Technologist, was appointed Principal UK Expert in Microsoft’s Office Open XML (OOXML) document format by the British Standards Institute technical committee responsible for British and international XML standards.

67Bricks is part of the Microsoft Empower programme.

As zoobab arebenti points out (and this applies to Germany’s case as well), the Commission should hopefully be on to it. See our previous post about the UK. It was last updated yesterday in order to reflect on additional information.

OOXML is a monopoly

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