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ISO and Office Open XML (OOXML): What REALLY Happened There?

"Letters from the dead" strategy is back from the graveyard

Well, well, well...

Some months ago we mentioned a surprising turn of events where Lisa Rachjel of the ISO decided to let OOXML slide into the fast-track route. Later we found that Microsoft may have simply voted for itself, using its own employees. If that wasn't bad enough, then have a look at this new little discovery. It turns out that, as one site puts it, Microsoft puppets were spamming ANSI.

An impressive list of spam comments asking for supporting OOXML and backward compatibility, claiming also that "Open XML in no way contradicts any other international document standard".


Have a look at the evidence the Web site presents. This ought to remind you of something controversial which Microsoft did in the past, namely:

In 2001, the Los Angeles Times accused Microsoft of astroturfing when hundreds of similar letters were sent to newspapers voicing disagreement with the United States Department of Justice and its antitrust suit against Microsoft. The letters, prepared by Americans for Technology Leadership, had in some cases been mailed from deceased citizens or nonexistent addresses.


Antitrust exhibits from Comes vs Microsoft have taught me that executives at Microsoft were talking about grassroots tactics. The other component was an OEM stronghold, but that's another story altogether. Also recall how they started an astroturfing campaign (pseudo grassroots) in the UK. This was not an isolated incident. Be aware of all the manipulation that is involved in keeping the lockin in tact. They are protecting the cash cow. Microsoft's deals with Novell, Linspire and Xandros (including Corel, which is linked to Xandros) play a significant role. They give the illusion that there is wide OOXML acceptance.

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