Bonum Certa Men Certa

Today is the Day -- The Day the World Will Learn That Crime Pays

It's September 2nd today. That's quite a big day. It holds some great promise and it's also very important to a monopoly, not only its opposers.

"The damage done by OOXML may never be erased"The stories about how the monopoly got here is more interesting than the decision we are bound to see. Never before have I witnessed such an endless and tiresome flow of reports, pretty much all of which talk about corruption (to an extent). Over the past few years, I have been learning more about Microsoft's controversial past and on a daily basis I've seen new cases and examples where customers get abused or products are made poor (not necessarily by design).

OOXML is different. In many people's minds, OOXML is now associated with many negative thoughts about a monstrous thing with a monstrous operation behind it. The technical complexity of OOXML no longer seems to be the point of focus in the press. The ethical grounds on which it's built has completely taken people's attention away from its many deficiencies. A technical debate, which is where it all started, turned into a techno-political debate. Microsoft tried to characterise OOXML as an embodiment of IBM's business ambitions. Then, more recently, this political debate turned into one that revolves around themes like bribery, corruption, nepotism, extortion, bullying, lobbying, and intentional deception.

The damage done by OOXML may never be erased. Its path of destruction will have the credibility of some governments, some companies, some national institutes, and the ISO seriously hurt. All of this was orchestrated by one single company. Never before, in a 20-year career in this area, has Andy Updegrove witnessed anything like this, let alone done single-handedly by a group of people too vain to honour -- let alone recognise -- ethics and fair play. Watch these quotes and be shocked.

With that in mind, here are some of the latest stories and developments in the twisted 'OOXML world'.

Entering the Bizarro Kingdom...



Matt Aslett rightly argues that "when the standards are this low [as low as OOXML], no one wins". Many people are yet to pay the price of having faith in whoever is putting weight behind OOXML. Bad technology costs man hours. It costs money. It leads to pain, to loss of data, and sometimes to loss of life.

C|Net, despite its pro-Microsoft bias (they even have a new partnership with Microsoft), does not turn a blind to the issue. The Register has a report on the fiasco that was seen in Sweden. Fortunately, there was a remedy, but damage was done either way. The vote turned into an "Abtain" as I understand it, so maybe the true outcome of a legitimate vote was eventually suppressed. Sweden never received its chance to speak out. It was muted thanks to Microsoft's gross manipulation.

Wired Magazine hits the high note and chooses a courageous (yet true) headline: Microsoft Allegedly Bullies and Bribes to Make Office an International Standard

We have covered many stories extensively enough (primarily pointers) to support this headline and even add intensity to it. But, but, but... no so fast! There are two sides to every story. Wired Magazine tried to approach Microsoft for a comment. The outcome says it all:

Microsoft did not respond to several calls requesting comment.


How loud can a deafening silence be? Microsoft hasn't anything to say to defend itself. That sums it all up nicely.

If Microsoft could make a decent specification using its great manpower and then have it accepted, that's one thing. That's probably acceptable. However, Microsoft produced a highly-flawed, bug-ridden, overly-complex, Windows-only, already-semi-implemented, effort-duplicating pile of a paper. That pile of paper is as tall as a young child (the Linux Foundation talked about it too). What was Microsoft expecting? What on earth was it thinking? Here is a possibility worth presenting.

Sam Hiser picks a Microsoft 'smoking gun' court exhibit, but also links to some very curious analysis of strategies Microsoft has used to escape scrutiny.

Try "25 Ways to Suppress the Truth: the Rules of Disinformation" also for some nice bed-side reading that will remind you of a moment here or there in the OOXML v ODF conflict.


That's a truly classic and good find. Here is one these techniques being used in Africa (sadly enough, in yesterday's African press):

Microsoft salutes debate on Office Open XML

[...]

Microsoft also said that over 2 000 partners representing 67 countries on six continents have given their green light for the ratification of the OOXML by the International Standards Organisation (ISO).


Microsoft has partners. Who would have guessed? The partners all hail Microsoft. Therefore, OOXML must be great. Some call it 'cattle effect' while dissemination of such viral infection relies on the 'network effect'.

Entering Europe...



Hungary has apparently canceled its vote on OOXML. Here are some comments in English, including another: "Hungary will not cast a vote on the ISO ooxml vote. Something similar to the Swedish position, with the difference that no voting took place.I guess they saw the stuffing and refused to get stuffed in the first place."

We covered Hungary a few days ago. Politicians seemed to have suddenly interfered with the process that was already done. OOXML was apparently already rejected, so there are reasons to suspect Microsoft began pulling strings at government level. It's no far fetched. We have already cited reports about Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates making phonecalls to politicians in order to change the rules and swing votes.

As we mentioned above, Sweden's voice was apparently lost in the midst of corruption. It seems like the same thing happened in Hungary, which apparently voted "No", but due to attempted manipulation down the line, that "No" vote will become "Abstain". I am not certain about this, but it's worth exploring just to be sure.

This move in Hungary seems to have nullified the vote and at an earlier stage it seemed like Switzerland, Denmark, and Sweden were no exception (because of similar manipulation attempts by Microsoft). However, last night, Groklaw came up with the latest from Denmark:

It's official. Denmark will vote no with comments on OOXML.


Free Software Magazine has another short story about OOXML in Sweden.

This entire OOXML campaign stinks!

This is being forced on everyone simply because one corporation has manufactured a back-door strategy, to maintain a software monopoly.


It's always worth reminding ourselves that with monopolies like this, there is no innovation. And it shows, based on this new article.

In the survey, only 46 percent said they were satisfied with the return. One cause can be traced to this: There’s a lot of fuzzy thinking about innovation.


Buying Brazil's Government Instead of Brazil's Vote



Remember Brazil's decision to reject OOXML? Policy is one thing, but practice is another. Some sources suggest that Microsoft has just 'bought' Brazil.

According to one source, "The Ministry of Labor in Brazil signed a pact with Microsoft very similar to one of the provisions of the pact in Chile


In case you do not know what has happened in Chile:

Just today, a secret agreement between MS and the Chilean Government came to light. In it, every citizen was sold as a potential user of a Windows Live Spaces model where every SSN is linked to, overbypassing any privacy term and cashing Bill some bucks. It wouldn't be so awful to all if that agreement wasn't aprooved yet (Spanish follows).


There is a lot more information about it here.

Receita Federal (SRF), with whom we've had our encounters as part of our campaign against the software it imposes upon Brazilian citizens, has long been a bastion of proprietary software in the Brazilian government. Last Monday, Aug 27, we learned it planned on purchasing, on Aug 30, 40K+ licenses of Microsoft Office 2007. Yeah, that's right, the one that introduces the very file format that the Brazilian society had rejected just the week before, and a brand new user interface that pretty much obsoletes all training for earlier releases.

The alleged reasons? Users are already trained (in the older versions). TCO studies funded by Microsoft. Limitations of ancient versions of OpenOffice.org, caused by the very fact that Microsoft Office's formats are proprietary. The statement that any file converter to a competing file format will be obsolete by the time it reaches the market, because Microsoft keeps changing its file formats. Yes, unbelievable!, this is listed as a reason to use Microsoft's software, not to run away from it! Fallacious reasoning that the slow adoption of GNU/Linux and OpenOffice.org, caused in great part by this very tactics of introducing incompatibilities, indicate they're going to remain niche operating system and application.


"If It's Broken, Don't Fix It"



A new batch of stories returns to the roots of this debate, which should have always been purely technical. Behold the hidden ugliness of OOXML.

“Keynote will open and export to Office’s Powerpoint file formats, as with every non-Microsoft consumer of Office’s formats that eWEEK Labs has tested certain formatting inconsistencies seem impossible to avoid.”


Stephe Walli joins in. As Bob Sutor states:

Stephe Walli further demonstrates why the partial Apple implementation of OOXML is even more partial than we thought.


We covered this several times before. The only product that supports OOXML is Microsoft Office for Microsoft Windows, but it doesn't stop Microsoft from lying about it. Further, there is this from Brian who refers to Stephe Walli's findings.

It has been demonstrated time and again with OOXML, that it does not pass even this most simple test. If you read my friend Stephen Walli's blog entry that was posted on Linux Today earlier, you know that the OOXML technology is so screwed up, even Microsoft applications can't run it correctly.


Stephen Walli, mind you, has roots in Microsoft. Even Brian Jones, the head of this OOXML assault against the world, has already admitted that OOXML is still flawed. Even the man who was paid by Microsoft to edit Wikipedia's article on OOXML said he would have voted "No, with comments."

It's Not Over



People's choice of ODF if what will determine its success. You can continue helping by spreading knowledge and -- better yet -- spreading ODF-formatted files which will not work with Microsoft Office (per Microsoft's own desire) and therefore require others to use or install a non-proprietary (code/standard) office suite.

Although today is the "Big Day", final results are 6 months away.

But if Microsoft doesn't get the required number of votes this weekend, its challenge would be bigger, because it would need to get some national bodies to change their minds before the final vote.

Results of that final vote are expected in March.

Comments

Recent Techrights' Posts

[Video] 'Late Stage Capitalism': Microsoft as an Elaborate Ponzi Scheme (Faking 'Demand' While Portraying the Fraud as an Act of Generosity and Demanding Bailouts)
Being able to express or explain the facts isn't easy because of the buzzwords
Microsoft ("a Dying Megacorporation that Does Not Create") and IBM: An Era of Dying Giants With Leadership Deficits and Corporate Bailouts (Subsidies From Taxpayers)
Microsoft seems to be resorting to lots of bribes and chasing of bailouts (i.e. money from taxpayers worldwide)
Daniel Pocock: "I've Gone to Some Lengths to Demonstrate How Corporate Bad Actors Have Used Amateur-hour Codes of Conduct to Push Volunteers Into Modern Slavery"
"As David explains, the Codes of Conduct should work the other way around to regulate the poor behavior of corporations who have been far too close to the Debian Suicide Cluster."
 
Microsoft-Connected Sites Trying to Shift Attention Away From Microsoft's Megebreach Only Days Before Important If Not Unprecedented Grilling by the US Government?
Why does the mainstream media not entertain the possibility a lot of these talking points are directed out of Redmond?
Links 18/05/2024: Caledonia Emergency Powers, "UK Prosecutor's Office Went Too Far in the Assange Case"
Links for the day
US Patent and Trademark Office Sends Out a Warning to People Who Do Not Use Microsoft's Proprietary Formats
They're punishing people who wish to use open formats
Links 18/05/2024: Fury in Microsoft Over Studio Shutdowns, More Gaming Layoffs
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Friday, May 17, 2024
IRC logs for Friday, May 17, 2024
Links 18/05/2024: KOReader, Benben v0.5.0 Progress Update, and More
Links for the day
[Meme] UEFI 'Secure' Boot Boiling Frog
UEFI 'Secure' Boot: You can just ignore it. You can just turn it off. You can hack on it as a workaround. Just use Windows dammit!
The Market Wants to Delete Windows and Install GNU/Linux, UEFI 'Secure' Boot Must Go!
To be very clear, this has nothing to do with security and those who insist that it is have absolutely no credentials
In the United States Of America the Estimated Share of Google Search Grew After Microsoft's Chatbot Hype (Which Coincided With Mass Layoffs at Bing)
Microsoft's chatbot hype started in late 2022
Techrights Will Categorically Object to Any Attempts to Deny Its Right to Publish Informative, Factual Material
we'll continue to publish about 20 pages per day while challenging censorship attempts
Links 17/05/2024: Microsoft Masks Layoffs With Return-to-office (RTO) Mandates, More YouTube Censorship
Links for the day
YouTube Progresses to the Next Level
YouTube is a ticking time bomb
Journalists and Human Rights Groups Back Julian Assange Ahead of Monday's Likely Very Final Decision
From the past 24 hours...
[Meme] George Washington and the Bill of Rights
Centuries have passed since the days of George Washington, but the principles are still the same
Video of Richard Stallman's Talk From Four Weeks Ago
2-hour video of Richard Stallman speaking less than a month ago
statCounter Says Twitter/X Share in Russia Fell From 23% to 2.3% in 3 Years
it seems like YouTube gained a lot
Journalist Who Won Awards for His Coverage of the Julian Assange Ordeals Excluded and Denied Access to Final Hearing
One can speculate about the true reason/s
Richard Stallman's Talk, Scheduled for Two Days Ago, Was Not Canceled But Really Delayed
American in Paris
3 More Weeks for Daniel Pocock's Campaign to Win a Seat in European Parliament Elections
Friday 3 weeks from now is polling day
Microsoft Should Have Been Fined and Sanctioned Over UEFI 'Lockout' (Locking GNU/Linux Out of New PCs)
Why did that not happen?
Gemini Links 16/05/2024: Microsoft Masks Layoffs With Return-to-office (RTO) Mandates, Cash Issues
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Thursday, May 16, 2024
IRC logs for Thursday, May 16, 2024
Ex-Red Hat CEO Paul Cormier Did Not Retire, He Just Left IBM/Red Hat a Month Ago (Ahead of Layoff Speculations)
Rather than retire he took a similar position at another company
Linux.com Made Its First 'Article' in Over and Month, It Was 10 Words in Total, and It's Not About Linux
play some 'webapp' and maybe get some digital 'certificate' for a meme like 'clown computing'
[Meme] Never Appease the Occupiers
Freedom requires truth. Free speech emancipates.
Thorny Issues, Violent Response
They say protests (or strikes) that do not disrupt anything are simply not effective. The same can be said about reporting.
GNU/Linux in Malaysia: From 0.2 Percent to 6+ Percent
That's like 30-fold increase in relative share
Liberty in Liberia? Windows Falls Below 10% and Below iOS
This is clearly a problem for Microsoft
Techrights Congratulates Raspberry Pi (With Caution and Reservations)
Raspberry Pi will "make or break" based on the decisions made in its boardroom
OSI Makes a Killing for Bill Gates and Microsoft (Plagiarism and GPL Violations Whitewashed and Openwashed)
meme and more
The FSF Ought to Protest Against UEFI 'Secure Boot' (Like It Used To)
libreplanet-discuss stuff
People Who Defend Richard Stallman's Right to Deliver Talks About His Work Are Subjected to Online Abuse and Censorship
Stallman video removed
GNU/Linux Grows in Denmark, But Much of That is ChromeOS, Which Means No Freedom
Google never designs operating systems with freedom in mind
Links 16/05/2024: Vehicles Lasting Fewer Years, Habitat Fragmentation Concerns
Links for the day
GNU/Linux Reaches 6.5% in Canada (Including ChromeOS), Based on statCounter
Not many news sites are left to cover this, let alone advocate for GNU/Linux
Links 16/05/2024: Orangutans as Political Props, VMware Calls Proprietary 'Free'
Links for the day
The Only Thing the So-called 'Hey Hi Revolution' Gave Microsoft is More Debt
Microsoft bailouts
TechTarget (and Computer Weekly et al): We Target 'Audiences' to Sell Your Products (Using Fake Articles and Surveillance)
It is a deeply rogue industry that's killing legitimate journalism by drowning out the signal (real journalism) with sponsored fodder
FUD Alert: 2024 is Not 2011 and Ebury is Not "Linux"
We've seen Microsofers (actual Microsoft employees) putting in a lot of effort to shift the heat to Linux
Links 15/05/2024: XBox Trouble, Slovakia PM Shot 5 Times
Links for the day
Windows in Times of Conflict
In pictures
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, May 15, 2024
IRC logs for Wednesday, May 15, 2024