Bonum Certa Men Certa

Learning from Rambus' Monopoly Abuse About OOXML's Future

ECMA is Microsoft

The heat is still on for ISO, ECMA, Microsoft and other shenanigans who are responsible for mockery of international standards. has a good summary of posts. It is showing the contrast between the side of the self-serving deniers and realists who merely quote those who admit their own faults, notably Alex Brown.

Alex Brown's little test report was must read for me but I did not found it really newsworthy. Alex Brown, convener of the BRM, validated existing Microsoft 2007 files against the OOXML schema and generated 200 000(hu!) invalidity messages. His objective, despite curiosity, may have been to show how much the ISO process changed the format.

Why did I ignore the story? Because it was known to us that ECMA OOXML was not identical with the Microsoft 2007 format which comprises "tags not found in the spec", a viral phrase. Or OOXML burnout? Or because you lose respect for an impartial BRM chairman who consults the British Library and supports OOXML?

This is not the only case of abuse in standards at the moment because another one involves Rambus (last mentioned a couple of days ago), which is reportedly lying just like Microsoft did.

DC Circuit Ct of Appeals: Deceit Doesn't in Itself Constitute Monopolization


I hope this gets appealed. To hear a court uphold deceit as a concept is... disturbing. And I'm sure you can imagine the damage that will ensue if this stands. There are sufficient threats to the integrity of the standards process already, without endorsing deceit by monopolists. The damage that flows from allowing software patents to issue continues to mount. And then there is the idea of patents on a standard.

The above might sound like it talks about Microsoft, but it doesn't. Based on one case, however, one can learn valuable lessons and apply them to another similar case. Rambus is already at the stage of directly abusing rivals, just just the standards-setting process. As such, abuse must be end early on, at ISO-level. Don't let Microsoft get away with the finely-documented corruptions that revolved around OOXML.


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