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The Microsoft OOXML Spin Factory Reaches Full Production Mode (Updatedx2)

Posted in Deception, Formats, FUD, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML at 11:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

With proxies like these, who needs advocates?

Several people, including Rob Weir (just yesterday in fact), said this was coming. The Propaganda Machine is hard at work and it will have you believe that OOXML is the Second Coming. You might be wondering what are we talking about. Where does one even begin? There is is a DDOS of disinformation at the moment.

“Previously, the Burton Group also did some anti-Google Apps ‘studies’, so they lost credibility a long time ago.”One of Microsoft’s favourite sockpuppets, the Burton Group, is at it again (there is proven history here [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]). Once again it defends the Microsoft Cash Cow (Office). Previously, the Burton Group also did some anti-Google Apps ‘studies’, so they lost credibility a long time ago. We once described the tricky business of disclosure and also discussed examples like Frost & Sullivan, IDC and Gartner.

About the Burton Group, one source has another take: “My impression is a bit different. They seem to be like a lot of other market analysis firms, who function both as hired “experts” and as independent experts. The ethic there is that market analysis firms are expected to disclose in their reports if they’ve been paid for producing the report.” This analysis escapes the fact that there are also investors in these firms. For example, Bill Gates invests in Gartner and IDC. They will always be loyal to regular customers and investors. Without companies like Microsoft and Oracle, they would be out on the street.

The bottom line here is that what the Burton Group says has in some sense already been corrupted by the fact that that such firms cannot make a living just through subscription that enables access to studies. There must be more powers at play. By someone who is not pro-ODF we are told: “How any firm could advise enterprises to adopt either OOXML or ODF before the ISO battles are over on both OOXML and ODF v. 1.2 is beyond me. There’s very strong energy behind both harmonization and convergence. The chances are just too great that both standards will be so altered that those who take the plunge before will be left without application support.

According to Stephen Walli, Microsoft might just implement ODF at the end, simply to address need. It is inevitable. You will find some further coverage of Microsoft spin and disinformation here.

Meanwhile a spin factory sends out success stories that most bloggers find worthless to discuss. It is possible to get the Krauts on board that are supposed to review OOXML but would OOXML survive a review by the crowds?

Don’t believe anything anyone tells you. Also try to find out who is who and in which direction money flows. Some estimate that Microsoft has already invested (spent) billions of dollars in the ‘purchase’ of OOXML support. Novell happens to be one of these investments.

Update: The apple never falls far from the tree.

Midvale, Utah-based Burton Group said that the report was neither commissioned nor paid for by Microsoft. However, Burton analyst Peter O’Kelly, one of the report’s co-authors, is scheduled to make a presentation at an Open XML press briefing that Microsoft plans to hold in the Seattle area on Wednesday. Also speaking will be multiple Microsoft executives involved in the Open XML standards-ratification effort.

For OOXML, Microsoft has already done this type of tango with IDC, among others. It was another Microsoft-backed pro-OOXML study. CompTIA, another lobbying arm for Microsoft, does this too. What a world we live in!

Update #2: Here is another good article about this.

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  1. Vexorian said,

    January 15, 2008 at 10:09 am


    There is a typo in the very first character of the post…

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 15, 2008 at 10:56 am


    Oh, yeah. Thanks. I should really proofread properly. :-)

  3. paul said,

    January 16, 2008 at 10:27 am


    Read this. Then do what I did. Send a copy of the PDF to your ISO delegate. A link is included in the article.


    Here is a copy of my email to the rep. BTW, they were nice enough to respond and forward it to two other others; one at itic.org and another at ANSI.

    Here’s my email…

    To the USA ISO delegate:

    I request a complete resolution for all issues raised by the comments to Microsoft’s OOXML ISO application (see attached file ‘ooxmlquestionsforMS.pdf’), both the technical and non-technical issues, as a pre-condition before OOXML is granted ISO status.

    I work in web development and know only too well how inefficient Microsoft makes this business. Because they insist on protecting their monopoly, they will continue to pass additional cost to the public without any remorse by imposing their sub-standard, proprietary products on us all. As open source software becomes adopted more and more in the emerging economies, we will find ourselves constrained by a ‘software albatross’ if we continue to permit them to hobble existing or new technologies. Otherwise we will waste more time and money dealing with their deficient products.

    They need to comply and learn how to adapt to the new business model of openess. The underlying philosophy of standards as demonstrated by the ISO group has already demonstrated the value of sharing information.

    By supporting this effort, it sends a clear message that others expect this of them and then, perhaps, it will help motivate them to change.

    Thank you for your time and consideration.

  4. paul said,

    January 16, 2008 at 11:07 am


    BTW, I still think that we should start a page that lists research groups, journalists, etc that choose to damage their credibility by publishing obvious FUD about m$ or anything anti-GNU/Linux and OSS.

    We could give them a 0 (zero) to 5 rating. The worst being ’0′, of course.

    There shouldn’t be any liability issues. I figure that they have an opinion so we can have an opinion about their opinions. If we think their info is poorly researched and mostly lies, hey, we’re doing a public service. It would be a ‘Review of the Reviewers.’

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 16, 2008 at 11:26 am


    Paul, I’d love to do it and I’m not reluctant to put this in as a static page in the site. Let me make a start (expect typos).

    Peter Galli: 2
    Rob Enderle: 0
    Steven Vaughan: 5
    Jeff Gould: 0
    Alex Wolfe: 1
    Paul McDougal: 2
    Charles Babcock: 2
    Pamela Jones: 5
    Matt Hartley: 3
    Gartner Group: 2
    IDC: 1
    Frost and Sullivan: 2
    Forrester: 3
    Yankee Group: 0
    Burton Group: 1
    451 Group: 4
    Bruce Byfield: 2
    Robin Miller: 3
    Joe Wilcox: 2
    Mary Jo Foley: 3
    Dana Blakenhorn: 4
    Brian Proffitt: 4
    Jim Finkle: 1
    Dan Lyons: 1
    Var Guy (JP): 2
    Ed Bott: 0
    George Ou: 0
    Ina Fried: 1
    Matt Asay: 3
    Stephen Shankland: 4
    Matt Aslett: 4


    Add some more to the “FUD index” and we can tidy it all up later. :-)

  6. paul said,

    January 16, 2008 at 3:12 pm


    Outstanding, Roy.

    I’m in agreement re the names that I recognize (not many). It strikes me that cred re Gartner (aka, Partner), IDC, and Yankee has been going downhill as Linux awareness has increased. Very encouraging. Enderle… I think he does what he does just for attention. He likes being the center of controversy. Consequently, he always has a whole different agenda for his reviews.

    And Steve and Pam are the ‘go to’ folks for me most of the time.

    I really hope something like this can help people that are new to GNU/Linux (that’s once for Richard) and FOSS. Actually it might help a lot of folks. As a matter of fact, it’ll help me. I’m going to check out some of the 4′s that I’m not familiar with just so I might have a broader base of info.

    And maybe, if this gets popular, the knuckleheads that spew FUD will stop and think about their credibility rating.

    The Linux community typically is pretty quick at debunking garbage surveys or skewed reviews. So this is just one more service that we offer to mankind.

    Thanks again, Roy.

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 16, 2008 at 10:47 pm


    Paul, here is something preliminary.


    I’ll have it updated as I go along, but generally, having read through or glanced at tens of thousands of articles in the past year, I have a fairly good idea of people’s inclinations. Putting this ‘mental blacklist’ out in public will make me a few (un/happy) enemies, but maybe it will also encourage them to improve.

  8. NoCaDrummer said,

    January 17, 2008 at 12:54 am


    To Roy, I’d move Mary Jo Foley up by at least one to a 4. In her latest byline at ZDnet.com, she pretty well just repeats the Burton study which “advises IT planners to go OOXML”. She’s made no other investigation. Just read the study, pulled most of her article from it (as quoted paragraphs), and put her smiling face and tagline, “An unblinking eye on Microsoft” on it.
    When I think “unblinking eye” I think of Sauron’s flaming eye from Lord of the Rings. I’d say hers was more like that of the ancients who would stare at the moon too long, and thus became luna… well, you get the idea.
    While she claims no stock in or direct financial gain from Microsoft, the stories from her that I read seem far gentler to Microsoft’s screw-ups or actions than should be expected. Perhaps there’s more editing of her column AFTER it leaves her desk (I know that’s happened to me and other writers), so I perhaps I be too harsh on her. Maybe someone who IS paid by MS gets the final cuts at the articles.

  9. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 17, 2008 at 1:04 am



    Well, I’ve read her since the older days when she ran Microsoft-Watch. She totally screwed up a while ago when she flamed Mac users and even prematurely admitted pulling a Dvorak. That latest bit about her defending this ‘study’ (announcing in the opening paragraph that it’s independent) made me almost as sick as when I found out she pushed out that blog item of hers out to the press (yes, outside ZDNet, which is unusually rare).

    Do remember that, just like Ed Bott, she has made her career out of Microsoft. If Microsoft falls, she will need a career change and she will lose her status overnight. Thus, she’s protective of the company. She interviewed Bill Gates when they were both in their 20s and I can see she’s worried at the moment because high-tier Microsoft staff is leaving (these people see things we are not allowed to see).

    About that smile, don’t buy it. All her other public photos show a very opinionated character. What moral person would be capable of praising and learning about a company that bribes, lies, bullies, and breaks the law on a very frequent basis?

  10. paul said,

    January 17, 2008 at 10:50 am


    Hey, does Secunia fit into this somewhere? I see in TechWorld (http://www.techworld.com/security/news/index.cfm?newsid=11154&email ) they’ve done their yearly report implying that m$ is more secure than Red Hat.

  11. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 17, 2008 at 7:05 pm


    I’m not sure about Secunia, but I know about McAfee. The TechWorld article isn’t as well-balanced as this:


    Secunia said that while Red Hat had more reported vulnerabilities than Windows, it was not possible to compare its relative security with Microsoft products, or comment on the relative security of open-source versus proprietary products based on vulnerability figures.

    It’s impossible to make a fair comparison — it’s like comparing apples to oranges,” Thomas Kristensen, Secunia’s chief technology officer, told ZDNet.co.uk. “Red Hat has the highest number of applications included, so the number of vulnerabilities that affect it is bound to be higher.

  12. Yuhong Bao said,

    January 27, 2008 at 10:02 pm


    Of course, the Free Software Credibility Index only applies to things that deals with free software. Many of those who gets low credibility in this list are OK when dealing with Microsoft software.

  13. Yuhong Bao said,

    January 27, 2008 at 10:09 pm


    The best one to choose in my opinion are those that get a 3 on this list.

  14. Yuhong Bao said,

    January 27, 2008 at 10:15 pm


    If you want someone unbiased, that is.

  15. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 27, 2008 at 10:27 pm


    Some of them indeed depend on the success of Microsoft. Their career is, conversely, hinged on the failure of Free software.

  16. Yuhong Bao said,

    January 27, 2008 at 10:30 pm


    >Some of them indeed depend on the success of Microsoft. Their career is, >conversely, hinged on the failure of Free software.
    I though those who get a 2 or 3 on the list shouldn’t.

  17. Yuhong Bao said,

    January 27, 2008 at 10:31 pm


    And those who get a 2 or 3 on the list should not depend on the failure of Microsoft either.

  18. Yuhong Bao said,

    January 27, 2008 at 10:41 pm


    BTW, in fairness MS is not the only one that bribes, lies, bullies, and breaks the law on a very frequent basis. There are many corporations in the world that does that.

  19. Yuhong Bao said,

    January 27, 2008 at 10:43 pm


    For example, the corruption of the FDA by drug companies had made it useless.

  20. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 27, 2008 at 11:32 pm


    There are many corporations in the world that does that.

    I agree with you, Yuhong. I only have the capacity to study a few whose existence is relevant to Free software.

    Prevalence does not justify criminal activity and the only way to improve matters is by pointing out the problem.

  21. Jeremy said,

    April 9, 2008 at 11:02 am


    May I submit that Preston Gralla (who writes for Computerworld) be included on this list with a credibility rating of 0 after this appalling article: http://blogs.computerworld.com/five_reasons_why_vista_beats_mac_os_x

  22. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 9, 2008 at 4:32 pm


    I saw some of his articles before. Some were OK and some were appalling. I’ll add him with a 1.

  23. Yuhong Bao said,

    April 9, 2008 at 5:14 pm


    Ken Brown and Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, in my opinion, are the worst. He claims that Linux was copied from Minux without evidence.

  24. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 9, 2008 at 5:16 pm


    I’ve heard of them before. As for Ken Brown, he was paid by Microsoft to say this.

    “A couple of years ago this guy called Ken Brown wrote a book saying that Linus stole Linux from me… It later came out that Microsoft had paid him to do this…”

    –Andrew S Tanenbaum, father on MINIX

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