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04.07.08

OOXML Protests Scheduled in Norway, Microsoft’s Reputation Claimed Tarnished

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 11:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

What’s a brand really worth?

The ‘Norway story’ continues. Yesterday we pieced together somewhat of a summary which included a new list of irregularities. Now come the protests.

Steve Pepper, the former Chairman of the Norwegian committee responsible for deciding the Norwegian vote on OOXML, is calling for a demonstration to take place outside the building where SC34, the ISO committee that has been landed with OOXML, is holding its spring plenary.

The demonstration will take place outside Håndverkeren, Rosenkrantzgate 7, Oslo, Norway, on Wednesday April 9 at 12.00. Among the slogans are:

  • No to ISO approval of OOXML!
  • Defend the integrity of ISO!
  • Microsoft: Support ODF!
  • Ecma: Withdraw OOXML!
  • Norway must say no to OOXML!

Those calls or accusations are probably intended to attract some media attention and raise awareness of the problem, which will in turn pressure those involved/guilty to come forward and have things rectified. The European Commission still investigates the situation in Norway, having seen ISO become Microsoft prey.

Over at the Financial Times, an article has just been published (subscription required) to more frankly explain the situation and its possible effect on Microsoft’s brand value, which we already know is declining very rapidly.

Allegations of committee-stuffing, the outcome of votes overridden by political appointees, a final decision that many involved consider tainted: this may sound like a discredited election in some third world country. But it is actually a description of an ugly fight over international technical standards that wrapped up this week. Microsoft came out on top, but at the cost of tarnishing its reputation and the credibility of an important back-room process that oils the wheels of many global industries.

As a writer from ComputerWorld explained a few days ago, Microsoft may have lost this standards war due to the impact of negative perception alone.

“F*cking Eric Schmidt is a f*cking p*ssy. I’m going to f*cking bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I’m going to f*cking kill Google.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

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