EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

04.30.08

OOXML in India: Bullying of Critics, Even Professors

Posted in Interoperability, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 6:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I’m thinking of hitting the OEMs harder than in the past with anti-Linux. … they should do a delicate dance.”

Joachim Kempin, Microsoft OEM Chief

Steve Ballmer on ODFWhat kind of a monster would bully innocent computer scientists in order to defeat an international standard (ODF) that was created to facilitate the need of the entire industry, including universities?

It was just over a month ago that we witnessed an act of intimidation in India , wherein Microsoft proceeded to doing its usual routine of bullying critics and going all the way to the top, if necessary.

An open letter has just been composed to address or at least highlight this issue in India. It praises the final decision and insistence of the nation, but nonetheless raises the very serious concerns that public confessions brought to the media’s attention before. Have a look at some fragments from this post.

On 20th March 2008, the LITD15 committee of the Bureau of Indian Standards voted against Microsoft’s proposed OOXML standard. 29th March 2008 was the last date for participating countries to vote on OOXML. In the interval between these two dates, Microsoft went to the Prime Minister of India and alleged that this committee acted against the national interest. Fortunately, the Indian bureaucrats who met the PM did a good job of defending the committee’s vote against OOXML.

Prof. DB Phatak of IIT Bombay recently wrote a mail to the LITD15 committee saying that, “In my opinion, these actions go well beyond the behavioral boundaries for a commercial entity, some of these amounting to interfering with the governance process of a sovereign country.” IIT Bombay was a member of the LITD15 committee and Prof. Phatak was part of a four-member team at IIT Bombay that did a very intense review of OOXML before the institute voted against OOXML. While Prof. Phatak is a great supporter of open source, he also has a great reputation for being fair and balanced.

[...]

As a committee member, I would like to place on record my deep disappointment at the fact that Microsoft chose to question the decision of this committee at the highest office of our country. For over a year, we have reviewed the proposed standard with a fine tooth comb. Every opportunity was given to Microsoft to put their points across. At every meeting they brought a disproportionate number of participants along; some of these participants were not even Indian nationals. I think the committee as a whole was very courteous in accommodating all this but drew the line when this began to detract from the functioning of the committee. The only words that came to my mind when I heard that Microsoft’s complaint had prompted the Prime Minister of my country to review this committee’s decision was “stabbed-in-the-back.” This was a great disservice to this committee and the country and I hope this never happens again.

[...]

Standards cannot (and should not) be created in a technical vaccum. Without a moral and ethical framework, we cannot create standards that benefit humanity. Mahatma Gandhi summed it up best when he said that, “Real swaraj will come not by the acquisition of authority by a few but by the acquisition of capacity by all.” I believe that this committee should be focused solely on the user’s swaraj (freedom) to encode and decode their data.

Who could ever forget how far Microsoft went in India?

We will shortly return to Microsoft’s announcement from the intraoperability [sic] event, but meanwhile, this article from The Register, “Microsoft embraces and extends server promiscuity”, is worth bringing up because of the bits about OOXML.

Microsoft of course has a long way to go before it can match market VMware for virt. technology or market share. But “deep integration” with SystemCenter is the key to how it will play catch-up. And if it fails, the company will certainly hasten the day that VMWare will have to lower its prices.

[...]

A third principle is to encourage data portability, so that customers can move their data, without let or hindrance. That is entirely admirable, but the way Microsoft is working to ensure this, by way of a fourth principle – to work with all the software standards bodies on God’s planet – is the stuff of battlefields, as this year’s furore over Open XML shows. Microsoft is content to work behind the scenes, while its rivals cry foul.

When the rivals stop shouting, we will know that Microsoft truly is fully interoperable and is seen to be fully interoperable. In the meantime, we look forward to reporting the bush wars for many years to come.

The OOXML saga is far from over. The finalisation of a decision is still over a month away.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 21/9/2014: Fedora 21 Alpha

    Links for the day



  2. More of Bill Gates' Investments in GMO and Mass Indoctrination Under the Disguise of 'Donations'

    Microsoft's arrogant and famously corrupt co-founder is taken to task by those whom he is trying to bamboozle for monopoly, unlimited cross-generational power, and never-ending profit without risk



  3. Home Depot Confirmed a Victim of Microsoft's Bad Security, Microsoft Lays Off Security-Related Staff

    News reports circulate showing that Home Depot was knowingly careless with its Windows dependency while Microsoft lays off staff focused on security



  4. European Patent Office/Organisation - Suspicion of Improper Collusion Between EPO President and Chairman of the Administrative Council: Part III

    A preliminary look at Battistelli's reign and how regulatory powers got abolished, leaving the EPO reckless and largely unaccountable



  5. Links 21/9/2014: xorg-server 1.16.1, Linux Kernel 3.16.3

    Links for the day



  6. Links 20/9/2014: GNOME 3.13.92, Android L

    Links for the day



  7. Scanning Patent Troll Implodes; Is the Podcasting Patent Troll Next?

    MPHJ loses and Personal Audio LLC perhaps wins for the last time since software patents are quickly losing legitimacy in the United States



  8. If CAFC is Not Above the Law, Then it Should be Shut Down Now

    A long series of abuses in CAFC may as well suggest that this court has become broken beyond repair



  9. The Latest From Microsoft Patent Trolls and Patent Partners

    Microsoft-linked and Linux-hostile trolls continue their relentless attacks (albeit with little or no success) while patents as a weapon lose their teeth owing to a Supreme Court ruling



  10. Microsoft Proves That Its Massive Layoffs Are Not About Nokia

    Microsoft is laying off a lot of employees who have nothing at all to do with Nokia



  11. Links 19/9/2014: Another Red Hat Acquisition, Netflix Dumps Microsoft Silverlight and Brings DRM to WWW

    Links for the day



  12. Links 18/9/2014: Windows Copying GNU/Linux, Germany Moves to Security

    Links for the day



  13. Web Site 'Patent Progress' Now Officially 'Powered by CCIA' (FRAND Proponent, Microsoft Front)

    After talking a job at CCIA, "Patent Progress" and its chief author should be treated as dubious on real patent progress



  14. Articles About the Death of Software Patents in the United States

    Recent coverage of software patents and their demise in their country of origin, where even proponents of software patents are giving up



  15. The Death of Software Patents is Already Killing Some Major Patent Trolls

    VirnetX seems to be the latest victim of the demise of software patents in the United States



  16. More Microsoft Layoffs

    More Microsoft layoffs go ahead as the company is unable to compete



  17. ODF on the Rise

    Milestones for OpenDocument Format (ODF) and the launch of FixMyDocuments



  18. Links 17/9/2014: CoreOS, ChromeOS, and systemd

    Links for the day



  19. Italy is Cracking Down on Microsoft's Monopoly Abuse While Gradually Moving to GNU/Linux

    Italy is not only moving to Free/Open Source software but also to GNU/Linux while at the same time barring Microsoft from forcibly tying Windows to new PCs



  20. OpenSUSE's 'Assurances' Are Classic MBA School Hogwash

    OpenSUSE is not part of any commitment, except for SUSE's; the impact of the Novell/SUSE acquisition casts uncertainty on the project's future



  21. Links 16/9/2014: Firefox OS Smartphones in Bangladesh, “Treasure Map” of the Internet

    Links for the day



  22. The United Kingdom Should Dump Microsoft For the Sake of National Security

    The UK has issues of Microsoft dependency and Windows viruses; its migration to Free software and GNU/Linux is not fast enough to guard its autonomy in the age of digital imperialism



  23. CBS Hires Even More Microsoft Staff to Cover Microsoft Matters

    CBS continues to be infested with Microsoft staff past and present (this time Dave Johnson) and the bias in output is quite revealing



  24. Microsoft Has Just Killed Minecraft for GNU/Linux and the Possibility of Free/Open Source Releases

    Persson sells out to Microsoft and lets the abusive monopolist destroy the popular cross-platform game that a community has been built around



  25. Another Reason to Boycott Intel UEFI

    More anti-competitive aspects are revealed inside UEFI, which helps merginalise GNU/Linux



  26. Quick Mention: Novell and SUSE Passed to Microsoft's 'Partner of the Year', Microsoft Focus

    Novell is changing hands again, and falling into the hands of even more Microsoft-friendly actors



  27. Links 16/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC5, KDE Frameworks 5.2.0

    Links for the day



  28. Željko Topić, Benoît Battistelli, and the European Patent Office (EPO): Part II

    Part II of our look into the EPO appointment of Željko Topić and other matters showing the dubious integrity of the EPO



  29. Links 14/9/2014: Android-based Watches Earn Optimism

    Links for the day



  30. Links 14/9/2014: Eucalyptus Devoured

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts