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 24/10/2014: Microsoft Tax Axed in Italy, Google's Linux (ChromeOS/Android) Leader Promoted

    Links for the day



  2. Links 24/10/2014: GNU/Linux History, Fedora Delay

    Links for the day



  3. Links 23/10/2014: New *buntu, Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  4. Links 22/10/2014: Chromebooks Surge, NSA Android Endorsement

    Links for the day



  5. Links 21/10/2014: Debian Fork Debate, New GNU IceCat

    Links for the day



  6. Criminal Microsoft is Censoring the Web and Breaks Laws to Do So; the Web Should Censor (Remove) Microsoft

    Microsoft is still breaking the Internet using completely bogus takedown requests (an abuse of DMCA) and why Microsoft Windows, which contains weaponised back doors (shared with the NSA), should be banned from the Internet, not just from the Web



  7. Microsoft 'Loving' GNU/Linux and Other Corporate Media Fiction

    Microsoft has bullied or cleverly bribed enough technology-centric media sites to have them characterise Microsoft as a friend of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) that also "loves Linux"



  8. India May be Taking Bill Gates to Court for Misusing His So-called 'Charity' to Conduct Clinical Trials Without Consent on Behalf of Companies He Invests in

    Bill Gates may finally be pulled into the courtroom again, having been identified for large-scale abuses that he commits in the name of profit (not "charity")



  9. The Problems With Legal Workarounds, Patent Scope, and Expansion of Patent Trolls to the East

    Patent trolls are in the news again and it's rather important, albeit for various different reasons, more relevant than the ones covered here in the past



  10. Links 20/10/2014: Cloudera and Red Hat, Debian 7.7, and Vivid Vervet

    Links for the day



  11. Links 20/10/2014: 10 Years Since First Ubuntu Release

    Links for the day



  12. How Patent Lawyers Analyze Alice v. CLS Bank

    Breaking down a patent lawyer's analysis of a Supreme Court's decision that seemingly invalidated hundreds of thousands of software patents



  13. Is It Google's Turn to Head the USPTO Corporation?

    The industry-led USPTO continues to be coordinated by some of its biggest clients, despite issues associated with conflicting interests



  14. The EPO's Public Relations Disaster Amid Distrust From Within (and EPO Communications Chief Leaves): Part VII

    Amid unrest and suspicion of misconduct in the EPO's management (ongoing for months if not years), Transparency International steps in, but the EPO's management completely ignores Transparency International, refusing to collaborate; the PR chief of the EPO is apparently being pushed out in the mean time



  15. Links 18/10/2014: Debian Plans for Init Systems, Tails 1.2

    Links for the day



  16. Links 18/10/2014: New ELive, Android Expansion

    Links for the day



  17. Another Fresh Blow to Software Patents (and With Them Patent Trolls)

    Another new development shows that more burden of proof is to be put on the litigant, thus discouraging the most infamous serial patent aggressors and reducing the incentive to settle with a payment out of court



  18. Links 16/10/2014: New Android, SSL 3.0 Flaw

    Links for the day



  19. How the Corporate Press Deceives and Sells Microsoft Agenda

    Various new examples of media propaganda that distorts or makes up the facts (bias/lies by omission/selection) and where this is all coming from



  20. Vista 10 is Still Vapourware, But We Already Know It Will Increase Surveillance on Its Users and Contain Malicious Back Doors

    The villainous company which makes insecure-by-design operating systems will continue to do so, but in the mean time the corporate press covers only bugs in FOSS, not back doors in proprietary software



  21. Links 15/10/2014: KDE Plasma 5.1 is Out, GOG Reaches 100-Title Mark

    Links for the day



  22. With .NET Foundation Affiliation Xamarin is Another Step Closer to Being Absorbed by Microsoft

    Xamarin is not even trying to pretend that separation exists between Microsoft and its work; yet another collaboration is announced



  23. The EPO's Protection Triangle of Battistelli, Kongstad, and Topić: Part VI

    Jesper Kongstad, Benoît Battistelli, and Zeljko Topić are uncomfortably close personally and professionally, so suspicions arise that nepotism and protectionism play a negative role that negatively affects the European public



  24. Corporate Media Confirms the Demise of Software Patents in the United States; Will India and Europe Follow?

    It has become increasingly official that software patents are being weakened in the United States' USPTO as well as the courts; will software leaders such as India and Europe stop trying to imitate the old USPTO?



  25. Links 14/10/2014: CAINE 6, New RHEL, Dronecode

    Links for the day



  26. Microsoft's Disdain for Women Steals the Show at a Women's Event

    Steve Ballmer's successor, Satya Nadella, is still too tactless to lie to the audience, having been given --through subversive means -- a platform at a conference that should have shunned Microsoft, a famously misogynistic company



  27. SCOTUS May Soon Put an End to the 'Copyrights on APIs' Question While Proprietary Giants Continue to Harass Android/Linux in Every Way Conceivable

    Google takes its fight over API freedom to the Supreme Court in the Unites States and it also takes that longstanding patent harassment from the Microsoft- and Apple-backed troll (Rockstar) out of East Texas



  28. Patent Lawsuits Almost Halved After SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Software Patents

    The barrier for acceptance of software patent applications is raised in the United States and patent lawsuits, many of which involve software these days, are down very sharply, based on new figures from Lex Machina



  29. Links 13/10/2014: ChromeOS and EXT, Debian Resists Systemd Domination

    Links for the day



  30. Links 12/10/2014: Blackphone Tablet, Sony's Firefox OS Port

    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