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

05.09.08

Microsoft Literally Pays ISO (Sponsors ISO Meeting) (Corrected)

Posted in Europe, Finance, ISO, Microsoft, Standard at 2:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

In Norway at the very least

ISO Sold Out to ECMA

ooxml_demo_4.jpg

There was clearly a transaction of money made by Microsoft in Norway, which passed it on to ISO. Good catch. Watch the picture inside this page and recall our old entry about soft briberies.

A reader of ours sent the following artwork that he had produced some hours ago. Click on it for a Full-sized version. It’s mildly amusing.

The Nightmare

The BSI, which seemingly shares some people with ISO (e.g. Alex Brown) has already been taken to court. It got sued over (mis)handling of OOXML (Correction: see more accurate description in the comments below]. Let’s see what the guys in Norway do next. OOXML is not a standard yet. Technically, it can never be.

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

11 Comments

  1. Alex H. said,

    May 9, 2008 at 3:06 am

    Gravatar

    I was going to raise this issue the other day, but you made the same mistake again today.

    BSI haven’t been sued. What happened is that UKUUG requested a judicial review: that means they’ve asked a court to review whether or not the process BSI followed was correct (_not_ whether or not their conclusion was correct). Unlike a lawsuit, if they are granted a review and then the review goes against the BSI, there is no penalty. The decision is set aside, and BSI reconsiders it: they can of course reach the same pro-OOXML conclusion again.

    Don’t expect the BSI review to happen before the end of this month. The administrative court has a large backlog of cases and is actually doing extra shifts at the moment to get through it: a review (if granted) would be largely symbolic.

  2. ZiggyFish said,

    May 9, 2008 at 6:35 am

    Gravatar

    Athouvh it’s not a lawsuit as such it’s still a inquiry into the conduct of the BSI and at anytime can revoke the ISO standardization of OOXML

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 9, 2008 at 6:44 am

    Gravatar

    I’ll correct the text in any event. Thanks, Alex.

  4. AlexH said,

    May 9, 2008 at 8:38 am

    Gravatar

    ZiggyFish – I actually don’t think that the ISO status of OOXML is under threat from that enquiry.

    We have this “appeals” time limit. An “appeal” doesn’t mean “I want to change my vote”, it means “there was a problem with this process”. For this review to result in BSI issuing a formal appeal to ISO, the court has to request a judicial review, the review has to happen, the BSI decision has to be set aside, the BSI has to re-consider it’s decision, the BSI then needs to come to a different decision *and then* decide to lodge an appeal.

    I just don’t see that happening in three weeks.

    Personally, I doubt the decision will be set aside – I’m not even sure a review will be granted. The premise of the request – that the technical committee at BSI voted against OOXML – seems to be wrong, so the issue of the process being flawed seems to be moot.

    That’s not to say I’m defending what happened at ISO; I think both ODF and OOXML have caused trouble at ISO (ODF for being developed outside of ISO and the ISO standard now effectively being obsolete, OOXML for the obvious pressures Microsoft & those invested in the Office ecosystem put on the process). I don’t think BSI did anything wrong though, and I think overall it’s better for OOXML to be in ISO control than Microsoft control – people forget that Microsoft and ECMA no longer control the development of the format. If that had happened with ODF, I don’t think OOXML would have been approved.

  5. Roy Bixler said,

    May 9, 2008 at 9:00 am

    Gravatar

    Maybe a better way to phrase it would be that the BSI vote was “formally challenged”? This may not result in BSI changing their vote, but it does shine a light on the whole process and show that there was strong opposition to the BSI’s stance on OOXML. I can only hope that other countries will follow this example if, as it seems, some other national standards bodies like Norway, Poland, Germany, etc. remain defiant that “they did nothing wrong.” If the latter is true, then I think their processes leave a *lot* to be desired. I even recall that someone pro-OOXML like Jesper Stoclund agreeing that the ISO standardisation process itself is weak and relies heavily on the integrity of the national standards bodies, which seem highly suspect in a number of cases.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 9, 2008 at 9:02 am

    Gravatar

    Alex,

    Microsoft does not obey what’s in ISO’s hands, regardless. It never intended to. It said so explicitly over half a year ago, so that last argument of yours is moot, IMHO.

    Moreover, your description of what happened there in pursuit for a standard underplays what was a “brutal and corrupt process” (Tim Bray’s description and one of the biggest scams in computing history (another person’s take). It was sheer corruption, I assure you as one who has watched this since 2006.

  7. AlexH said,

    May 9, 2008 at 10:27 am

    Gravatar

    Roy S,

    The Microsoft/ECMA proposal for maintenance wasn’t accepted; the ISO plan is the one laid out with a maintenance committee responsible for the standard and another for harmonisation with ODF. So, you shouldn’t confuse the current situation with what was previously put forward: if Microsoft don’t play ball with the ISO maintenance process, then they can’t claim to output an ISO standard document format. That would then make the entire process of standardising their format pointless: and so far, they’ve been pretty good at keeping up with the changes in the format as it went through previous standardisation.

    As for sheer corruption – I think that’s the in the eye of the beholder. Every standard which goes through has significant corporate supports who have a vested interest in seeing it accepted. Take for example MPEG: it’s an ISO standard, but it’s heavily patented and you have to pay a pretty penny to use it. The latest MPEG isn’t like some technical work of art, either – they basically took Apple Quicktime and documented it. Adobe did the same thing with PDF. ISO standards are actually, more often than not, just a proprietary standard which was later documented.

    Whoever lost the argument over OOXML would have complained bitterly about the process being corrupt, undue influence, etc. The basic math was that Microsoft has more friends interested in working with Office than IBM has friends working with ODF.

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 9, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Gravatar

    ODF is not IBM. That’s just the same old Microsoft FUD (trying to warp the problem, making it a seem like a giant vs. giant duel).

    Regarding the rest, Microsoft won’t care about ISO compliance. It’s all about pretense and perception. It’s about marketing.

    On the corruption bit, no… it was by all means corrupt. Maybe you just haven’t watched it closely enough to see the bullying, the bribery, the blackmail, etc. It was disgusting, it was scandalous.

  9. AlexH said,

    May 9, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Gravatar

    I wasn’t saying ODF is IBM (it’s not; it’s Sun ;) I was saying that the primary protagonists anti-OOXML within the ISO system were IBM or IBM-supported. You can choose not to believe that, but I know what I’ve seen.

    If you don’t think Microsoft care about ISO compliance, I honestly think that you’re misguided. Standards compliance isn’t important to Microsoft’s home and business customers, it is important to their Government customers. Government purchasers tend to be less affected by marketing, and if Microsoft claim ISO compliance when it doesn’t exist I suspect they would be relatively well aware of that.

    As for bullying/bribery/blackmail.. I think that’s too easy a retort, to be honest. There are stories on both sides and if you only listen to one side’s stories then of course you come away with that impression. I think it’s very easy to make allegations about the process when you disagree with the result; let’s see how many of those check out factually and turn out to be true. The BSI case will be a very good example.

  10. Roy Bixler said,

    May 9, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Gravatar

    Here’s a pretty good example of one aspect of the argument, which is the question “was OOXML really suitable for ISO’s fast track approval?”:

    http://lehors.wordpress.com/2008/03/26/clarification-on-what-the-fast-track-is-really-about/

    It seems that it’s an honest matter of interpretation but I do feel that, if Stoclund’s interpretation is correct, then there is little that is respectable in a standard that’s been “blessed” by ISO. It would mean essentailly “we’ve cajoled enough national standards bodies and ISO officials to see things our way.” It does not mean originally what I thought an ISO standard means, which would be that there is broad consensus among technical people around the world that the proposed specification is a mature and tried-and-true one.

  11. AlexH said,

    May 9, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Gravatar

    Roy B – indeed.

    You don’t need to look through many ISO standards to disabuse yourself of the notion that they are technically brilliant often.

    For example, ISO 9660 – the CD format we all use (.iso files, right?) Would anyone who cared about doing things technically correctly limit file names to 8.3 format? Who other than DOS/CPM couldn’t support long file names, and was anyone using DOS really burning CDs? If you wanted to “do things right”, you’d just remove that restriction and not have it available in the standard.

    But that’s not how standards work.

What Else is New


  1. Links 25/7/2014: GOG With GNU/Linux, Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS

    Links for the day



  2. Links 24/7/2014: Oracle Linux 7; Fedora Delays

    Links for the day



  3. Valerie Strauss Explains Why Gates Foundation's Lobbying for 'Common Core' (Privatisation) is a Swindle That Makes Microsoft Richer

    Continued criticism of the Gates Foundation's lobbying and masquerading, with more journalists brave enough to highlight the corruption



  4. USPTO Officially Sets New Guidelines to Limit Scope of Software Patents in the United States

    Even patent lawyers finally acknowledge that the incentive to file software patent applications has been reduced, as the scope of patents on software has been noticeably narrowed and they are harder to acquire, let alone enforce in a courtroom



  5. UK Government Adopts OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Microsoft Already Attacks the Government Over It, Showing Absolutely No Commitment to Open Standards

    Only "Microsoft as the standard" is the 'standard' Microsoft is willing to accept, as its response to the Cabinet Office's judgment reveals



  6. Microsoft Layoffs of 2014

    Another quick look at Microsoft's horrible state of affairs and why it has virtually nothing to do with Nokia



  7. Links 22/7/2014: Linux 3.16 RC 6, New UberStudent

    Links for the day



  8. Links 20/7/2014: Jolla in India, Mega Censored in Italy

    Links for the day



  9. Longtime Mono Booster Joins Microsoft-linked Xamarin

    Jo Shields almost joins Microsoft, settling instead for its proxy, Xamarin



  10. Linux Foundation Welcomes Patent Aggressor Red Bend Software

    The Linux Foundation's AllSeen Alliance welcomes as a member a company that uses software patents to sue Free/Open Source software



  11. Matt Levy From Patent Progress (and CCIA) Does Not Really Want Patent Progress

    Matthew ('Matt') Levy moved into a foe of patent progress last year, but he still runs a site calls Patent Progress, in which he diverts all attention to patent trolls (as large corporations such as Microsoft like to do)



  12. Attacking FOSS by Ignoring/Overlooking Issues With Proprietary Software

    The biasing strategy which continues to be used to demonise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) along with some new examples



  13. Links 19/7/2014: CRUX 3.1 is Out, CyanogenMod Competes With Google Now

    Links for the day



  14. Microsoft's Massive Layoffs Go Far Beyond Nokia; Nokia's Android Phones Axed by Microsoft's Elop

    Microsoft's rapid demise and permanent exit from Nokia's last remaining Linux platform (after Microsoft had killed two more)



  15. Patents on Software Already Being Invalidated in Courts Owing to SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Patents

    The Federal Circuit Appeals Court has just "invalidated a software patent for being overly abstract," says a patents expert



  16. OpenSUSE 'Community' is Crumbling, AttachMSFT Killed SUSE's Potential (Except as Microsoft Tax)

    Not much too see in the land of SUSE and Attachmate, or formerly the company known as Novell



  17. Links 18/7/2014: Slackware Turns 21, Spotify Switches to Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  18. Links 16/7/2014: Manjaro 0.8.10 Third Update, SIA Migrates to Red Hat

    Links for the day



  19. Microsoft's Latest Round of Massive/Bulk/Large-scale Layoffs

    Microsoft boosters are preparing 'damage control' pieces ahead of massive layoffs at Microsoft



  20. Secrecy Allows British Government to be Manipulated by Microsoft for Spyware Behind Closed Doors

    Dependence on malicious software from NSA ally Microsoft is highly dependent, at least in Britain, on government secrecy and vain refusal to comply with Freedom of Information (FOI) requests



  21. Software Patent Applications Already Being Rejected in the US Owing to SCOTUS Ruling, Some Patent Lawyers Are Fuming

    Good news on the software patents front as the USPTO starts rejecting software patent applications, based on patent lawyers' words



  22. Links 15/7/2014: New Plasma, Google Announces Project Zero

    Links for the day



  23. Interest in Free Software Coverage and 9 Months With Tux Machines

    Thoughts about the level of interest in Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and growth of at least some sites that focus on GNU/Linux



  24. White House Backs Away From Appointing Patents Zealot to Top USPTO Position

    Philip Johnson is no longer poised to become the Director of the USPTO, which is basically an establishment that provides protectionism to primarily US-based corporations



  25. Professor James Bessen Presents the Case Against Software Patents After Important SCOTUS Ruling

    The debate about software patents in the Unites States continues, with academia on one side and greedy patent lawyers on the other



  26. Software Patents Demising in the US as Microsoft Patent Attacks on Android/Linux Suffer a Huge Setback

    M-Cam's assessment of Microsoft's bundle of extortion (using software patents) shows toothlessness, irrespective of the SCOTUS decision to effectively annul "abstract" software patents



  27. Links 13/7/2014: KDE Activity Surge

    Links for the day



  28. Pro-Microsoft Spin in Microsoft-Funded News Networks

    The rogue media (misinformation) campaign of Microsoft benefits from networks which have been paid by Microsoft over the years



  29. Cronyism at Play: European Hostility Towards Free/Libre Software Despite Espionage and Moles

    Europe continues to be held hostage with back doors, lock-in, and massive payments to foreign powers, despite evidence that these powers are destructive and hostile



  30. Wirelessly-Controlled Contraceptives and Other Villainous Bill Gates Initiatives

    Remote controls for people's reproductive systems are now in the making and Bill Gates is a prominent investor in the technology


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