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

    Links for the day



  2. 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



  3. 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"



  4. 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")



  5. 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



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



  8. 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



  9. 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



  10. 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



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



  13. 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



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

    Links for the day



  15. 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



  16. 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



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

    Links for the day



  18. 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



  19. 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



  20. 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?



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

    Links for the day



  22. 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



  23. 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



  24. 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



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



  27. Links 9/10/2014: Free Software in Germany, Lenovo Tablets With Android

    Links for the day



  28. Links 8/10/2014: A Lot of Linux+AMD News, New ROSA Desktop Is Out

    Links for the day



  29. Lawyers' Propaganda About Software Patents and a New AstroTurf Entity Called Innovation Alliance

    Patent propaganda and deception from patent lawyers (among other parasites such as patent trolls) continues to flood the Web, intersecting with reports that prove them totally wrong



  30. How Microsoft Handles Disasters: Grace Hopper Conference Has Been Infiltrated by "Microsoft Disaster Response"

    Free/Open Source software (FOSS) must be a disaster to Microsoft's bottom line because Microsoft is sending "Microsoft Disaster Response" to infiltrate and disrupt a conference about women in FOSS


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