06.19.07

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ISO and Office Open XML (OOXML): What REALLY Happened There?

Posted in Formats, Fraud, ISO, Linspire, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Xandros at 9:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Letters from the dead” strategy is back from the graveyard

Well, well, well…

Some months ago we mentioned a surprising turn of events where Lisa Rachjel of the ISO decided to let OOXML slide into the fast-track route. Later we found that Microsoft may have simply voted for itself, using its own employees. If that wasn’t bad enough, then have a look at this new little discovery. It turns out that, as one site puts it, Microsoft puppets were spamming ANSI.

An impressive list of spam comments asking for supporting OOXML and backward compatibility, claiming also that “Open XML in no way contradicts any other international document standard”.

Have a look at the evidence the Web site presents. This ought to remind you of something controversial which Microsoft did in the past, namely:

In 2001, the Los Angeles Times accused Microsoft of astroturfing when hundreds of similar letters were sent to newspapers voicing disagreement with the United States Department of Justice and its antitrust suit against Microsoft. The letters, prepared by Americans for Technology Leadership, had in some cases been mailed from deceased citizens or nonexistent addresses.

Antitrust exhibits from Comes vs Microsoft have taught me that executives at Microsoft were talking about grassroots tactics. The other component was an OEM stronghold, but that’s another story altogether. Also recall how they started an astroturfing campaign (pseudo grassroots) in the UK. This was not an isolated incident. Be aware of all the manipulation that is involved in keeping the lockin in tact. They are protecting the cash cow. Microsoft’s deals with Novell, Linspire and Xandros (including Corel, which is linked to Xandros) play a significant role. They give the illusion that there is wide OOXML acceptance.

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3 Comments

  1. gpl1 said,

    June 19, 2007 at 10:32 pm

    Gravatar

    It’s absolutely hilarious to read like 20 letters in a row with the exact same three paragraphs. Plagiarism? or astroturfing?– what will the people who will actually read these letters to the US standards body think?

    They’re not doing so well at all at the Canadian standards body though, which makes me happy. Though maybe we’ll see some more form letters show up, after this post.

    (BTW–the ‘billions of existing documents; line that all the form letters use–the same line that the Standards Council of Canada used in its foreward paragraph. Odd, you’d almost think one PR firm is co-ordinating that.)

    “About Open XML

    More and more organizations around the world are interested in achieving document processing interoperability, and creating digital archives using open formats. Office Open XML provides a common open standard for word-processing documents, presentations, and spreadsheets that can be freely implemented across multiple applications and platforms. The standard enables the continued use of BILLIONS of existing documents and promotes document processing interoperability.”

    http://www.scc.ca/en/news_events/pr/pr_details_220.shtml

  2. gpl1 said,

    June 19, 2007 at 10:49 pm

    Gravatar

    By the by, I love how they all contradict IBM’s letter, which shows contradictions in OOXML to existing standards.

    I guess if they repeat it enough and try and try again…

    History of MS Shilling, http://www.inlumineconsulting.com:8080/website/msft.shilling.html
    http://lists.essential.org/1998/am-info/msg01529.html “Barkto incident”
    http://web.archive.org/web/20040222192500/http://w3.hethmon.com/os2isp/1999/Aug/Msgs/l2w15889.html “barkto again”.

    I wonder why they’re not employing spam bots like was possible even in the 80s on USENET.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 19, 2007 at 11:43 pm

    Gravatar

    *grin* Maybe they pay in Ferrari laptops, but either way, here are some more examples:

    http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/01/25/a-wake-up-call-to-microsofts-pr-team/

    Vista (bloggers):

    http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,2077596,00.asp?kc=EWRSS03129TX1K0000616

    Windows products (Indian bloggers):

    http://i5bala.blogspot.com/2006/10/microsoft-traps-and-hunts-for-bloggers.html

    OS/2-Windows, XBox (forums and maybe fake Web sites):

    http://worldcadaccess.typepad.com/gizmos/2005/11/2_grassroots_an.html

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