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Denmark Becomes Fourth Nation To Protest OOXML

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the i-do-believe-it's-a-convoy dept.

Microsoft 171

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "The rumors of a fourth OOXML complaint turned out to be true. Denmark has become the fourth nation to protest the ISO's acceptance of OOXML, and Groklaw has a translation of their complaint. They now join India, Brazil, and South Africa. There are going to be plenty of questions about deadlines, because people have been given two different deadlines for appeals, and the final DIS of OOXML was late in being distributed and not widely available. In fact, that seems to be one of Denmark's complaints, along with missing XML schemas, contradictory wording, lack of interoperability, and troubles with the maintenance of DIS29500. In other words, we should expect a lot of wrangling over untested rules from here on out, and Microsoft knows how to deal with that."

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171 comments

Farewell ISO (5, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23622547)

Will noone step up and defend the credibility and proud history of ISO here? They have done good work in the past. Cannot someone defend the way they've handled this?

No?

Anybody? Anybody at all?

I thought not.

Reputation. 60 years to build and 6 months to burn down.

Goodbye ISO.

Re:Farewell ISO (4, Insightful)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 6 years ago | (#23622669)

"Goodbye ISO."

From a more optimistic slant:

ISO is being forced to address certain issues for the first time, and the outcome could be a more robust and impartial standardization process.

I'm not predicting a better future for ISO, just refusing to believe that all is lost.

Re:Farewell ISO (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23622825)

ISO is being forced to address certain issues for the first time, and the outcome could be a more robust and impartial standardization process. I'm not predicting a better future for ISO, just refusing to believe that all is lost.
Show me one admission that the ISO even realise that this is an abomination of a process. SC34 are overrun with Microsoft zealots like Rick Jelliffe and they blame the world for noticing what a poor job they've done.

They need to admit fault if they want to be trusted again. As of yet there is nothing from the ISO that would inspire confidence.

Mod parent up! (5, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623197)

Until ISO PUBLICLY admits the SPECIFIC mistakes made AND takes action against the people who committed those mistakes, there is no reason to believe that ISO will do anything differently in the future.

ISO sold out. That's all there is to it.

Re:Mod parent up! (4, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624205)

Sadly, I fear you are correct. However, there is another consideration. There ARE other standards bodies, and standards bodies are no different from commodities or currencies - once they are devalued, nobody wants to buy in. A standards body is only a tradable commodity whilst people are still buying in, same as with the dollar or the zlotty. If one of the other bodies were to become politically attractive to enough countries and enough businesses, the ISO currency collapses.

It doesn't matter if it's not a total collapse, it just has to scare ISO. Scare them badly. So badly they stop messing around and pocketing back-handers, but go straight for a bit.

Re:Farewell ISO (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623137)

From a more optimistic slant:

ISO is being forced to address certain issues for the first time, and the outcome could be a more robust and impartial standardization process.
ISO has already blown it @ the State level.
Their rules were not setup to deal with an actively aggressive entity like Microsoft.

Maybe things will get fixed at the National level, but the organization as a whole has been tainted by the abuses visited upon the individual member States. The only way they can regain their credibility is for each country to implement robust rule changes.

ISO doesn't just certify software.
Maybe the next poorly conceived ISO spec to get railroaded through will have real world safety implications.

Re:Farewell ISO (2, Interesting)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623199)

ISO doesn't just certify software. Maybe the next poorly conceived ISO spec to get railroaded through will have real world safety implications.

I'd consider having to buy an expensive program for a not at all cheap OS just to open a standardized document a real-world consequence. And with a limited budget that is expected to feed my family, for instance, I'd even call it a safety implication.

Other possible implications are left as an exercise for the reader.

Some of us here are educators, in one way or another. It is our duty to ram this point home to future generations.
Change is possible, but we have to work rather hard to achieve it.

Re:Farewell ISO (1, Troll)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623315)

I'd consider having to buy an expensive program for a not at all cheap OS just to open a standardized document a real-world consequence. And with a limited budget that is expected to feed my family, for instance, I'd even call it a safety implication.

I have to wonder if you have any idea how ridiculous that sounds: a document that (and we're speculating even here, but I'll give it to you for the moment) can maybe only be opened correctly with Office is equivalent to (for example) certifying a standard for nuclear plant safety that could kill millions of people.

I'm not trying to be inflammatory, but seriously, listen to yourself for a minute.

Re:Farewell ISO (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623341)

The scope of a tragedy is only assessed by the survivors.

Inflammatory Windows Nuclear Plant Worm (4, Funny)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623881)

I have to wonder if you have any idea how ridiculous that sounds: a document that (and we're speculating even here, but I'll give it to you for the moment) can maybe only be opened correctly with Office is equivalent to (for example) certifying a standard for nuclear plant safety that could kill millions of people.

I'm not trying to be inflammatory, but seriously, listen to yourself for a minute.

Oh, FSM preserve us!

You're not referring to one of the Windows ONLY worms that crashed multiple nuclear plants [securityfocus.com] are you? You have to be some anti-Microsoft troll to be bringing that (2003) ancient history up again.

Dude, if you're a Microsoft astroturfer you should make sure you pick up your personal effects on the way out today.

Re:Farewell ISO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23623993)

Like this one?

http://www.oddparity.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&Itemid=1&id=49

ISO 9000 (5, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623149)

As a wiser poster than me observed some time ago, that ISO failed to have management processes in place a year in advance of predictable environment changes is evidence they fail even at following their own standards.

That they've let this issue go so long past its natural conclusion - laughing at a proposal to fast-track a 6000 page un-implemented proprietary standard - is evidence they are themselves compromised by agents of an external entity.

If they abort this atrocity all is not yet well. Until they dig out and expel every agent that perverted their mission and monitor for some time that their processes do now work, they will remain suspect.

If they fail to do the right thing, well, they're done. Stick a fork in them. The nations of the world would prefer to return to the bad old days of setting their own standards and negotiating equivalence by treaty. They will not stand for having their standards dictated to them by a US corporation, even through a puppet ISO.

Re:ISO 9000 (2, Insightful)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623221)

If they fail to do the right thing, well, they're done. Stick a fork in them. The nations of the world would prefer to return to the bad old days of setting their own standards and negotiating equivalence by treaty. They will not stand for having their standards dictated to them by a US corporation, even through a puppet ISO.

Actually, the nations of the world in general will bend over and spread'em for both the US and their corporations with little or no questions asked, and a Thank-you-sir-may-I-have-another-sir afterwards.

Were it not like that, OOXML would not have passed through ISO with so little opposition, i.e. the opposition would not have been quashed so easily.

Living in one of these nations, I cannot begin to tell you how much it saddens me.

Re:ISO 9000 (2, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623249)

Living in one of these nations, I cannot begin to tell you how much it saddens me.

Don't despair yet. We're giving this issue the one thing it cannot stand: Light [google.com] .

Re:ISO 9000 (2, Funny)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623325)

Living in one of these nations, I cannot begin to tell you how much it saddens me.

Don't despair yet. We're giving this issue the one thing it cannot stand: Light [google.com] .

Are you saying this issue is kind of like a cockroach?

Roaches in my standards organization? (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624253)

Are you saying this issue is kind of like a cockroach?

Why, yes. The whole Masonic answer thing was just coincidental.

Re:Farewell ISO (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624675)

I'm not predicting a better future for ISO, just refusing to believe that all is lost.
Yeah, they did refuse to standardize the time cube [timecube.com] after all. For some reason (it was a bit clearer and *much* shorter than MooXML wasn't it ?)

*snort*

No organisation wide acknowledgement and reorganisation in reaction to the MS debacle means the ISO has lost it and cannot be trusted. There's no other way to see it. And there's no sign of this so far.

Re:Farewell ISO (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23622697)

You seem to have overlooked the fact that this is an issue nobody cares about except for a few geeks. ISO was here long before you were born, and they'll be here long after you're gone. Common sense being moderated down in 3, 2, 1...

Re:Farewell ISO (-1, Offtopic)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 6 years ago | (#23622749)

Its neat how any post that says it will be modded down gets modded up. It is a fundamental /. principle. On that not, mod me offtopic, i DARE you.

Didn't work, did it numbnuts? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23622801)

Dicklick. Lick a dick!

Re:Farewell ISO (2, Interesting)

Nullav (1053766) | more than 6 years ago | (#23622811)

You seem to have overlooked the fact that this is an issue nobody cares about except for a few geeks.
You seem to have overlooked the fact that the ISO is largely run by 'a few' geeks.

The geeks vote, they do not run ISO. (2, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623217)

As can be seen from this charade, the votes do not matter.

It is who counts the votes that matters.

Microsoft could not buy off all the geeks. So Microsoft bought off the administration staff. Which then allowed a single secretary to get their "standard" on the fast track when it failed every one of their rules for that.

Re:Farewell ISO (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623379)

By geeks you mean guys like Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer or even Steve Jobs? :(

Re:Farewell ISO (3, Informative)

Insanity Defense (1232008) | more than 6 years ago | (#23622845)

Just a few geeks?

What about governments and businesses that want and need a usable standard? Many governments have to by law put bids up to public tender and cannot specify a precise product. Right now they get locked into a file format that only one company can fully support, they need a standard to make it possible for them to obey the law. Businesses don't like being locked into one supplier who can do anything knowing you have no choice. Other businesses want to be able to compete with Microsoft for those lucrative government and big company contracts.

It seems to me that it is more than just a few geeks.

Re:Farewell ISO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23622893)

None of which matters. Businesses don't care what format they use as long as they can pass it back and forth and it just works. That isn't going to change anytime soon.

Re:Farewell ISO (1)

msuarezalvarez (667058) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623083)

If it matters that little, how come MS went through all the motions?

Re:Farewell ISO (5, Interesting)

Insanity Defense (1232008) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624729)

None of which matters. Businesses don't care what format they use as long as they can pass it back and forth and it just works. That isn't going to change anytime soon.

Businesses care because of what is happening now, with Office 2007 Microsoft is changing the format in a major way. It isn't decided by market forces, its decided by Microsoft, their customers have no say. Why the change? Microsoft gives various reasons, some may even be valid, but the big one is Microsoft wants to force an upgrade to improve their revenue stream. Companies don't like it that they can be forced by their supplier to replace their stock of a product for no reason but to improve the suppliers bottom line. If they can break free to a true standard then no one vendor can control when and if those businesses upgrade.

Businesses and governments have a massive archive of old data in the older DOC formats. Only Microsoft can provide the tools to convert them. This conversion is going to cost those governments and bushinesses a fortune and that expenditure is not dictated by their desires but by Microsoft. They are now beginning to realize that this can happen any time Microsoft wishes to dictate it. Naturally they don't wish to be forced to spend vast quantities of money whenever it is convenient to Microsoft. With a real standard no one company can force such a conversion. No one company will be the sole provider of the tools to do the conversion. No one company can hold your data hostage by their control of the format.

Governments and businesses are slowly coming to understand that right now they no longer control their data, Microsoft does. As that realization sinks in they begin to look for ways to take back control. A true standard helps to take back that control.

Right now in recessionary times when governments and businesses want to conserve money is when Microsoft is seeing a need to force an upgrade and compel those governments and businesses to spend, just when they can least afford to. Also due to the timing of the EU vs Microsoft antitrust cases the eyes of the world are on Microsoft and people are being shown how Microsoft's behaviour is bad for governments and businesses.

Companies that wish to compete for the Office software market have for sometime been educating companies and governments about these issue and slowly they are winning. Self interest is driving those companies to make the educational effort. Self interest is what makes the customers begin to care about standards. Self interest is why Microsoft has to fight so hard to continue their control of the Office market.

Re:Farewell ISO (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23622913)

You seem to have overlooked the fact that this is an issue nobody cares about except for a few geeks
Microsoft earn 4 billion american dollars every 3 months from Microsoft Office. So the question is -- are they earning their money any more? Are they a lean mean competitive company with competitive pricing? Or are they -- for example -- a monopoly, turning on their customers and trying to lock them in to artificially high prices?

They suck 4 billion every 3 months out of the worlds economy.

The people who care about this are usually the big customers, the governments, who spend hundreds of millions on this. The geeks are angry about bad technology, but don't discount the governments who want out from this monopoly because they're more angry than you can imagine. Even Microsoft have admitted that the fast-track process has resulted in a standard they can't use until it's fixed and that this won't be done until 2011.

This process is a shame, and anyone who wants out from this monopoly cares about it. CIOs and IT policy makers care about this, and yes geeks care about this. And more importantly ihbt, ihl, hand.

Re:Farewell ISO (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623331)

Microsoft earn 4 billion american dollars every 3 months from Microsoft Office.

What a bizarre metric. Why not "16 billion a year" or "1.3 billion a month"?

So the question is -- are they earning their money any more?

Funny, Office 2007 came out 'recently', as did 2008 for Mac. Did they put any money into that they are entitled to attempt to recoup?

They suck 4 billion every 3 months out of the worlds economy.

How dare they.

Re:Farewell ISO (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23623819)

3 months are the quarterly earnings, reported quarterly by Microsoft, and you don't answer the specific question on whether their software is competitively priced or whether it's a monopoly.

Earning that amount of money is great for Microsoft but that doesn't mean that it's a fair price.

Re:Farewell ISO (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623969)

WordPerfect X4 sells for $299 [corel.com] . Office 2007 Standard (with more elements to the suite than WP) sells for $399 [bestbuy.com] . I wouldn't call that extortionate.

Re:Farewell ISO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23624319)

And they're compatible products right? I mean it's not like Microsoft Office uses a secret OOXML file format even after this so-called standardisation [robweir.com] right?

Those with decades of content in Microsoft Office need to continue buying Microsoft Office to access it with high-fidelity, and theiy pay Microsoft 12 billion each year because of a lack of competition caused by file-format secrets.

It's not a level playing field due to the lack of standards and for years now the big companies and countries who each page hundreds of millions have been wanting competition. They want to be able to choose other products but Microsoft just demonstrated at the ISO, quite clearly, that they will not let their customers choose. Microsoft will maintain their secrets and will scam the system to prevent people going elsewhere with high fidelity.

Governments are sick of it and governments are going to strike hard.

Re:Farewell ISO (1)

Drinking Bleach (975757) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624559)

And it costs only a few dollars to order OpenOffice.org on CD-ROM; or zero dollars to download the application. Who has unfair prices now?

Re:Farewell ISO (2, Insightful)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624951)

Noone. If you create a product you are entitled to charge what you want for it, and people are entitled to not buy it. And if anyone tries to send you a Word document (just like it anyone tries to send me a WordPerfect document), feel free to tell them to send you a TXT file.

Re:Farewell ISO (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624745)

WordPerfect X4 sells for $299. Office 2007 Standard (with more elements to the suite than WP) sells for $399. I wouldn't call that extortionate.
Well, here MS Office standard costs 350 euros (retail in a generic discount computer shop). That's more than US$540 in case you wondered. Seems expensive to me. (and you often find in for 100 euros more)

Re:Farewell ISO (2, Insightful)

Insanity Defense (1232008) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624799)

Funny, Office 2007 came out 'recently', as did 2008 for Mac. Did they put any money into that they are entitled to attempt to recoup?

They are definitely entitled to attempt to recoup their costs. The problem comes from their control of the market place which gives them the ability to compel expenditures and to use that compulsion to recoup their costs instead of letting the market decide if they deserve to recoup them.

Governments and businesses are entitled to control their own expenditures and to decide what format their data will be stored in. Right now Microsoft is working to compel them to change that data format because Microsoft desires it. Naturally that is being resisted. Governments and businesses are slowly beginning to say "It MY data and I WILL control it". Microsoft is like the Outer Limits control voice demanding that in fact they will control your data.

Re:Farewell ISO (2, Funny)

Insanity Defense (1232008) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624883)

The Voice of Microsoft:

There is nothing wrong with your computer.

Do not attempt to adjust its functions.

We are controlling its functioning.

If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume.

If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper.

We can reduce the performance to a crawl, or acclerate it to a functional level.

We will control your data.

We will control the format. For eternity, sit quietly and we will control all that you do.

You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind of Gate to... The Microsoft Domain Controller.

Re:Farewell ISO (4, Interesting)

Compenguin (175952) | more than 6 years ago | (#23622763)

ISO has been playing games like this with SC29/WG11 for years.

SC29/WG11 (More commonly known as MPEG) is notoriously closed off. All their proposed work for consideration is closed off from public scrutiny until after it has been accepted and published. Reference software updates are only made available to committee members while the rest of us have to wait for a version to be signed off as a Corrigendum/Addendum and then sit for a year as all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed in the general body (why can't non controversial reference software bugfixes get fast-tracked the same way OOXML was?). When people come to MPEG industry forum technical list (Mp4-tech) for clarification they are often referred secret documents and reference software that they have no way of getting. Furthermore their document interchange format is .doc not ODF or OOXML.

Where did this "credibility and proud history of ISO" meme come from?

Re:Farewell ISO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23624303)

Maybe from the fact that MPEG produced some very, very accurate, working and widely adopted video and audio compression standards over a long period of time? Or was it because they never needed to buy votes? So hard to remember which one it was...

Re:Farewell ISO (2, Interesting)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624649)

Or was it because they never needed to buy votes?

Although, of course, the closed nature of the proceedings mean that if the process was corrupt, most people would never have heard about it. Of course, the major difference here is that the MPEG standard is in fact workable and fit for purpose. I don't think there'd be nearly the level of outcry if the same were true of OOXML.

Sadly though, one of the side effects of this whole sorry mess is likely to be a far more critical eye being cast upon other ISO standards, and a far more receptive hearing given to complaints about abuse of process in other areas. And of course, there's a danger of other groups being tarred with the same brush if their interactions with ISO are less than transparent.

I don't think ISO have yet realised what this fiasco has cost them in terms of credibility. Now I'm beginning to wonder the fallout might extend further than anyone anticipated.

Re:Farewell ISO (0, Troll)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624959)

I don't think there'd
be nearly the level of outcry if the same were true of OOXML.
Yes there would. This is Microsoft, and Slashdot (which for the most part knows nothing about law) and Groklaw (which also doesn't actually know anything about law) are required to hate Microsoft no matter what.

Re:Farewell ISO (4, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#23622783)

Will noone step up and defend the credibility and proud history of ISO here? They have done good work in the past. Cannot someone defend the way they've handled this?

No?

I don't understand this "blame the victim" mentality that's pervasive in Slashdot discussions on this.

Microsoft deliberately subverted ECMA, a number of national standards bodies as well as ISO itself. The influence they brought to bear was unprecedented, and ISO simply was not designed to deal with it. The fast track process was abused to prevent a reasonable response, and the short deadlines are being used to the same effect in this protest phase.

It was a deliberate, calculated attack on an unprepared target.

And ISO is not alone - look at all the governments and departments MS has bought or influenced over the years.

Whether ISO can recover from this is questionable now. Responding correctly will be hard because the committees are still stacked with Microsoft reps. They're like a rooted box - untrustworthy without some extensive malware cleaning.

If this is evidence for anything, it's that Microsoft is out of control and must be split up.

Re:Farewell ISO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23622833)

If this is evidence for anything, it's that Microsoft is out of control and must be split up again.

Thar. Fixed that for you.

Microsoft never split (2, Informative)

CustomDesigned (250089) | more than 6 years ago | (#23622983)

To the best of my knowledge, the split ordered by judge Jackson was never carried out - because he made unwise comments in public in a moment of anger over Microsoft behavior.

New administration keeps MS alive (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23624263)

No, the judgement of Microsoft was never carried out because the new administration ordered it so (how that is even remotely constitutional beats me). So you can thank Bush for this too.

I value your opinion (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23622873)

I don't understand this "blame the victim" mentality that's pervasive in Slashdot discussions on this.

But it had to be said. Many thousands will read this thread. Already this thread is the number one hit on google news for "ISO" [google.com] . While there's still time to change the outcome the downside risk must be made very clear to the people making the decision. It was important that the first comment not be some GNAA garbage.

The ISO's stock in trade is their reputation. If they will not defend it they deserve to fade away.

Re:I value your opinion (3, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623079)

It was important that the first comment not be some GNAA garbage.

It was, but it's even more important that people realise the problem is Microsoft, not ISO.

As long as they are allowed to continue wielding the amount of power they do today, they will corrupt ANY standards body. It's simply not possible to design a consultative standards body that's immune to the type of panel and committee stacking we've seen from Microsoft on this issue.

Yes, ISO is now badly damaged, and that's a tragedy all of it's own, because ISO was a body of great value to the whole world. Now the world needs to be looking at clipping the wings of the predator that did the damage, not at sinking the boot into a crippled ISO.

The problem is Microsoft (2, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623639)

It was, but it's even more important that people realise the problem is Microsoft, not ISO.

I agree with you in every way. You got the message out - your post is highly moderated and right below mine. I recommend people reading this review what you've said.

When you're going for the first comment you have maybe thirty seconds on slashdot when it's slow. That's not time enough to nuance stuff. You have to strike while the iron is hot and get in the best blow you can. Too much subtlety and it's lost. Too much "blame Microsoft" and it's downmodded too fast for people to see it. I did the best I could.

Yes, ISO is now badly damaged, and that's a tragedy all of it's own, because ISO was a body of great value to the whole world. Now the world needs to be looking at clipping the wings of the predator that did the damage, not at sinking the boot into a crippled ISO.

We need an international standards organization. Do we need this one? I don't know. My opinion will depend on if they fix this, and what processes they put in place to prevent a recurrence. Is my opinion important? Only as much as it is insightful and informative and only to the extent I get my message out, which is why it was important to me to get my comment in first. As others here have noted this is not ISO's first offense - just the most onerous one. This is the telling one. If they will not fix this they are beyond saving. It is not impossible to "fork" ISO.

On slashdot I am fond of saying "this is a tool". Well, standards are tools too. If we don't trust this manufacturer of this class of tool we will need to find one or make one if we are to continue about the business of creating interdependent global stuff.

Re:The problem is Microsoft (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23623937)

I agree with you in every way. You got the message out - your post is highly moderated and right below mine. I recommend people reading this review what you've said.

When you're going for the first comment you have maybe thirty seconds on slashdot when it's slow. That's not time enough to nuance stuff. You have to strike while the iron is hot and get in the best blow you can. Too much subtlety and it's lost. Too much "blame Microsoft" and it's downmodded too fast for people to see it. I did the best I could.
Yes you have heroicly transcended the awesome responsibility that was placed upon your shoulders. Obviously you need a pat on the back, you self-important twit.

Re:The problem is Microsoft (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623949)

Yes you have heroicly transcended the awesome responsibility that was placed upon your shoulders. Obviously you need a pat on the back, you self-important twit.

Thanks. It's the external validation that keeps me going.

If it weren't for slashdot I'd be ranting anti-OOXML nonsense on FARK.COM [fark.com] and that would not go well.

Re:I value your opinion (3, Interesting)

Eivind (15695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623867)

The problem is both.

ISO is not set up to handle an aggressive, resourceful and abusive applicant. Which meant they ended up doing something which everyone sees is patently nonsense when confronted by such an applicant. Using the "fast-track" for a "standard" that is over 6000 pages, incomplete, with literally thousands of objections to it, and for which there exist -zero- implementations is patent nonsense, and everyone sees it. (possible exception if they've been paid handsomely to develop a blind spot for it)

Yes. MS is to blame for abusing a process. ISO is to blame for not having adequate defences against abuse.

Re:I value your opinion (5, Insightful)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624313)

Now the world needs to be looking at clipping the wings of the predator that did the damage, not at sinking the boot into a crippled ISO.

I love the "crippled ISO" image. It almost suggests that if we just shout at Microsoft and stop saying hurtful things about ISO, why then the organisation will get a chance to heal, and recover its ethical values, and be a force for good in the world once more.

Sadly, I don't think things work like that.

While I agree about Microsoft, I don't think we can really absolve ISO from all blame. To do that would be to send a message to the ISO saying "it's OK to be corrupt. No one minds. Break the rules, stack the deck; they'll just blame the organisation sponsoring the standard. Get your noses in the trough, boys!"

I agree that the fall of ISO is a tragedy. But until and unless they set their house in order I don't see how anyone is going to trust them again. Effectively they've just hung out a shingle saying "For Rent".

At the very least, ISO need to admit that there's a problem here and take steps to both fix the damage done, and to ensure it doesn't happen again. And that's not going to happen if they feedback they get "well, I guess that could have happened to anyone".

Re:Farewell ISO (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23622953)

So, if someone were to going out in -20C weather without wearing a coat, and then caught a cold, would we avoid blaming the victim?

The ISO is a credibility body. They brand a "standard" with their good name. If they recommend something that has no business being a standard (in present condition) then the ISO's credibility will suffer... It may not be their fault (entirely) but it is definitely their problem!

Re:Farewell ISO (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23622991)

Microsoft deliberately subverted ECMA
ECMA are an organisation designed to used this way, or in other words ECMA is a sell-out by trade, selling out is the ECMA business model.

Listen to Jan Van de Beld former General Secretary of ECMA [youtube.com] describe how they run their business: QUOTE:

"ECMA for instance has made all the standards for DVD and optical disks. There were 5 recording formats. So there you feel a little bit uneasy, of course. And again after a few beers I can ask the people in the room. Why do you want to have 5 formats? Do you still call that standardization?

The answer is always the same: You are well paid. Shut up"

Fast-forward to 4:15 for the quote.

Re:Farewell ISO (2, Insightful)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623589)

The victims shouldn't stand-up and defend the perp after the fact. If they really are the victim, let them reveal their rapist, or lie in shame.

Re:Farewell ISO (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623687)

I don't understand this "blame the victim" mentality that's pervasive in Slashdot discussions on this.
I don't understand how ISO is a victim here.

And ISO is not alone - look at all the governments and departments MS has bought or influenced over the years.
Ok, question: Was anybody holding a gun to their head, forcing them to take the money?

Does anyone seriously think that being bought is somehow unavoidable, or something Microsoft can force you into doing?

Re:Farewell ISO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23624121)

Whether ISO can recover from this is questionable now. Responding correctly will be hard because the committees are still stacked with Microsoft reps. They're like a rooted box - untrustworthy without a new installation from scratch.

There, fixed that for you. ;)

Re:Farewell ISO (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623037)

Cannot someone defend the way they've handled this?

No?

Anybody? Anybody at all?


Yoooo [youtube.com] !

Re:Farewell ISO (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623081)

Cannot someone defend the way they've handled this? No? Anybody? Anybody at all?I thought not.
On slashdot? Not without an asbestous suit. Look at it from ISOs point of view - they had a lot of large companies voting for OOXML. Stuffed or not, many national bodies voted yes. What do you expect, an ISO tzar sitting on top to say "We'll take your votes under advicement, but we'll do whatever the f... we like and reject it anyway"? Like in a court, almost no matter how badly the case was botched it's the parties that has to appeal, not the judge. That's what happening now, and the appeals process can get all the dirty laundry and breach of process out in the open.

Reputation. 60 years to build and 6 months to burn down. Goodbye ISO.
Yeah sure, an organization that makes thousands of standards is going to burn down over one mishandled one. I wonder if you'd like to try that standard on anything else, for example Congress. If we burned them down every time the process was subverted by riders or they passed unconstitutional laws or just did things that in retrospect were considered horrible, horrible screwups we wouldn't have time to rebuild before we'd have to burn them again. Go easy on the hyperbole, the world is not about to end. If all appeals fail and OOXML is finally approved, there will still be a reckoning in ten years or so that this was a mistake. Having standards is too important though, burn down ISO and you'll have even more paid shills like ECMA take their place.

Re:Farewell ISO (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623207)

I wonder if you'd like to try that standard on anything else, for example Congress. If we burned them down every time the process was subverted by riders or they passed unconstitutional laws or just did things that in retrospect were considered horrible, horrible screwups we wouldn't have time to rebuild before we'd have to burn them again.

You say that like it's a bad thing... For both ISO and Congress. I wonder how others feel on this subject. Mark Twain had a useful quote but I can't find it.

Re:Farewell ISO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23624015)

Look at it from ISOs point of view - they had a lot of large companies voting for OOXML. Stuffed or not, many national bodies voted yes. What do you expect, an ISO tzar sitting on top to say "We'll take your votes under advicement, but we'll do whatever the f... we like and reject it anyway"?
Actually the ITTF actually have that right at the beginning of the Fast Track. They can block a standard unsuitable for fast-tracking before any country voting.

The ISO allowed this. Don't forget it.

Re:Farewell ISO (5, Interesting)

Tim99 (984437) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623453)

I'm a technical assessor and signatory approver for a real ISO Standard - ISO-17025 (General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories). This was formerly ISO 25, one of the first international standards, which goes back nearly 60 years.

A number of people have mentioned to me that they consider that Microsoft have 'played' the ISO process and, as a result, consider that even 'good' standards have been compromised. I believe that they are right, and that ISO need to consider getting their house in order. ISO 17025 is a standard that can allow for testing on materials to be carried out in one country, and then these materials can then be exported and distributed within other countries without further testing. In the past there has been disquiet that laboratories in 'Less economically developed' countries, were either not capable of carrying out the technological requirements of some tests; or that they were more liable to a corruption of process. By hard work, and negotiation over a number of years, this disquiet has been addressed.

As a result of the OXML debacle, we may now be in a position where a LEDC can now truthfully say "Why pick on us - ISO is corrupt anyway".

This is the real damage (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623721)

As a result of the OXML debacle, we may now be in a position where a LEDC can now truthfully say "Why pick on us - ISO is corrupt anyway".

Thanks for sharing. People need to know. This is the real damage that a perception of bias in ISO can cause.

Maybe they can go on strike with the Canadians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23622551)

Maybe if the Danish go on strike with the Canadians instead of taking their jobs, then they'll be heard.

Re:Maybe they can go on strike with the Canadians (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23622651)

Or maybe some provocative cartoons of Bill Gates raking in some "prophets".

Re:Maybe they can go on strike with the Canadians (1, Offtopic)

Calydor (739835) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624139)

Funny you should mention it, as we actually are dealing with a massive strike here in Denmark at the moment.

Amazes me where (0, Offtopic)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 6 years ago | (#23622619)

they say the want to keep developers but then they do something like VB6 end of life.
They are driving developers to other platforms.

Just wait (0, Offtopic)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23622665)

When they deprecate .NET the squeals will be heard 'round the world. Developers are dumb. Cats are smart. You can't catch the same cat in the same trap twice.

Re:Just wait (0, Troll)

JoshJ (1009085) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623287)

I've had this conversation with a couple friends of mine already. I'm not going to waste my time learning how to program C# when it'll be as useful in 3-5 years as Visual Basic is today- nothing more than a tool used to maintain legacy apps.

There's a difference between a language which is truly obsoleted by other competing languages and a language which is designed to go obsolete for the profit of the creating company.

Re:Just wait (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623355)

There's a difference between a language which is truly obsoleted by other competing languages and a language which is designed to go obsolete for the profit of the creating company.

1) It's designed to go obsolete for profit according to who? I mean, obviously there will keep being new versions of things. Any technology that stops growing is dead.

2) More importantly, from the perspective of a developer, what's the difference?

Any developer who stops learning new languages, tools, techniques, etc. has decided they want to work on legacy apps for the rest of their life.

Sure, new VB6 development is pretty much dead. So is PowerBuilder development (being pretty much the competitor to VB6, back in the day.)

Congratulations (2, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623495)

You've just said too much. Now everybody knows who you are.

Any developer who stops learning new languages, tools, techniques, etc. has decided they want to work on legacy apps for the rest of their life.

Whereas people who save their documents in OOXML have decided they want to lose access to them over time (if not immediately). And C# and .NET developers want to write code they'll have to port to next year's Next Big Thing. That's job security there, Maynard. And re-porting the same stuff over and over means you'll never make progress after the first evolution. Congratulations. You've just found a way to get someone to pay you to avoid doing useful work.

Meanwhile, ODF is portable and, well, C. What can you say? If that's not standing the test of time in programming then what is?

Re:Congratulations (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623637)

Meanwhile, ODF is portable and, well, C. What can you say? If that's not standing the test of time in programming then what is?

Other than for embedded devices, C is pretty much dead -- and even a lot of that work is in C++ today.

(I'm a more than competent C programmer, but ain't no one paying to write business applications in that, nor have they been for over ten years. Even most of the things I can think of that were done in C 20 years ago are at least over to C++ now.)

Re:Congratulations (4, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623679)

Other than for embedded devices, C is pretty much dead -- and even a lot of that work is in C++ today.

Question for the class: what languages are C++ compilers, Windows and Linux written in? Since we're talking about OOXML and ODF, what language is Microsoft's own ODF to OOXML translator [sourceforge.net] written in? That may be a .cpp file, but the vast majority of that code is C.

You've declued yourself. I'm sorry. Do you want to try again, perhaps on topic this time? You're killing your Karma dude.

Re:Congratulations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23624361)

Windows is largely written in C++. Explains a lot, doesn't it?

Explains what? (2, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624897)

Windows is largely written in C++. Explains a lot, doesn't it?

C++ is derived from C. I've never seen any C++ code that wasn't 90% standard C [bell-labs.com] .

So what have you proven? That Bjarne Stroustrup at Bell Labs in 1979 had 10% to add to C? Where are the Wonders of Microsoft in this equation? On that day Microsoft was still working on a version of DOS that might have subdirectories someday. They knew barely enough about compilers to get their stuff to run.

More importantly, what have they added of value since? Come on. They're the most powerful software company in the world. It's been almost thirty years. They must have contributed something persistent to the pool of common knowledge, eh? Or maybe not.

Re:Just wait (2, Interesting)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623605)

There is "maintaining legacy apps" and there is "this language is end of life- any patch we release from now on could break it".

This is a very real risk to my company-- we have 30 year old mainframe programs running as well as the day they were first written but our large visual basic system (1500 class x 40 lines os I guess about 60,000 lines?) now has 3 components at "end of life" and may randomly become non-functional without warning.

So we will have to replace it.

Will we use .net? Not very likely. The program works fine- the only reason it can't be kept is microsoft's policy that VB6 is dead (along with the version of SQL it was written in).

For a major corporation, 5 years is an eye blink-- but $5 to $10 million (plus new bugs/ lowered customer satisfaction) is not something they want to repeat every 5 years.

And yet, Microsoft says they plan to own developer mind space? Are they on drugs then? Because this is not the way to go about it.

Re:Just wait (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624991)

This is a very real risk to my company-- we have 30 year old mainframe programs running as well as the day they were first written but our large visual basic system (1500 class x 40 lines os I guess about 60,000 lines?) now has 3 components at "end of life" and may randomly become non-functional without warning.
Actually, not true. Microsoft does actually commit to ensuring that applications written in VB6 and the like continue to run (including patching the runtimes if necessary) to avoid this type of alienation.

SQL Server though, not so much. For that one you can change the compatibility level of the database, which usually works - very rarely does it fail to make a legacy app work.

But hey, this is Slashdot, where anti-MS FUD is OK, but anti-OSS FUD is the source of evil.

Still, dear god. VB6 sucks. Rewrite it in C++ already.

hawwt. (1)

nawcom (941663) | more than 6 years ago | (#23622677)

Open source Denmark females are hawt....yeeeah...

Erm. I mean... um... obviously there were some payments under the table to ISO.. yeah... how many countries do we need in order for them to get that MSXML is not only not functional, but shouldn't be any standard. Anyone got a tissue I could use?

Overheard in Helsingør [aka Elsinore]... (3, Funny)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 6 years ago | (#23622743)

Prince of Denmark: To be or not to be. -- Not to be.


[presses remote button and explosion rips through ISO headquarters in Geneva]

The text of the story is just plain wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23622785)

... Denmark has not protested, there is no protest from the national standards body here, just a letter from Open Source Denmark. India, Brazil and South Africa are the only three protests.

Re:The text of the story is just plain wrong... (2, Informative)

shis-ka-bob (595298) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623021)

This coward is right. This is only a story about Danes protesting to Denmark and the ISO.

Re:The text of the story is just plain wrong... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23623065)

Groklaw has become the tabloid press of open source reporting. And what's up with kdawson, accepting these kind of stories? I've tried submitting stories on these topics, but mine link to primary sources, rather than inaccurate secondary sources, and they all get rejected. I don't bother anymore, as slashdot's editors seem to have decided that they only want the inaccurate, but more sensationalist, secondary sources.

zzz (0, Flamebait)

Jeff321 (695543) | more than 6 years ago | (#23622831)

Is anybody else tired of reading OOXML articles every other day?

Re:zzz (4, Funny)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 6 years ago | (#23622905)

Is anybody else tired of reading OOXML articles every other day?

I call BS. You are obviously a MS troll because no one not even MS Office can read OOXML--oh you mean reading articles about OOXML? In that case, I agree with you. We do not welcome the OOXML-reading overlords. :P

Re:zzz (4, Insightful)

superslacker87 (998043) | more than 6 years ago | (#23622957)

Yes, but I'm glad that there is some exhibiting of common sense. Even /. itself had an article that stated even Microsoft won't be supporting OOXML [slashdot.org] until two versions from now. When they won't even fully support their own standard in the next version of MS Office (Version 13.0/20xx), how do they expect other software developers to do the same?

Re:zzz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23623015)

OpenOffice doesn't fully support ODF, but that doesn't seem to bother anybody. So why suddenly is "fully support" a magic buzzword when it comes to OOXML?

Re:zzz (4, Informative)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623813)

This has been debunked so many times. To reiterate;
  1. This discussion is about ODF, not Open Office. OOo is only one of many suites and applications supporting ODF.
  2. More spin.

    This statement is misleading. Every file written by OpenOffice.org, KOffice or IBM Symmphony (to use common examples) is ODF compliant. The file may not require every tag in the full specification to describe the contents each application is capable of writing, but it will comply with the standard. In other words, each application is fully compliant with the subset of the standard mandated by the application's content creation role.

    By contrast, MS Office does NOT write compliant OOXML files at all

Pardon my ignorance, but... (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623043)

... what ramifications does ISO's decision actually have?

Re:Pardon my ignorance, but... (4, Informative)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623269)

"... what ramifications does ISO's decision actually have?"

A brief summary:

Storing data in an open document format will ensure the accessibility of that data moving forward, regardless of software vendor, changes in the software ecosystem, etc... because anyone will be able to implement their own version of the standard for retrieving the stored data should that become necessary.

With this in mind, governments and institutions around the world are looking at ways they can ensure the accessibility of their documents unconditionally moving into the future. The impact of these new open document format policies will be huge on software purchasing decisions, as any software package used to generate, modify, or read documents will need to comply with the open document format.

Enter MS and OOXML, a document standard that has now been validated by and internationally accepted ISO review procedure.

There are questions about the way the standard was written, whether it can actually be implemented, whether any implementation would require dependence on proprietary MS technology, and whether the dominant MS products would adhere to the strict letter of the standard or break compatibility with non-MS implementations as has happened in other instances with MS implementations.

Finally, there are questions about whether bribery and other underhanded tactics were used to secure a fast track process and passing vote through the ISO process.

If OOXML is allowed to stand there are concerns that MS will effectively achieve lock-in with the governments that opt for OOXML technology, because access to data stored in OOXML documents will remain dependent on MS.

Re:Pardon my ignorance, but... (4, Insightful)

totally bogus dude (1040246) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623419)

Beaten by another, but I wrote a reply so I'm posting it anyway.

The main thing seems to be that lots of government bodies are putting in place (or have already put in place) legislation requiring all government documents use a format that complies to an "open standard". Requiring this for internal documents is less common, but it is common for anything published for public access. The idea being to ensure every citizen is able to access the information the government produces without having to buy products from a specific vendor, for example.

From a technical point of view what ISO does matters not at all. Microsoft are going to continue to develop the format to suit their needs, and any long-term compatibility with whatever ends up being in the "OOXML ISO specification" will be purely coincidental, as they've already stated. Government departments will continue using whatever software they feel like using, and will make a half-hearted attempt to conform to whatever rules they have to, just like they always have.

If .docx and friends get the magic ISO Standard Tick then government departments can simply slap their .docx files on a website and be in compliance with the legislation regarding making their publications publically accessible without vendor bias: it's not their fault that there's only one working implementation of the "standard". Now they could theoretically mount legal action against Microsoft for selling them a product which they claim supports the OOXML ISO standard but doesn't really, but that's unlikely since everybody knows the whole thing is a sham and they're just playing along to cover their asses.

On the other hand, if .docx and friends don't get the magic tick, then the government departments will have to publish their files in something other than {.doc,.docx}. If the chosen format was ODF (.odt etc) then people will need software that can open it. This means a) the government will be pointing people to alternatives to MS Office, and b) Microsoft will "have to" natively support opening .odt files within Office; otherwise they risk losing customers -- particularly the ones that buy Office because that's "what you use to write documents". Also the government departments will need a way to export to the "standard" format, and if Office can't do it natively some may decide to switch software to save that step.

Consider that currently, even if you use OpenOffice or KOffice or Abiword or anything else, you probably send documents to other people using .doc unless you specifically know they don't use Office. The reason is simply that, even if they do use something else, they can probably import the .doc file without problems. However if they do use Office, they're completely unable to import most other document formats.

So, the hoped-for end result is that Microsoft will effectively be forced to make Office interoperate with other software, rather than having everyone else trying to implement Microsoft's format. While the documentation for .docx will no doubt be useful in figuring out some corner cases, it's not a significant improvement over the reverse engineered re-implementations of the format currently being used.

That's the theory, anyway. I doubt it will have an earth-shattering affect either way, but I suppose it's another straw on the camel's back.

No, Denmark has not protested. (5, Informative)

pheede (37918) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623087)

No: Denmark has not protested formally. Denmark is represented in ISO by Dansk Standard [en.ds.dk] which, as you may recall, somewhat controversially changed its vote to "Yes".

This is a protest letter from Foreningen af Open Source Leverandører [osl.dk] a vendor's association (literally: "The Association of Open Source Vendors", their official English title seems to be "The Danish Open Source Business Association"). They happened to be part of the technical committee (as I understand it, I may be wrong) in Denmark, but are not formal representatives of Dansk Standard.

The recipient of the letter, Jacob Holmblad, is the managing director of Dansk Standard, who also happens to be vice-president of technical management at ISO.

While an interesting complaint, which raises a number of pertinent issues, this is not a formal complaint from a national standards body as those from South Africa, Brazil, and India.

Re:No, Denmark has not protested. (5, Informative)

AySz88 (1151141) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623289)

FYI, I think the correct wording is that Denmark hasn't yet appealed formally. The summary is misleading with the whole talk about appeals, but this letter itself doesn't seem to be an appeal.

However, this quote from TFA suggests that Denmark is still intending to appeal:
"'Jacob Holmblad [the recipient of the letter, and ISO Vice President, and managing director of Danish Standard] will appeal directly, because he has one foot in each camp,' explains Morten Kjærsgaard to Computerworld."

Re:No, Denmark has not protested. (2, Informative)

spectrokid (660550) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623699)

I live in Denmark and this country is a notorious Microsoft bitch. MS has a development center here, most large companies are pure MS-shops and the government is not exactly doing great efforts to look beyond Redmond shrink-wrap. Heck, even the crown prince wife is an ex-MS employee!

Re:No, Denmark has not protested. (1)

mok000 (668612) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623837)

... and Bill Gates is prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen's guru and personal adviser on IT-technology...

Re:No, Denmark has not protested. (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624965)

... and Bill Gates is prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen's guru and personal adviser on IT-technology...
The good thing is that these things change. Look, Microsoft used to have the British Prime Minister in its pocket (you could argue that Tony Blair was actually somewhere else, not in Microsoft's pocket, but that would be impolite). Today, the relationship between Microsoft and the British Prime Minister is a lot less good, and after the next elections I'll expect a major backlash against Microsoft. Which is kind of bizarre; one would naively expect that Open Source software would be much more appealing to a Labour government than a convicted monopoly and maybe less appealing to a conservative party, but it seems to be playing out the other way round.

Re:No, Denmark has not protested. (1)

Paaskonijn (1220996) | more than 6 years ago | (#23624567)

Denmark is represented in ISO by Dansk Standard
What's in a name, eh?

Somewhere .... (0, Flamebait)

PPH (736903) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623227)

... Balmer is preparing his "Axis of Evil" speach.

Let's hope (3, Interesting)

jeevesbond (1066726) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623825)

Does anyone else find it odd that Microsoft touted support for ODF then pushed back supporting OOXML [slashdot.org] to the next version of Office just before all these complaints landed on ISO's doormat?

This, to my mind, shows two things:

  1. Microsoft believes these appeals/complaints are likely to succeed;
  2. they certainly have paid shills in a number of ISO committees, otherwise they wouldn't have seen this coming;

Apparently representatives from Microsoft were stalling for time in Brazil [homembit.com] . So the support for ODF In Office seems like firefighting more than anything. The dropping of the Microsoft project, encoding books to OOXML [nytimes.com] , would also seem to be a sign that Microsoft is giving up.

*joke* If these appeals are successful, I for one will be on Alex Brown's blog, posting this video of Kryten [youtube.com] in 'smug mode'. Muahaha. */joke*

Perhaps I'm naive, but... (3, Interesting)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623955)

...I would think the best way to combat this is to find some way to turn the situation upside down. What's Microsoft's business strategy for next-generation products, and how could this be used to cause problems for them?

If Microsoft's understanding and control of the current arena is so complete that they can pull off something like this, then it's time to change the venue. Microsoft doesn't seem to do well in novel and fluid situations.

OK..... (4, Funny)

crhylove (205956) | more than 6 years ago | (#23623983)

So the hierarchy of countries where there is a real informed segment of the populace or government now starts with Denmark, South Africa, India and Brazil?!?

Refresh my memory, do those countries waterboard people? Do they use rigged machines to count votes? What is the matter with those people?!?

Pinko commies the lot of 'em, allowing true interoperable anti monopoly standards and actually counting votes. They better not be brown, or we'll bomb the shit out of 'em!
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