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Microsoft Bought Sweden's ISO Vote on OOXML?

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the and-here-i-am-buying-stuff-like-food dept.

Microsoft 340

a_n_d_e_r_s writes "The vote on OOXML looked fairly secured. Most in the Working Group in Sweden was against the vote to approve OOXML. The day of the vote, though, more companies showed up at the door. Some 20 new companies — each one payed about $2500 to be allowed to vote — and vote they did ... for Microsoft. Most of the new companies were partners from Microsoft who suddenly out of the blue joined the Working Group, payed membership fees and voted yes for approval. From the OS2World story: 'The final result was 25 Yes, 6 No and 3 Abs and this would from the start be a done deal of saying No! Jonas Bosson who participated in today's meeting on behalf on FFII said that he left the meeting in protest and so did also IBM's Swedish local representative Johan Westman.'"

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Corporate whores (5, Funny)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383319)

Never has the old phrase been so accurate.

Re:Corporate whores (5, Funny)

Octopus (19153) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383341)


Re:Corporate whores (3, Funny)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383513)

Offtopic? - who payed for that trick?

Re:Corporate whores (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20383355)

I was probably like any other fifteen year old when I was growing up, seemingly aways having to fight off a hard-on. Maybe it was hormones, maybe it was because I was still a virgin, but my almost daily jack-off sessions didn't seem to help much. I still wanted to experience the feeling of my dick actually plunging into some beautiful young girl's tight, wet cunt. Hell, she didn't even have to be all that beautiful!

This feeling was driving me crazy. I HAD to have me a piece of ass soon, or I was simply gonna explode! I just couldn't keep out the thoughts of some young girl's pointed, jiggling tits slipping between my lips while my dick plowed between her moist slit.

My imagination, summer bikinis, and dad's PENTHOUSEs helped me to fill out my favorite fantasies of what the girls in my classes looked like naked. Those vivid images of beautiful, naked young girls coming into my room looking at my dick with lust, or my plopping them down on a desk right there in school and fucking our brains out seemed to dominate my every waking moment. Hell, even my nights were filled with wet dreams of these nubile young girls offering their naked bodies to me on sight!

The truth was I had never even seen a live naked girl since I was about seven-years-old playing doctor with a neigbor girl. Even then I didn't know what it was all about, just that my little dick got hard when I touched her bare pussy and that it felt REAL GOOD when she touched my hard dick. 'If only I new then what I know now,' I thought. Furthermore, I was much too shy to even approach a girl my age to ask for a date, much less to ask for a piece of ass or a blowjob.

I was sitting under a tree fretting about all of this one summer day, when I was startled by the voice of a young neighbor girl who had walked up behind me.

"What are you doing out here all by yourself?"

Pauline was a typical eleven-year-old, her body just beginning to show the first signs of maturing into an hourglass shape, but she still was flat-chested. Her personality had definitely not matured, and I even cosidered her to be quite a brat.

"Nothing much, just moping around," I told her.

"What's wrong?" she asked in a soft tone, touching my knee as she sat down beside me on the ground, her small skirt riding up her smooth legs.

I had never looked at her in a sexual way before, but the combination of my frustration and her uncharacteristic soft-spoken manner caused me to take a second look at her. She was actually a very pretty young girl, with long dark brown hair that flowed down onto her flat, preteen chest. Her innocent dark brown eyes looked deeply into mine as she pondered my troubles, and I began to get an idea on how I might exploit this budding motherly instinct of hers.

"Well......, it's just that a lot of the other guys my age have dated girls already," I began, "some of them have even had sex."

I paused to check her reaction. She was still sitting there looking at me intently, her knees pulled up near her chest and her arms draped around them casually leaving her skirt to gape open under her legs. I was sure that anyone passing by would be able to see her panties, but she didn't seem to be aware of her immodest pose.

"I'm just too shy to ask anyone out, though. I guess I'll never have the guts to either."

She sat there silently, bending her head down and resting her chin on her knees. She seemed to be in thought as she began to stare blankly at the ground in front of her, possibly wondering about her own lack of boyfriends and whether she too would ever have the experience of having sex one day.

"Have you ever wondered what it's like to have sex?" I asked her, hoping to guide the situation into a possible encounter.

She looked at me momentarily to see if I was sincere, or just trying to poke fun at her before answering.

"Well...., yeah...., sometimes...., but nobody really likes me much around here. All of the boys in my class just want to play by themselves. I'll probably never have a boyfriend or anything," she said solemnly.

"Have you ever thought about doing it with anybody around here?" I asked, pressing further.

"EEEWWW, NO!" she said, raising her voice defensively.

"Don't get mad, Pauline! I was just wondering." I said, trying to salvage the situation. "I wouldn't tell anybody if you had thought about it."

After that exchange, we both sat silently for a few moments. She resumed her position of resting her head on her knees, and her skirt still left her entire bottom open below her legs. Hoping to get a better view of this sight, I stretched and yawned, feigning fatique. I then bent forward and crawled along the ground until I was stretched out on my side facing Pauline, my feet resting against the large tree. She looked at me momentarily before reaverting her gaze to the ground directly in front of her, resuming her thoughts. I waited until she looked away before looking under her legs, but when I did, I was greeted by the sight of her beautiful tanned legs disappearing into the rumpled bottom of her skirt. Between them was a bright white strip of cotton cloth, covering what I knew had to be her young twat. The tightness of the cloth stretched across her little pussy, clearly identifying just where it was by the indentation of the fabric along the slit. My dick immediately began to respond, and I quickly stuck my hand in my pocket to adjust it before it was too late, leaving it there to help hide the effect it was going to have on my pants.

"I've thought a lot about having sex," I said, looking back up to her eyes just as she turned her gaze back to me.

"Really? Who with?" she asked curiously.

Now she had me on the spot. If I told her all of the girls my fantasies revolved around, it would be just like this little brat to go and tell them. As I studied her face though, I noticed a look that I had never seen before. It was as if she was trying to form a mental image of two people having sex, me being one of them and the other still left blank.

"Well...., I don't know. You might think it's gross if I tell you. What's more, you'll probably go right off and tell them if I told you who it was," I said.

"I won't think it's gross, and I promise I won't tell...., please....." she pleaded.

Now I was beginning to feel I was getting somewhere. I really had her curiosity up, and I even thought that she might even be enjoying this line of conversation.

"Well...., OK," I began. "But you gotta promise you aren't gonna tell. And it's not like I would really do it with them or anything. I've just thought about it, OK?"

"OK, sure!" she replied, just a tinge of excitement in her voice.

"Um..., well..., you know Jodi McAllister? I've thought about doing it with her." I said.

"Oh," she replied, sounding slightly disappointed.

"Yeah, she's got a nice body. Blonde hair....., blue eyes...., and pretty nice tits too! And she's got a REAL nice ass on her!" I said, hoping to get Pauline's gears going.

Pauline raised up, resting her chin on her hands, her elbows on her knees. She shifted her geet out from her body, keeping her thighs together. Her little feet were pointed inward slightly, giving her a very little girlish look. Her gaze seemed to be far off now as she thought about what I had said.

My eyes returned to that magic spot between her legs momentarily, as I pondered how to word my next sentence.

"Who else have you thought about?" she asked in a faraway tone.

"Well...., if you promise you won't think it's gross.....," I said, pausing for a response.

"No..., no, I don't think it's gross!" she said, looking back at me with pleading eyes.

"Well...., I'm kinda embarrased to tell you who else I was thinking about," I said teasingly.

"Aw, c'mon....., I promise I won't tell!" she begged.

"Well...., you really won't have to...., 'cause...., I kinda have been thinkin' about doin' it with you," I said softly, not really lying about it now.

A look of complete surprise came over her face as her head raised from its resting place slightly and her hands came apart. Her mouth gaped open as she took in what I had just said and I noticed a distinct deep red blush spread across her face.

"Larry...!" she exclaimed, not really knowing what to say next.

"Y-y-you've really..... thought about...., y'know..., having sex..... with me?!" she asked in disbelief.

"Well....yeah," I said, more confidently. "You're a pretty girl, and even though you don't really have any tits yet, you still have a nice body."

She blushed again, instinctively reaching down and wrapping her skirt around her legs, drawing them together and hunching over to rest her chin on her knees once more. It was obvious that she had been flattered about my remarks, but at the same time she was totally caught off guard with the thought of someone wanting to have sex with her. I could see her playing out the scene in her mind as she sat there, rocking back and forth slightly.

A long, pregnant pause elapsed before anyone said anything again. It was me who initiated the next question.

"Well..., what do you think?" I asked her. "Do you think you would want to have sex with somebody like me?"

"NO!" she exclaimed. "I couldn't....., I mean....., I'm only eleven-years-old. I shouldn't be doing stuff like that. And besides, you're fifteen!"

"So, I know some girls who did it when they were nine- years-old," I lied.

"Oh yeah....., who?" she demanded.

"Well...., I promised I wouldn't tell. And promises are promises," I said, trying to get myself out of that one.

Pauline thought for a moment before saying, "Well...., I dunno....., I just don't think I better do anything like that."

"OK, OK......, but if you COULD do it, do you think you would do it with somebody like me?" I asked, trying to keep on the topic.

"Well...., I dunno," she said blushing. "I...., I guess so."

I just smiled back at her, "Thanks, Pauline. I needed to hear that!"

She looked back at me, and an embarrased smile flashed across her face as she had to look away. I wasn't through with her yet, however. I just HAD to get something out of all of this. My dick was pressing against my pants with one of the most raging hard-ons I had ever had. I had noticed Pauline looking down at my crotch a couple of times as we had talked about doing it, but I wasn't sure if she saw anything as my hand was still in my pocket, paritally hiding the tent-like effect my dick was having on my pants.

I waited a few more moments before starting again, "You know...., I don't even know what a naked girl looks like."

"What about your sister, haven't you seen her naked before?" she asked.

"Well....yeah. But that was a long time ago, when she was just a little baby. Besides, it's not the same when you see your sister, especially when she's only one-year-old."

I continued to look at Pauline. She was all balled up, and refused to look at me when we weren't talking. I had decided that I just had to at least see her bare little pussy, even if she wasn't gonna let me fuck her. At least I would have something to go whack off with for a while.

"What about you...., would you let me see you naked?" I asked hesitantly. "I'll let you see me naked."

"I..., I don't know. I better not," her voice showing her uncertainty.

"Aw, c'mon Pauline," I begged. "I'll probably never get to see a naked girl until I get married...., if I ever DO get married."

"I-I don't know, Larry." she said nervously.

I could tell she was actually considering it, but she still would have rather I hadn't asked. Even so, the thought of seeing a naked boy probably for the first time intriqued her.

"I'll make it worth your while," I went on. "I'll buy you an banana split when the ice cream man comes by."

She paused for a moment, biting her upper lip as she contemplated my proposal. The agony of the moment was almost unbearable for me.

Finally, she spoke, " Well....OK...."

I almost leaped for joy inside, but I kept my cool on the outside. At least as much cool as I could considering my state of excitement.

"But you've got to promise that you'll not touch me. And you've got to promise not to tell ANYBODY. And you still have to buy me the banana split." she rattled on.

"OK, OK," I interupted, "I promise, I promise."

"C'mon, let's go to my grandpa's barn where nobody will see us," I said, grabbing her by the hand and rushing her away before she had a chance to change her mind.

Grandpa's barn was way off in a field by itself, surrounded by a few old oak trees on the sides and back. He used it mainly to store hay for his cows, and hardly ever came there during the summer. He also kept an old Studebaker out there, and that is where Pauline and I stopped to carry out our deal.

"You go first," I told her.

"Can't we both just go at the same time?" she asked.

"Well...., yeah..., sure," I said almost reluctantly, not wanting to miss one second of her bare pussy being exposed.

"Remember, you can't touch, and you've got to buy me that banana split," she said.

"I know, Pauline. You don't have to keep reminding me," I said, as I unzipped my pants and she pulled her panties down under her skirt.

I quickly shucked my cut-offs down, exposing my underwear and the large bulge sticking out into it. Pauline had bent over to pull her panties down to about her ankles, then stood up, stepping out of them with her left foot and flipping them off with her right. As she stood, she became transfixed by the sight of my bulging underwear.

Knowing that her pussy was naked under her skirt, and that I was about to see it seemed to make my dick even harder than ever. What's more, knowing that my naked cock was going to be so close to a naked pussy, and me not getting to at least stick it in was more than I could bear. I just had to have more than just a look. My mind raced over what I could say to coax her into letting me at least try to stick it in her as we both slowly began to expose our sex to each other.

I bent over as I slowly lifted the waistband of my underwear over my pulsing cockhead, sliding them down my legs. My face was about a foot and a half from Pauline's crotch, as she slowly lifted her skirt. The hem slowly inched it's way up, and just as I saw the first signs of a tiny hairless slit she stopped.

"Well, stand up so I can see it. We've got to do it together," she demanded.

Reluctanly I stood up, my hard dick pointing up at her face at about a 45 degree angle. Pauline gasped as she looked at it bobbing slightly in front of her.

"OK, Pauline, take your skirt off," I said impatiently.

"I'm just going to lift it up so you can see it, I don't want to take it off," she replied.

I was at the point where I didn't care, just so long as I could see her whole pussy. Quickly she jerked her skirt up over her waist to expose my first full view of a live girl's pussy. It was so beautiful, just a tiny little hairless slit laying there between her closed legs. I marveled at the smooth folds of skin, and the lack of anything else around them.

"Spread your legs a little bit, Pauline. I can't really see anything yet," I asked, my voice almost choking in my throat.

Pausing for a second, she then stepped outward with first one leg, then the other, leaving me a clear view of the little line running down her crotch and disappearing up under her. We stood lie that for a little bit, both of us in awe of each other before I spoke again.

"Pauline.....," I began, "Just let me stick it in you one time...., PLEASE! Just one time, that's all."

"I don't know....," she said cautiously, "besides, you said all I have to do is show you my thing, then you would buy me the banana split."

"I know, I know....., but you look so pretty down there...., a-and guys who have done it before tell me that it feels REAL good when you do it. I promise I'll only stick it in and then pull it right back out...., OK?" I pleaded as I watched her let the hem of her skirt relax downward a little as she thought.

"Well.....," she thought for a moment, looking at my cock, "I......, I guess it will be alright....., just one time though."

"OK," I said, "I get to stick it in you all the way one time, then I'll pull it out."

"Then you buy me the banana split," she added.

"Then I buy you the banana split," I acknowledged. "C'mon over here to the car, we can do it in the backseat."

She dropped her skirt back down and stood by the car door as I opened it. Then she jumped in and lay down on her back across the seat, pulling her skirt up. One leg draped off the edge of the seat, giving me my first good look at her whole, hairless little pussy slit. It started just a little ways up the front of her body and continued down all the way between her legs connecting with the crack of her ass, making one continuous line. The lips of her hairless twat were tight together, leaving no clue as to where her little hole might be.

Slowly, I climbed in the car over her until my dick hovered right over the top of her slit. I wasn't quite sure just where it was supposed to go, so without further ado, I began poking at her slit with my dick. The first prod ran along the very top portion of her hairless slit, the head of my cock parting her lips slightly as it slid up and onto her lower belly. She giggled a little bit at this new stimulation, as the shaft of my dick slid against her preteen clit. I raised up and tried again, producing the same effect. I propped myself up with my left arm as I backed up a little and eased my dick head down her slit with my right hand. 'Where is her little cunt hole,' I thought as my cock head explored the length of her slit. Suddenly, my dick felt something slightly more moist and hotter than before. 'That must be it," I thought, as I held my dick in place and pushed slightly. Her hole was tight, and my dick glanced off and ran down between her ass cheeks.

Again, I backed up and placed the head of my dick at the entrance to her tight, hairless hole and pushed. This time I felt the head go in slightly. As hard as my dick was, it began to bend so I backed off of the pressure a little, but keeping my dick in the same place. Once more I pushed in, and again I felt my dick slip in a little more. This time when I stopped, I felt the walls of her pussy begin to slip down around my cock, readjusting themselves to where they had formerly been. Again I pushed, and I noticed that her pussy lips seemed to go with my dick inside her. When I stopped again, I could see her slit slowly reappear as the walls of her pussy slowly slid back down my dick.

Again I pushed, and suddenly Pauline gasped. I wasn't sure what happened, all I was sure about was that the feeling was incredible. It was like pushing my dick through layer after layer, fold after fold of hot, moist skin. Her tiny hairless hole was so tight that I could only go in a fraction of an inch at a time. Each time I pushed, her whole twat would go with me, and each time I stopped her hole would slowly ease it's way further down my dick, giving me the feeling of passing yet another fold of her inner skin.

I could tell that Pauline was experiencing some discomfort, but she was not protesting. This was a business deal. Both of us had a bargain to keep, and she was certainly going to keep hers. After all, it wasn't very often that a kid around here got a banana split.

I kept up my assault on her tight, hairless, virgin cunt. I had almost gotten my entire dick in her on the last push when I felt the bottom of her pussy come into contact with the head of my dick. The last push had only allowed her pussy to slip down my dick part of the distance of my thrust, and her tiny slit was just barely visible between her legs, my dick resting snugly between them.

Well, I was all of the way in now. We looked at each other, both of us breathing heavily as I stayed inside her for a moment, relishing the feeling of my cock buried deep inside this eleven-year-old's tight, hairless pussy.

"Pauline....," I managed to speak between gasps, "how about if I move my dick back and forth inside your pussy some? I'll still buy you a banana split!"

She lay there with my dick inside her for a moment, panting heavily as she thought before asking hoarsely, "How many times do you want to do it?"

I looked at her for a moment. I hadn't thought about that. How many times does it take before I can cum?

"I dunno...," I gasped, "maybe about...., a hundred?"

I hurried to quell the look of apprehension on her face by explaining, "A hundred times is not a lot. Hell...., I can count to a hundred in less than a minute!"

She looked at me for a moment, then nodded in agreement as I began to slowly withdraw my dick until it was about halfway inside her. As I withdrew, the inner walls of her pussy seemed to hold onto my dick, creating an effect similar to the one when I entered her.

Gradually I began pumping back and forth. The grip of her pussy, combined with the wetness and moisture was causing that familiar feeling deep within my loins. Her gasps became little "Ahh's" that came in time with each quickening thrust of my dick inside her.

I don't think I needed to bargain for "about a hundred times", as the combination of the feeling of her tight hairless cunt wrapped around my dick, the feeling of her tiny body under mine, and the fact that she was looking me right in the eyes as I fucked her brought me over the edge with the most ball busting orgasm I had ever had.

The force of my orgasm forced me to thrust completely inside of her, burying my dick to the hilt. I could feel the hard little nub of her cervix pressing against my cock head as I erupted spurt after spurt deep inside her preteen pussy. The amount of my jism was so much, and the room inside her was so little, that after I filled her preteen womb completely with my spunk, I began to feel it spurt out between my dick and the walls of her twat, running down onto my balls and between the crack of her ass.

I had expended so much energy on my orgasm that I collapsed on top of her, my dick still buried deeply inside her. I rolled over slightly and eased my dick back out of her tiny twat, and as my cock head emerged from between her hairless pussy lips, one last spurt of pent up jism held inside my dick from the tightness of her pussy splashed across the bare lips of her slit, covering them completely.

Our deal was done. It was late however, and the ice cream man had already gone by for the day. It was also getting on to be about supper time, so Pauline slipped out of the car and put her panties back on under her skirt, leaving my cum dripping out of that sweet hairless hole and soaking those pretty white cotton panties.

I saw Pauline around the neigborhood a lot after that. I heard from my freinds that she eventually fucked almost every other boy in the neigborhood, but we never again got together like that, nor did we ever speak of it again. Come to think of it, I never did buy her that banana split!

How to defend against this (5, Insightful)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383537)

It's a tactic that's unfortunately too common, but easily defended against, with either of these options:

A) Don't let new members vote for any issues until they've been members for a certain period of time, or

B) Don't let new members vote on any issue that had already been opened for debate (or perhaps officially proposed) prior to their joining.

It's as simple as that.

Re:How to defend against this (5, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383829)

It's a tactic that's unfortunately too common, but easily defended against, with either of these options:

A) Don't let new members vote for any issues until they've been members for a certain period of time

It's an issue that we dealt with before even approving bylaws for our organization. Someone in the proposed membership mentioned that they wanted protection against this and we decided to require 6 months in the org before allowing voting membership (or 7 days following the Spring Meeting). This was eventually lowered to 3 months by the membership by vote.

We don't charge dues so anyone could have walked into a meeting and maliciously taken it over with no intentions on doing anything but spend the few dollars we have.

The only reason an organization like this could allow that is because they wanted the money for their coffers and couldn't care less about the actual "standards" being approved.

Re:How to defend against this (1)

SolitaryMan (538416) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383917)

From the summary: ...each one payed about $2500 to be allowed to vote...

So, there are about 2500 * 20 = 50000 reasons they should be allowed to vote.

Re:How to defend against this (4, Insightful)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 6 years ago | (#20384111)

Yeah, because nobody has ever thought of planting people ahead of time, and there isn't already a cadre of Microsoft employees, and indeed from every other major computing organization, on every major standards body. All that means is that Microsoft submarines half a dozen people onto any committee they want to work on for some up-front amount of time. It's the Price Is Right Conundrum: any amount of time you put up there on the board, Microsoft will add one dollar - pardon, day - and bid there. Why do you think Netscape, a tiny company, had so many people on the various W3 standards? Why do you think Opera does today? It's the exact same thing, and this is just how these boards work. There's no particular way around it; you can't set time limits, price limits, count of people from a company, because they're all trivially easily gamed.

Any time you make a plutocracy, it will be commercially exploited. If they want to be immune to this crap, they need to move to a meritocracy or an election. Next time you have a solution, put your black hat on and see if you can break it in under 15 seconds of honest thought. (You could have, this time, several different ways.)

Kind of silly and whiny, isn't it? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20383959)

So since these companies are allowed to sign up... and allowed to vote... what's the deal?

It sounds like the problem was the FOSSie MS-haters were gloating for weeks about how they were going to dick over MS, and the victory they expected never materialized (just like everything else in their lives).

It may hurt you to acknowledge it, but businesses LIKE Microsoft. MS is very business-friendly, and very focused on making happy business customers.

This article is just more sour grapes for FOSSies.

Re:Corporate whores (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20383973)

I believe that should be corporate 'Johns' and Government 'Whores' given that the corporations are opening their wallets and paying the cash.

Your Windows monopoly money at work. (5, Insightful)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383339)

First the movie studios and HD-DVD, and now standards committees are being purchased.

Why can't Microsoft compete without buying the outcome of the game? Are their products that poor?

products are not poor, they are sh#t (0, Flamebait)

wardk (3037) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383397)

prove me wrong fanboys, after you're done rebooting

Re:Your Windows monopoly money at work. (5, Insightful)

tgcid (917345) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383405)

Buying the outcome is more cost-effective.

Re:Your Windows monopoly money at work. (5, Funny)

peterprior (319967) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383409)

Are their products that poor?

Yes ?

Re:Your Windows monopoly money at work. (4, Funny)

zeromorph (1009305) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383545)


fixed it for ya.

Re:Your Windows monopoly money at work. (4, Insightful)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383433)

Why should they?

Poor products or not it looks like they invested $50k to cement their format as a standard. Considering they stand to make billions from that, it was a wise investment. It is the people who designed a system that could so easily be bought who should be ashamed, if that wasn't their intended outcome in the first place. A company can't deny its nature.

Re:Your Windows monopoly money at work. (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383553)

Yeah - big babies crying over a little candy they weren't using anyway. /sarcasm

Re:Your Windows monopoly money at work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20383435)

Why can't Microsoft compete without buying the outcome of the game? Are their products that poor?

Short answer: Yes

Long answer: Its cheaper to pay/encourage a few idiots from some of their partners to vote than it is to fix OOXML.
OOXML is broken by design. This has been proven repeatedly. Fixing it will allow their customers to break their lock-in and would allow competitors to MSOffice to act on an equal level. This way, MS gets to claim "We're a standard" even if nobody but MS can implement the full specs.

Re:Your Windows monopoly money at work. (3, Funny)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383777)

Because they don't have to. It's not about poor products, but why leave something to chance when you can seal the deal by splashing some cash around? I'm not defending them, it just makes a lot of sense.

Re:Your Windows monopoly money at work. (1)

_KiTA_ (241027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20384031)

Why can't Microsoft compete without buying the outcome of the game? Are their products that poor?


(This has been another installment of "Simple Answers for Simple Questions.")

And we are surprised why? (4, Insightful)

CodeShark (17400) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383347)

Repeat after me "money buys influence money buys influence money busy influence...."

Too bad the truth gets lost when the money starts talking. *sigh*

We all know that M$ doesn't play fair in terms of open standards, and never will. Why are we surprised?

Re:And we are surprised why? (1)

Phisbut (761268) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383679)

Repeat after me "money buys influence money buys influence money busy influence...."

Money busy influence?

I repeat, but people look at me weird...

Re: Money Busy Influence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20383783)

Oops. My tpying siklls sometmies deyf loigc.

Shoulda previewed, ya think?

Ahh... (4, Insightful)

Zatchmort (1091857) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383351)

...good old-fashioned democracy at work. Seriously, though, what kind of organization are they running, here? Any company, from anywhere, can suddenly be a member just by paying 2500-- a nominal fee, for many large companies. That seems like asking for trouble to me.

Re:Ahh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20383399)

I'm not defending Microsoft, and think what they have done is nothing short of outrageous, but what would you suggest?

Having a working group that demands high capital interest will just stop people participating. It some cases even lock out valuable input. So how would you suggest membership is qualified?

Re:Ahh... (4, Interesting)

VE3MTM (635378) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383475)

My understanding, from watching Bjarne Stroustrup's lecture before about the standardization process for C++ (also through the ISO), was that you need to attend a certain number of meetings (3?) before you can vote.

Why wasn't this the case here?

Re:Ahh... (1)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383739)

>>Why wasn't this the case here?

It is hard to say what the case was here, because the info only seems to be coming from bloggers on one side of the issue. This is not to say they are wrong, but there is definate spin going on. They immediately claimed microsoft bought the vote without providing any evidence. All the new companies were MS certified partners, so it was in their best interest to vote the way they did.

Re:Ahh... (4, Insightful)

perrin (891) | more than 6 years ago | (#20384079)

I fail to see how anyone other than MS would have anything to gain from pushing OOXML, unless they are getting kickbacks. Even companies partnering with MS would benefit greatly if a more open standard, such as ODF, was being used into which they could integrate into more easily and actually do something useful with. This all sounds like a corruption of the standards organization unlike anything I have ever heard of previously. If this does not become anti-trust material a few years down the road, at least in the EU and Japan, I would very surprised.

Re:Ahh... (5, Informative)

Hoppelainen (969375) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383407)

Any Swedish company can become a member of SIS buy paying somewhere around $300-$500 per year. To be allowed to vote in this particular issue an extra 15 000 Sek ($2500) was needed. So yeah, it is open for anyone with cash (but they had to be members of SIS since before.

Re:Ahh... (1)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383503)

If you are going by a majority of companies, then MS will probably win everytime because of all their partners.

Letting any company vote is probably not the best way to go about this, but at a certain level you do have to take into account to some degree what the majority of the IT industry thinks.

Re:Ahh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20384157)

Majority of the IT industry wants MS. That doesn't include you. It includes people who "own" you.

Re:Ahh... (3, Insightful)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383795)

Seriously, though, what kind of organization are they running
I think this is the nub of the problem. ISO standards are used all around the world to protect people - and they're certainly used for far more important things than document formats.

But in the case of car manufacturers or construction engineers or whoever else, the ISO protects the companies by providing highly quality standard by which to work. If Ford etc follow the standards for manufacturing their cars yet one of them still crashes or explodes or whatever, then Ford is covered (somewhat) by its adherence to the standards.

This organization works very well in the non-software model, as Ford don't want cars blowing up any more than the ISO does.

Thing is, throw Microsoft in there. They couldn't give a crap whether documents are unreadable in the future, no one is going to sue them anyway. So they can safely work against the principal of quality standards with no impunity.

Now if they could be sued every time they screwed up your document - then there'd be a different story here.

Sore losers (-1, Troll)

MeanMF (631837) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383375)

Did they cheat somehow? Is there some reason that these companies should NOT have been allowed to vote? Are any of them not legitimate companies? No? Then STFU and stop whining.

Re:Sore losers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20383439)

Amen. If it was red hat that came in and did this to Microsoft the linux and mac fanboys would be jumping for joy. /. has such a double standard. Or maybe no standard just hate Microsoft. Sorry /. Microsoft has been beating you every step of the way on the desktop. Linux is always playing catch up to some format, or some protocol or idea.

Yes, there is a reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20383447)

It's called conflict of interest. Had these companies *not* been Microsoft partners it *might* be acceptable, but not otherwise.

Re:Yes, there is a reason (1)

pthor1231 (885423) | more than 6 years ago | (#20384091)

So the other companies that had a vested interest in OOXML not succeeding are allowed to vote, but not the companies that had a vested interest in OOXML succeeding? Double standard much? If these companies were just shell corporations for MS to stuff the ballot, then yes, it was wrong. IF they are legitimate companies who happen to have an interest in the best for MS since they are MS certified partners, they deserve the same vote as someone who isn't a certified partner.

Re:Sweden threesome at work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20383457)

Microsoft & OOXML & You at the front

Re:Sore losers (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383459)

Yes, they did.
The normal way things are supposed to work is that all parties to the vote debate prior to voting. This allows various opinions to be heard and concerns addressed.
In this case the whores were ex-parte to the debate then overran the vote nearly 2:1.

Re:Sore losers (2, Informative)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383579)

They played by the rules of the ISO. The 'normal way things are supposed to work' are apparently not what they had in mind, if they allow anyone to join at any time and vote at short notice. I agree, its dumb, but they followed the rules to a tee.

Re:Sore losers (1)

Zapotek (1032314) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383469)

Did they cheat somehow? Is there some reason that these companies should NOT have been allowed to vote? Are any of them not legitimate companies?

No? Then STFU and stop whining.
I'll take a wild guess here and say that you're on the payroll by one of these 20?

Well, would you call the Mafia cheaters? It's like MS is selling "protection" for an annual fee and a vote!
Coza Microsoft...

Yes they cheated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20383485)

I'm not sure what the actual written rules were; however the spirit of the process is clear. The aim is that companies involved in standardisation should try to independently vote for what they think is a good international standard. The fact is that a bunch of companies that knew nothing voted for MS because they were told they would benefit. That is corruption (abusing public processes for personal gain) and everybody involved should be in prison with a life exclusion from any position of authority.

It's also very funny the way that people have so completely lost track of what they should do and only thin about what the could do. I can set tens of "legitimate companies" tomorrow. Does that mean I should be able to influence international decisions? Don't be stupid.

Re:Sore losers (5, Interesting)

tinkerghost (944862) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383569)

Did they cheat somehow? No, They followed the rule required to vote - they payed the fees.

Is there some reason that these companies should NOT have been allowed to vote?
They failed to participate in any of the discussions leading up to the vote & in fact most have not partecipated previously in any discussions on any ISO related standards.

Are any of them not legitimate companies? No? Then STFU and stop whining.

You're right we should stop whining & petition ISO to change the rules on voting to block this kind of ballot stuffing. I doubt very much that any of these companies have seen the document spec let alone read & understand it.

This is actually one of the fairer subversions of the process - in Portugol they denied IBM & SUN access claiming the room was too full, then allowed MS partners to enter & vote. In another place, the chairman - an employee of an MS partner announced the voting procedure as

  • Consensus to approve - vote to approve
  • majority approve - vote to approve
  • no majority - vot to approve
  • majority to dis-approve - vote to approve with comments
  • consensus to dis-approve - abstain

Now that's how to really stack the deck - you completely remove the option to vote against the standard.

The funniest thing of all (4, Funny)

TheSciBoy (1050166) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383815)

This is a quote from the SIS.SE home page:

Det är inte pengar som får världen att fungera
Vill du veta vad det är?

Translation in english: "It's not money that makes the world go around. Do you want to know what it is?"

Apparently the answer is: money

Re:Sore losers (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383821)

You are complaining about a process that subverts ... well, what you want the outcome to be. But this democratic process subverts something else: market forces.

Now I realize that ISO is not a government but rather a governing body of a standard, and that all organizations need to make decisions like this.

However, the deck stacking of allowing some kind of democratic system where all companies get an equal voice regardless of their size, their revenue, or their contributions to the group (apart from the standardmembership dues) is also pretty subversive to a decision making process.

Look - if ISO is suppose to be resolved by all the companies in a coutry, and then all of them show up and vote for OOXML (as awful as it is based on my current assessment), then there isn't anything to complain about.

If only the decision were made by a single corporation that had a profit motive, they would be more inclined to make the best decision and dump OOXML.

Re:Sore losers (3, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383993)

You are complaining about a process that subverts ... well, what you want the outcome to be. But this democratic process subverts something else: market forces.

You do realize monopolies are restrained by law because they subvert the free market forces, right? For example, if you have a monopoly in one area you can use it to extract more money from a market while expending less investment and giving less to consumers, thus accumulating piles of money you can use to say, pay other companies to act on you behalf in meetings. Or pressure other companies to act on you behalf under threat of financially ruining them by cutting them out of markets that interact with the one(s) controlled by your monopoly.

This particular round of misdeeds is just one more symptom of the main problem, MS is an abusive monopoly with so much money they've been able to buy the politicians who run the courts and are supposed to enforce the law.

Re:Sore losers (1)

Bazer (760541) | more than 6 years ago | (#20384037)

I'd have them walk the plank, if you know what I mean.

I really hope somebody in Sweden will raise hell because of this. The votes of those companies clearly should be invalidated at least on the premise of insufficient participation in working group.

Re:Sore losers (1)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 6 years ago | (#20384117)

If they don't have to show up to meetings or participate in discussions, then why would they if they already knew how they would vote? They were MS Gold certified partners.

Why would they read the document spec or need to understand it? These are corporations who have tied there existance to supporting MS products; the more pervasive MS products then the more potential their corporations have.

I don't know of a good way to balance out everybody's self-interests. MS partners could have just as easily went to meetings if that was required, and they could still stuff the ballot box. I think it is fair to take in account the interests of the IT industry, but I don't know if that should be the deciding factor.

Re:Sore losers (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383571)

There's a huge difference between "legal" and "right." I'd really like you to make an argument that this was a right and correct tactic for Microsoft to use. What if, for the sake of argument, people could buy their way into a jury in criminal prosecution? I think we'd see right away what would happen. Every person with an agenda would routinely buy his chance to vote to "hang'm high!"

In this case, it's a chance to vote on an international standard -- one that many governments are obliged to allow, support or follow. This is, in effect, a chance to "buy" your way into government policy.

But there are certainly, in my opinion, two problems here:

1. That the ability to vote has such low entry requirements and that no amount of knowledge or understanding seems to have any bearing on whether or not someone is qualified to vote. (yes, I realize you could make the same argument for local elections, and I do.)
2. That Microsoft has no shame in deploying such an obvious, self-serving tactic of essentially buying their way into being elected as an international standard. It may be 'legal' but it's unethical and definitely not right.

Re:Sore losers (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 6 years ago | (#20384033)

That Microsoft has no shame in deploying such an obvious, self-serving tactic of essentially buying their way into being elected as an international standard. It may be 'legal' but it's unethical and definitely not right.

Hang on for a second here. You're assuming that this "international standard" is worth the paper it's written on. It's clearly not if all it takes is $2500 to "vote".

If this "vote" was truly important to MS from a strategic standpoint, then it was MS's moral obligation to it's owners to buy it's way into this organization and sway the decision making.

Your assumptions that A. This is an important decision and B. This is a respected organization C. That MS should not actively promote their own products are all either wrong, or completely unsubstantiated, as far as I can tell.

If you don't like this particular move, you can also buy a vote. You can buy as many votes as you'd like to influence MS's decision making process. As I type this, each vote only costs $28.36 [] . Good luck with your "voting"!

Almost certainly NOT legal either (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20384137)

If Microsoft made undisclosed payments to them to go and vote, that information is material to shareholders, and if it's not explained to them then its an SEC violation.

Seriously, all these back door deals Microsoft does are gonna end land them in pound-em-in-the-ass-prison sooner or later.

Look at the HDDVD one, Microsoft pays 150 million to a customer Paramount & Dreamworks to use it's HDDVD format exclusively. It then portrays it to their shareholders as a contract 'win', concealing the payment. How long before that stuff will land them in jail?

Re:Sore losers (1)

varmittang (849469) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383573)

I say yes. I say there should be a rule to keep people from showing up at the last minute and voting. Otherwise big companies can pay smaller ones just to show up and vote, never hearing or knowing what they are voting on. This is a classic case of this happening. Big MS buys smaller companies to show up on vote day and buys a winning ticket for their format. A rule should be put in place that you need to be a member for a certain amount of time, 3 months, a year, before you can cast a vote.

Re:Sore losers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20383597)

You're saying this to a website called "OS/2 News"...

Re:Sore losers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20383623)

Those are some big lips to reach Bills dick from here.

Re:Sore losers (5, Insightful)

mastropiero (258677) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383637)

I'm sorry to break this to you, but ISO approval of standards is supposed to be governed by TECHNICAL considerations. By this logic, a vote on whether OOXML is approved by fasttrack should be based on the TECHNICAL merits of the proposal, not on how popular Micorosft Corp. is.

Sadly, the fact that these people joined the discussion only *after* the debate on those technical merits was over only shows that this process has become nothing more than a high-school president election in a bad B-movie.

Re:Sore losers (5, Insightful)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 6 years ago | (#20384047)

STFU and stop whining.

Stop whining? Certainly. STFU? I don't think so.

There's more to this issue than "mummy mummy microsoft did a bad thing and it's not faaaaaair!". The question we should be asking is "Is this the sort of behaviour we really want to encourge?"

Do we really want an industry where standards are sold to the highest bidder without any scrutiny as to fitness for their supposed purpose. If so, the ISO committees may as well pack their bags and go home now, because we are headed for a world where no one will pay any attention at all to their so called "standards".

I think that merits some discussion. Not because Microsoft did a Bad Thing so much, but because the standards process served a useful purpose. Microsoft may well be willing to burn this process to the ground in order to protect their file formats. I think the least we could do is shout "FIRE!"

Evil bastards (1, Insightful)

ColonelPanic (138077) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383381)

Truly, they are evil, and any person of conscience could not work there and retain their integrity.

Re:Evil bastards (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383659)

Hmm, if you look at the MS jobs web site, you'll see that they have more than ten thousand open positions - so clearly people *don't* want to work there. My guess is that a fair bunch of MS employees do so *only* to keep a shirt on their backs and not for the love of the job or the company.

Re:Evil bastards (1)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383781)

My guess is that a fair bunch of MS employees do so *only* to keep a shirt on their backs and not for the love of the job or the company.

Welcome to the real world. The vast majority of people work where they do to keep a shirt on their back.

Re:Evil bastards (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383735)

Truly, they are evil...

Apparently Google showed up at the last moment to vote on the other side and they're by definition Not Evil. So, truly, they are not evil.

Re:Evil bastards (4, Funny)

hxnwix (652290) | more than 6 years ago | (#20384093)

Truly, they are evil, and any person of conscience could not work there and retain their integrity.
Sir, walk carefully, for you are treading on other people's livelihoods. I know a number of Microsoft employees, and they couldn't possibly be more offended by your suggestion that they lack the right stuff. At Microsoft, they all feel like they are finally important, like they are finally part of something bigger than themselves. At Microsoft, everybody gets to be an integral part of stealing money from donation boxes and candy from babies.
If that's not integrity, what is?

Microsoft bully tactic VS flawed system... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20383387)

As usual we see the good old "bully" tactic being adopted.

Btw now if your procedures are flawed since the beginning don't come to whine.

1. How come could some companies who didn't participated into the "preparation meetings" could come here and vote ?
2. Ah wait there was some buck to pay to vote...

Who paid? (4, Insightful)

LordEd (840443) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383429)

One would think that SIS would not accept new companies to participate in the vote since they haven't been part of the earlier discussions and meetings. But according to SIS they didn't see any problem that new companies wanted to take part in this vote without prior notice. So what happened here is that Microsoft gather together a bunch of loyal partners that would vote yes to their standard without any questions.
Did Microsoft pay their fee? If yes, then they stuffed the box. If not, then 23 companies with a common interest with Microsoft joined an organization to vote for something in their own interests.

Re:Who paid? (2, Interesting)

jhhdk (1120433) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383655)

The sad thing is its probably not in their best interest, but they are too stupid to see it.
- OOXML gets rejected by ISO
- Public procurement policies dictate ODF
- Microsoft supports ODF
- Customers are free of lock-in
- Larger percentage will choose F/LOSS
- costs shift from license fees to training / consulting
- more money for local companies.

Re:Who paid? (0)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 6 years ago | (#20384191)

What makes you think ODF would free customers of lock-in? ODF leaves an astonishing amount as implementation-defined, including most of spreadsheets. Microsoft could easily make Office read and write ODF 100% following the standard, and have horrible interoperability with OpenOffice, simply by not recognize OpenOffice's non-standard elements.

Google Joined to say No (2, Interesting)

courtarro (786894) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383451)

Kudos to Google for being one of those to "suddenly" join, but on the "No" side. Most of the other companies on the list of new arrivals [] are unfamiliar to me, excepting Google and HP, and we don't officially know how HP's vote went.

Shame on the others for having no sense of decency.

Interesting ... (5, Informative)

gerddie (173963) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383453)

... in Germany, Deutsche Telekom and Google would have voted "no". However, both were not allowed to vote because they came in late. And another guy left the voting session early, but his "yes" was counted although before it was said that only votes count that were given in presence. (according to Heise (german) [] )

Re:Interesting ... (3, Interesting)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383583)

Hmm.. Interestingly enough, the german IBM delegate then somehow managed to join the Kenyan delegation, and managed to write the objection. How can someone be both a german and kenyan delegate? nexed-kenyan-iso-national.html []

Sounds like both sides aren't playing fair.

Re:Interesting ... (1)

gerddie (173963) | more than 6 years ago | (#20384165)

Since many companies (Google, Microsoft, IBM, ...) seem to be able to vote in different countries, I wouldn't see this as something special, after all, it's the company that is represented, why should not one well informed guy do it in more then one country? Most probably, in each of these companies they have formulated certain opinion about the issue, and only a few guys get to write it down and present it. IMO, it would be more surprising if each branch of the company would give a different response.
I don't know what would be really a fair process, but after reading this [] and this [] it seems to me that a big "no" to OpenXML as an ISO standard could only be a good thing.

But... didn't they want it like that? (4, Insightful)

Tipa (881911) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383465)

Step 1 - allow votes to be bought.
Step 2 - take money from companies who wish to buy votes.
Step 3 - Profit!
Step 3a - Complain about the unfairness of it all, all the way to the bank.

Self Interest (1)

JeremyGNJ (1102465) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383493)

I dont see this as "being bought", so much as the self interest of the companies who voted. If you're a Microsoft partner, it's in your best interest to vote for Microsoft. However I'm sure Microsoft rang their phones to "remind them" that they could go vote.

Re:Self Interest (1)

forgotten_my_nick (802929) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383847)

I would be interested to see if those companies were offered anything in the way of cash or benefits to go out and vote.

No Surprise (1)

Double Entendre (1123719) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383495)

I would file this under corporate strategy. One could argue that it would have been irresponsible for Microsoft (or any business for that matter) to not attempt to sway a decision that directly impacts their business through lobbying tactics where it has the ability to do so. Plus, there was nothing to indicate that it involved nefarious or illegal methods to do so.

I'm sure many would do the same with their own companies to bolster support for something they created.

What part of "capitalism" don't you understand? (0, Flamebait)

athloi (1075845) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383519)

The F/OSS people make themselves look like ninnies by whining over this. Capitalism is war for the most profit, by any means necessary that aren't illegal. This wasn't illegal. They won. Either change the rules, or stop complaining.

Re:What part of "capitalism" don't you understand? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20383585)

Just because we understand doesn't mean we have to like it.

Re:What part of "capitalism" don't you understand? (2, Insightful)

cching (179312) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383619)

Capitalism is war for the most profit
I'm so sick of everyone trumping up war for every justification. Capitalism is not a war. Stop turning every little thing into a war.

Re:What part of "capitalism" don't you understand? (2, Insightful)

Loke the Dog (1054294) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383657)

And you don't think creating opinion against this is part of changing the rules?

What part of "monopoly laws" don't you understand? (2, Insightful)

Catbeller (118204) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383667)

We have monopoly laws, not to outlaw monopolies, but to prevent ONE company from using overwhelming advantage in one market from simply buying out, in turn, all and any other markets they care to. We have laws preventing this. If they were actually enforced. Microsoft would be in a straitjacket but for the Bush Justice Department walking in on a fait accompli dismantling of their corporate advantage after Judge Jackson's spanking, and simply tossing the conviction out the window by ignoring it.

Now they are openly -- brazenly -- buying markets. And the DOJ doesn't give a damn. Well, they'd best hurry, the Repubs are about to lose power for a decade or more. Steal what you can, "retired" Mr. Gates.

Re:What part of "capitalism" don't you understand? (1)

McNihil (612243) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383729)

Legal or not... it is highly unethical.

Also standards are to make business smooth and whoever is placing a wedge in between companies by their offering that quite possibly doesn't address all issues will gain from that. This approach is VERY parasitic and has nothing to do with capitalism... it is the gain of money by not doing anything.

Re:What part of "capitalism" don't you understand? (4, Interesting)

lukisi (1075563) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383763)

This is not capitalism. This is communism.
Only, instead of a state, we have a corporation, Microsoft.
They buy their power with their money. And a big part of their money comes from our wallets via taxes.
I mean, a really big part.
I mean a part much bigger than what you'd think.
I mean, much bigger than what I'd think, too.
I mean, *huge*.

Then, with this power, they take away what really is common goods. Or aren't "standards"?


Re:What part of "capitalism" don't you understand? (1)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383769)

You got modded flamebait unfairly (so what's new on /.?!)

Re:What part of "capitalism" don't you understand? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20383865)

How do you change the rules if you're not in the position to make rules? By complaining, of course! (just make sure you complain to the right people and do it well)

Let's talk about change (1)

athloi (1075845) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383977)

First we need to know what we want. I wouldn't want a Communist system. It's just like a software project. Can we patch capitalism, or do we need to do extensive modifications, or is it time for an extended re-code with added or changed capabilities? If we know what we want, then we can find out who to ask, how to get VCs involved, and how to popularize it in the mass media.

Re:What part of "capitalism" don't you understand? (2, Interesting)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 6 years ago | (#20384049)

These are not the actions of capitalists, these are the actions of monopolists. Capitalism is an interesting system in that most of the participants are in it to end competition, when a true capitalist would realise that you have competition in order for markets to work. Capitalism isn't war, it's more like a race. Even though you are trying to win, there must be other competetors for there to be a race. Imagine Lance Armstrong tried to have a bike race where he was the only entrant. What would be the point?

Perhaps it's time to write a "Capitalist Manifesto"
  • Competition is good, there must be competitors for there to be a race.
  • You are trying to beat the clock, time is your enemy, not the other racers.
  • Buy low, sell high.
  • Private ownership is a good thing.
  • Public ownership is a good thing.

Theres only one word for that... (0) (760528) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383639)


Probably Stupid Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20383671)

OK, so I know a lot of people here get up in arms about OOXML. So I'll ask the naive question--why? What will be the tangible difference if this does/does not become an ISO standard? MS will still use it either way, I assume. There will still be a cloud hanging over it for "vendor lock in," even if it's officially a "standard."

So, what's the specific objection? Does being a standard give some sort of legal or contractual high ground to MS? Or is this just something to put in marketing materials? Or is something else going on?

Note that I'm NOT trying to say that I think the whole thing is unimportant. I just don't understand the issue. Someone help me out with why I should get worked up about this.

Re:Probably Stupid Question (1)

moseman (190361) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383853)

Simple: Create a standard (ISO) that is so complex it will be very difficult for competitors to implement. Then market it to every country/state thinking of switching to ODF. "Look, you don't have to switch from MS software as we fully support an ISO standard. There is no vendor lock-in here!"

Re:Probably Stupid Question (4, Informative)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383895)

many government departments and even entire governments arround the world are threatening to require arhived documents to be in standard formats. MS is trying to do an end run arround theese requirements by getting standards bodies to approve a fake standard they have written. Unfortunately it seems that they are having quite some sucess in doing so thanks to thier use of various dirty tactics.

Re:Probably Stupid Question (0, Flamebait)

KarmaMB84 (743001) | more than 6 years ago | (#20384035)

The ODF supporters are trying to use open standards as a weapon against Microsoft. If Microsoft's format becomes an open standard, then all the effort put into ODF and lobbying for laws requiring government use of open standards will be a big waste. If OOXML becomes a standard, they won't be able to sue governments with open standards laws into using ODF...

PR from FFII Sweden (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20383703)

Partial translation of FFII Sweden press release: []

Just like at the end of Deadwood (1)

maynard (3337) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383771)

The rich dude (Hearst) walked away with town and all its gold by rigging local elections. Unbelievable.

irrelevant (2, Interesting)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383805)

irrelevant in a way because ODF looks to be fast becoming a de-facto standard regardless. out numbering OOXML something in the order of 250 to 1.

see: ll-ooxml-documents.html [] 0813-1201 []

of course, the MS tactic is to get OOXML recognized and then default to it across the windows suite.

but as I remember they have tried this was a number of formats before - but once a file format is recognized as a de-facto standard (MP3, HTML, JPG) they are notoriously hard to shift.

irrelevant as it may be its still a damn depressing indication of the way business is done and sensible, rational decisions are perverted to line company pockets. this sort of thing annoys me.

Re:irrelevant (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 6 years ago | (#20384075)

I don't know where you are from... But .doc seems to be the de-facto standard around here.

Re:irrelevant (1)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 6 years ago | (#20384153)

lol! Apologies, I clarify. de-facto standard for open xml based documents.

sorry 'bout that. :)

More OOXML shenanigans (4, Informative)

RelliK (4466) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383881)

I'm surprised it has not been covered on slashdot, but similar things have occured in Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Portugal, Australia, etc. Microsoft is determined to push its proprietary "open" format through by any means neccessary: 23112581 [] 25524759 [] 35113424 []

fantastic! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20383893)

things like this fill my heart with joy. i just love to see slashdotters rant and rave over an obviously biased blog. had there been a spin on this that was making it seem like an anti-microsoft conspiracy you'd all be howling for better sources then some third rate blog.
slashdot fails it yet again!

everyone knows if you can't play fair, then cheat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20383951)

Such awesome leadership! Such resposible corporate governance!

Aren't you just so proud to be part of such a great system?

BTW, thanks Billy!

Retarded (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20383975)

You hold a vote for a standard, & charge more for the privledge to vote than not many more companies than Microsoft would be willing to pay, & don't expect somthing like this to happen ?

Whoever made this decision better be retarded, or a Microsoft employee, that's the only way they're getting out of this alive.

Corporate Democracy In Action ... No Doubt! (1)

OldHawk777 (19923) | more than 6 years ago | (#20383999)

"Corporate Democracy In Action" protects defenseless corporate, government, and religious institutions from the ravages of the viral public infestation attempting to managing national interest, markets, and resources. Corporatism estates include the public contained within which can be bought, sold, spent ... as the owning corporatism estate finds most beneficial to sustainment.

It would be a sad state of affairs if the oligarchical owners of draconian institution, whom dress in godly-patriotic and humanitarian camouflage, could not continue to service the public for private pseudo-sexual (megalomania) satisfaction.

God bless them, one and all, for servicing US, EU, UN ... Citizens with such an overt and public display of power and control (ThemS&MostOthers) and leaving no doubt that any public demonstration without financial dictate is pitifully fake.

Paraphrasing an old social philosopher; "Any war will kill my enemy (the citizens), but I need to make sure I win." They always dress in dress in godly-patriotic and humanitarian camouflage. More US, EU, UN ... corporate welfare, less for US, EU, UN ....

"Corporate Democracy In Action" is good for US, EU, UN ... Corporations.

"We The People" are the property of the corporate-estate.
Within the New World Order Corporate Estates, exploitation
will get you much further in life then complaining. In a
war you must be on the "RightSide" to be in control.
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