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Sweden's Vote on OOXML Invalidated

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the that's-what-you-get-when-you-cheat dept.

Microsoft 232

Groklaw Reader writes "Just days after Microsoft's attempt to buy the Swedish vote on OOXML came to light, SIS declared its own vote invalid. The post at Groklaw references a ComputerWorld article with revelations from Microsoft: 'Microsoft Corp. admitted Wednesday that an employee at its Swedish subsidiary offered monetary compensation to partners for voting in favor of the Office Open XML document format's approval as an ISO standard. Microsoft said the offer, when discovered, was quickly retracted and that its Sweden managers voluntarily notified the SIS, the national standards body. "We had a situation where an employee sent a communication via e-mail that was inconsistent with our corporate policy," said Tom Robertson, general manager for interoperability and standards at Microsoft. "That communication had no impact on the final vote." ...'"

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No impact... (3, Insightful)

Fishead (658061) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417469)

other then eliminating a voter.

Re:No impact... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20417601)

Than, motherfucker.

Re:No impact... (0, Offtopic)

kailoran (887304) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418079)

KHAAAAAN!

Re:No impact... (5, Interesting)

Aminion (896851) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417745)

Actually, this has significantly worsened Microsofts's reputation in Sweden. IT people here are outraged and, actually, quite embarrassed that something like this could have happened in Sweden. Voices are being raised that the voting process at SIS must be changed so that charlatan companies such as MS can't pull stunts like this - i.e. "encouraging" partners to become SIS members in the last moment to be able to vote - in the future.

For those who speak Swedish, here's the press release by SIS [sis.se] (PDF).

Re:No impact... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20418125)

Actually, this has significantly worsened Microsofts's reputation in Sweden. IT people here are outraged and, actually, quite embarrassed that something like this could have happened in Sweden.

If that's outrageous, then quite a few people need to open their eyes and wake up. This sort of vote-buying and behind the scenes sleaze happens all the time during standards resolution, not just for OOXML, not even just in IT. Corruption is the standard, not the exception. There's probably not an ISO spec in existence that hasn't in some way been influenced by proprietary interests through bribery or outright threats. In this case the perpetrator happened to be exposed. When international standards touted by multi-billion-dollar corporations come into play, you'd have to be a fool to think such things are not common place.

Re:No impact... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20418731)

The Boston Globe is also available for pro-Microsoft propaganda^Wshilling^Wactivity, at the standard rate.

It has *seriously* damaged *Sweden's* reputation (3, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418151)

If this vote was bought. What about all the previous ones? How much is the SIS worth?

The organisation has instantly lost all credibility.

 

Re:No impact... (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418251)

And in a weird Art Imitating Life way- on my wife's favorite Soap Opera (The Young and the Restless) a major character was just sentenced to six years in jail for basically the same crime...though she used blackmail to buy the votes...

Re:No impact... (2, Funny)

gameboyhippo (827141) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418357)

Sure... It's your "wife's" favorite Soap Opera. *snicker* Marxist H4x0r watches soap operas!!!

Re:No impact... (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418885)

Well, let's just say it's my "least favorite" TV show- but that any Marxist would find it boring. My wife, however, is of slightly lower IQ, and doesn't quite realize how predictable and stereotypically Marxist Capitalist most of the characters are (for instance, the two main families in the story line, the Abbotts and the Newmans, both slavishly follow the concept of separation of family and business ethics- with a wide variance between the two systems of ethics).

Re:No impact... (0)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418775)

I thought of a cheap pun on blackmail and dogs, but even vaguely racist jokes suck, so I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader.

Re:No impact... (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418905)

Too bad the protagonist in the story line was white....though there was a black woman's death caused in the story line by the blackmail (very contrived way...argument over blackmail sends black woman over the cliff...but completely predictable. Can you tell I find Y&R to be boring and predictable?)

Re:No impact... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20418435)

Sadly this has damaged Sweden's reputation. The manner in which Swedes conduct their actions, and generate noises emanating from the blonde bronzed naked bodies has always been sane, fair and to be admired. Now we see they can be bought for very little. Clearly not how the populous operates, but damaged credibility will now affect how the great Swedish trust factor here after. Was it really worth a few grand? No.

Re:No impact... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20418487)

For those who don't speak swedish, here's a rough translation of the article:

meekrosuft iz zee bad for zee bribeeng oof zee svedes bork bork bork!

Re:No impact... (4, Insightful)

p2sam (139950) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418571)

Sweden was ranked #6 in the 2006 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index. Perhaps they wouldn't do so well next year.

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0781359.html [infoplease.com]

of course... (-1, Troll)

joeldg (518249) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417475)

of course microsoft tried to buy the vote.. business is war..
not a fan of MS, but it I don't think they did anything here that they have not done 100 times over everywhere else...

Re:of course... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20417503)

Yep, but it is still kinda shameful that now they're trying to pretend it was a rogue employee *after* the story's long since hit the media, though.

Theft (5, Funny)

Das Auge (597142) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417553)

Well it's good to know that, after I commit my first robbery, every robbery after that is no big deal.

Re:Theft (1)

veganboyjosh (896761) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417565)

I think GP meant that after your 100th robbery, they become less of a deal.

Re:Theft (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20417731)

you're still a sack of ape shit for being such an open source fanboi. go fuck yourself in the ass with a knife you fucking fanboi. i'm glad that open source is dying.

Re:Theft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20418723)

Please accept my apologies, I didn't mean to post, I was promised a butt-ream by MS if I post it, also my father abused me when I was young!!

Sort of makes you wonder (1)

Almahtar (991773) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418375)

how many times has this happened but people took the bribes? I mean, you only report the offer if you turned it down (obviously you can't accept it and report it or you look like a real douche). You occasionally hear about things like this happening, but that doesn't mean it only happens occasionally. Greed is a powerful force, and everyone has needs.

Re:of course... (2, Informative)

Technician (215283) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418837)

business is war..

And now they have moved into well known territory; Damage Control! It looks like they are doing a good job so far using a pawn for a fall guy.

I really hope this is final... (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417493)

and that Microsoft partners aren't allowed to vote again - at least in Sweden.

Re:I really hope this is final... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20417857)

Never allowed to vote again? Agreed, would love to see a widely publicized list of the companies so willing to sell their votes as well, the Swedish people, the EU, and the rest of the world need to know who is too untrustworthy to ever again do business with. Ethnics will be more prevalent in this world when the perceived penalties for unethical behaviour are great enough to practice ethical behaviour. Unfortunately too, many seem to have been raised to think such dishonest things are expected of them, instead of ethical and honourable behaviour.

SIS press release translated (5, Informative)

Christian Engstrom (633834) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417531)

Here is a translation of the OOMXL press release from SIS [www.sis.se] today:

PRESS RELEASE
From SIS, Swedish Standards Institute
August 30, 2007


Office Open XML - SIS invalidates the vote

The swedish working group at SIS, Swedish Standards Institute, Document description languages SIS/TK 321/AG 17, decided in a vote on August 27, 2007, to vote yes to making Office Open XML an ISO standard. Today, the board of SIS decided to invalidate the vote.

The reason for the board's decision is that the SIS has information indicating that one of the participants of the working group cast more than one vote. This is not compatible with SIS rules, which stipulate that each project sponsor has only one vote. Thus, the decision has been taken solely based on SIS rules. The decision does not reflect a position on the subject matter.

Furthermore, the board considers it impossible for practical and formal reasons for the Swedish working group to arrange a new vote before September 2, 2007, when the global vote will be finished. If a new Swedish vote cannot be arranged, Sweden will abstain from voting.

Background
The proposal that Sweden has had under consideration is, briefly, about definig document formats for word processing, presentations, and spreadsheets. Office Open XML has its origins in the need to store electronic documents long term, and to be able to migrate files between different applications. The ISO vote will be finished on September 2, 2007.

SIS is an independent non-profit organization, where the members' needs and wishes decide the direction for the standardization work. The members come from companies, organizations, and authorities.

For further information etc...

Please feel free to share, improve, or use this translation as you wish. Sharing is caring. Arrr! :)

Re:SIS press release translated (1)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417739)

As far as Microsoft is concerned an abstention is as good as a yes vote. Abstaining is like not having a no vote. Yeah, I know the double negative.

Because Microsoft violated the rules this should count as a NO vote instead of an abstention.

Yes, Microsoft tried to break the rules and did so by voting more than once.

I can only imagine the IBM member's gut feelings when he left the vote early. One has to have felt so incredibly violated by such an act.

Had Microsoft not been caught or been held to task they would have blithely gone on with it. Such a sad state of affairs.

This should be a NO vote.

Re:SIS press release translated (4, Interesting)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417963)

As far as Microsoft is concerned an abstention is as good as a yes vote

I'm not so sure about this. This has pretty much blown up in MS's face thanks to all the publicity its generated. Keep in mind that MS is still facing anti-trust charges in the EU, and behavior like this won't help with that. On top of that it'll likely focus a lot of attention on all the other ISO member votes. Every single vote will likely be scrutinized closely by the press & public to look for even the slightest possibility of involvement by MS.

What I think will be more important in the long run is how the ISO handles this. If they implement procedures to prevent this sort of abuse in the future then it'll help the ISO process. If they don't do anything then it just reinforces the belief by many that the ISO process can simply be bought & co-opted by companies like MS.

Re:SIS press release translated (5, Insightful)

ILikeRed (141848) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418099)

What is interesting to me is that Microsoft still gets caught cheating in email all these years after the anti-trust scandals. I'm sure their lawyers are pulling their hair out trying to get the managers to stop sending things like this by email. They have a corporate culture of cheating, and they reward it internally, and it is indisputably part of what made them successful, but it has also become such a normal state of affairs that they have problems hiding it. Pretty amusing that such a relatively old technology is their continual downfall.

Re:SIS press release translated (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418483)

Wow, I wish I had some mod points for your post.

I reckon the only reason Microsoft have published the fact that one of their management sent this email is because he was stupid enough to send it via email. If he had done what he was told and done the same thing without leaving a paper trail he would have been promoted and given a huge pay rise.

Re:SIS press release translated (1)

hawk (1151) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418469)

But that's just English. Where's the Sumerian & Egyptian???

hawk

Re:SIS press release translated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20418735)

bork, bork, bork, bork, bork, bork....

There, improved.

Och jag är svensk, tamigtusan!

It seems to be the logical step (2, Interesting)

SplatMan_DK (1035528) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417533)

It seems to be the logical step. But how does this decision actually stand with current rules on the topic?

We might all oppose Microsofts methods of getting the "yes" vote, but as an IT geek working with protocols and OO encapsulation I would say this: Rules are rules! Protocols are protocols! If they are weak, fix them for the future. Don't whine about the past flaws in your protocols.

While Microsofts methods were perhaps immoral, they DID follow the protocol. Do we really want a situation where votes can be nullified in spite of the fact that they were obtained by following the rules? And could such practice be a disadvantage for F/OSS projects/standards/protocols in the future?

Just a thought ...

- Jesper

RTFA would be a logical step (1)

Nymz (905908) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417689)

While Microsofts methods were perhaps immoral, they DID follow the protocol. Do we really want a situation where votes can be nullified in spite of the fact that they were obtained by following the rules?
Sweden was not disqualified for 'following the rules', but for violating the rules by voting more than once. Don't buy the spin from the anti-M$ trolls.

Re:It seems to be the logical step (5, Informative)

clashdot (1034936) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417943)

You are right; they should not arbitrarily change the rules. However, the official reason why the vote was nullified was not that Microsoft bought themselves a bunch of sock puppets, but that one member at the meeting voted twice. The voting was done by a show of hand, and most likely it was Microsoft themselves, who had three representatives in the room, that by accident and in the excitement of the moment had two of those raise their hands. Reports from the meeting inform us that at that point the mood was ecstatic, the Microsoft goons cheering and applauding as they trumped their line through.

The SIS is now vigorously denying that there is any other reason why the nullified the vote other than this technically proper reason to do so. Of course that is not true; the SIS board saw a way to salvage some of their credibility, built in a century and squandered in a day, by grasping onto this technicality.

That being said, I do think the SIS voting model is fundamentally wrong and broken. The rules do indeed allow the party with the deepest pockets to carry the day. I'm sure this has happened before and it will happen again. I hope the SIS will not get away with this without implementing some thorough reform of how they operate. The same goes for the bodies in other countries that turned out to be easily corruptible.

Re:It seems to be the logical step (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20418049)

A vote that sensitive, by show of hands?

Re:It seems to be the logical step (3, Interesting)

multisync (218450) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418115)

A vote that sensitive, by show of hands?


Why not? The DMCA passed the House by voice vote, and the Senate by "unanimous consent."

Re:It seems to be the logical step (2, Funny)

Ajehals (947354) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418619)

Parent is right, they should have used a voting machine.... Maybe one of these [engadget.com]

SIS voting model is NOT fundamentally broken (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20418121)

It just assumes that businesses have some standards of decency. Maybe most Swedish companies do (did).

A general rule of software engineering (1)

Almahtar (991773) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418411)

A general rule of software engineering is that specification is just as subject to bugs as design or implementation. I think the same should stand for legal situations.

We should not accept an error just because it didn't occur in design (standards) or implementation (enforcement of standards). This is why judges are allowed to overturn laws and the like. In this case the SIS may not have specified a specific method of cheating as invalid, but it's still invalid and we can see that clearly. Rather than say "oh well" and move on, we should strike the cheat attempt down, modify our specification, and then check that the design and implementation reflect the changes.

Re:It seems to be the logical step (1)

GuyverDH (232921) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418539)

The vote wasn't invalidated due to microsoft. It was invalidated because someone voted twice.

Shyeahhh.... (1)

Eggplant62 (120514) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417535)

"We had a situation where an employee sent a communication via e-mail that was inconsistent with our corporate policy," said Tom Robertson, general manager for interoperability and standards at Microsoft. "That communication had no impact on the final vote."


In other news tonight, the sun set in the west again, and the dark didn't follow along afterward. Climatological, astronomical, and biblical scholars are justifiably baffled.

Re:Shyeahhh.... (1)

dashslotter (1093743) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417595)

so we got caught, used "an employee" as a scapegoat, citing out "corporate policy." Then we did the right thing and admitted to all of this (after we got caught and the whole thing blew up on the web). So what was your point again?

Bring a long spoon when you sup with the devil (0)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417547)


Well, this is pretty straightforward. Microsoft trying to corrupt a standards body. I wonder how many times they have done this before, just a bit less blatantly so they didn't get caught with their hand in the cookie jar.

This sort of malfeasance should make all other industry organizations like the OSF be very reluctant to accept anything from Microsoft at face value (if they were so inclined).

Hopefully more people will realize how flat out EVIL that company is because of this.

Re:Bring a long spoon when you sup with the devil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20417897)

Hopefully more people will realize how flat out EVIL that company is because of this.

I doubt it.

All large companies have economic incentive to do evil things. It isn't surprising that the deciding factor usually isn't "is it evil?" so much as "given potential profit estimates, liklihood of getting caught, and most likely consequences of getting caught, just how high is the benefit-to-risk ratio?"

The diffusion theory of Evil (5, Funny)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418039)

Hopefully more people will realize how flat out EVIL that company is because of this.
One of the interesting things about Microsoft is the high concentration of evil within the organisation. I have a theory that they have managed to attract or suck the evil from many surrounding areas. This leaves an evil gradient, from those who work in the company, through their trading partners into the general I.T. marketplace where there is now a general lack of evil.

This is clearly shown by the Google, "Do No Evil" corporate slogan. More a statement of the inability to perform evil due to the concentration gradient and general lack of evil available.

 

Re:The diffusion theory of Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20418879)

You may be joking, but in a small country, I think the effect is quite real (I'm in Ireland): Just about ALL the IT sleazeballs work for Microsoft Ireland or one of their fronts, leaving very few true assholes for other companies.

Policy (-1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417617)

"We had a situation where an employee sent a communication via e-mail that was inconsistent with our corporate policy,"

Yes, the policy of not leaving a trail and not getting caught.

Two can play the dirty game... (2, Informative)

One-Man-Bucket (1149969) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417621)

The Swedish article at dn.se ( http://www.dn.se/DNet/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=678&a=686 933 [www.dn.se] ) mentions the voting being declared illegal because one participating person casted two votes. It's probably just a way for SIS to save face, but what if one of the no-parties called in declaring they cheated by holding both their hands up? Just a thought...

Re:Two can play the dirty game... (1)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417781)

I don't believe it was one person voting two times. I believe it was that one entity had multiple representation and that is not allowed.

Re:Two can play the dirty game... (1)

One-Man-Bucket (1149969) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417953)

Not according to the source i cited. "... and we are completely sure that one person has submitted two votes, says ..." Generally, multiple representation of one party shouldn't be a problem as long as every party get's the same amount of votes and speaking time...

Re:Two can play the dirty game... (1)

icsx (1107185) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417847)

How can you vote 2 times? It is not possible in any way, unless the vote counter is working for Microsoft.

shall WE vote? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20417633)

Show of hands, who thought that MS would have come forward if the whole buying votes thing hadn't come to light? anyone?

I'm not surprised at this, MS or almost any corporation in the world would have done the same thing. Spend little money to sell a lot of product = profit.

Re:shall WE vote? (1)

dasOp (781405) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417917)

Have you considered the fact that perhaps not alot of people at MS would have known about it in the first place if it hadn't come to light?
Considering the obviousness of it, I doubt forcing votes like that is a global policy. Asking all their partners to do everything they can? Most definitely.

Even though alot of people have issues with the ethical behaviour doesn't mean the company is in the habit of making stupid decisions like this. They've lasted way too long for that.

Not global? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20417979)

> Considering the obviousness of it, I doubt forcing votes like that is a global policy.

You mean except for the irregularities reported in dozens of other countries, right? Check out the other Slashdot story about all the sudden rush of pro-MS voters.

But yeah, no smoking gun emails from those particular countries. Just a lot of latecomers, many Microsoft Certified Gold Partners in support of Microsoft.

Not because of Microsofts actions (4, Informative)

sokkalf (542999) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417635)

This article (in swedish) http://computersweden.idg.se/2.2683/1.118680 [computersweden.idg.se] says that the decision to invalidate the vote was because of one voter voting twice, not because of Microsofts actions regarding the vote. Sweden will probably not have time to do another round of voting, so it looks as they will abstain.

Re:Not because of Microsofts actions (5, Informative)

McNihil (612243) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417801)

Reading the pdf from SIS directly it doesn't say that.

It says:

"Motivet till styrelsens beslut är att SIS har information som pekar på att en av deltagarna i arbetsgruppen har deltagit i omröstningen med mer än en röst."

which is saying that: one of the participants have used more than one vote.

Nothing about two or three... more than one. This is the diplomatic way NOT to make it even more blatantly clear that it was Microsoft or is about Microsoft. The part "information som pekar" indicates that they don't have 100% written/audio/video proof and thus this rather "meek" abjection of vote.

Re:Not because of Microsofts actions (3, Informative)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417851)

The one voting twice would be MicroSoft, through the company that admitted to having voted on their behalf. The reason only two votes were mentioned, it probably because that is the only confirmed case they know about.

Re:Not because of Microsofts actions (1)

McNihil (612243) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417879)

Zonk modded me 0 on my post but

http://politics.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=28445 5&cid=20417801 [slashdot.org]

Re:Not because of Microsofts actions (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418041)

So it seems, I should have read the original press release. That is without MicroSoft they're referring to.

When the wrong word goes in the right ear. (1, Troll)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417911)

If the vote was really invalidated for those reasons, it was very nice of M$ to confess and blame their actions on yet another "junior" employee. It was also nice of them to not pay the tools who signed up on the day and voted for M$. The only thing consistent here is dishonesty and betrayal.

Sweden will probably not have time to do another round of voting, so it looks as they will abstain.

I hope not. Being able to scuttle an unfavorable vote one way is just as bad as another.

It is good to see the SIS is protecting it's integrity.

In the next (2, Funny)

fishthegeek (943099) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417647)

vote it'll come out that they were voting on Diebold voting machines furnished by ProClarity Corporation [wikipedia.org]

In other words (4, Funny)

Trogre (513942) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417659)

"We had a situation where an employee sent a communication via e-mail that was inconsistent with our corporate policy"

Sorry we got caught, we'll try not to let it happen again.

Re:In other words (2, Insightful)

BigBadBus (653823) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417727)

Do you mean "Sorry we got caught, wei'll try not to get caught doing it again"?

Re:In other words (1)

burndive (855848) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418037)

Yes, that was the joke.

Re:In other words (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418155)

Damn, I read that as the same thing. Life has corrupted me :(

Re:In other words (1)

nahpets77 (866127) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417775)

I think you mean:

We're sorry we got caught, we'll try not to get caught again.

Seriously though, I don't think that this is the first time that a corporation has tried to influence these kinds of decisions. Yeah it sucks, but this is how the business world works. "You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" and all that.

Re:In other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20417899)

This is more like, you scratch my back, then when you turn around I'll kick you in the rear.

Re:In other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20417959)

Yes, this is usual behaviour. But acknowledging this has what meaning? It is still unmoral, undemocratic and totally wrong and it is still something we need to fight against.

Re:In other words (1)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418001)

Sorry we got caught, we'll try not to let it happen again.

More like:

Sorry we got caught. We've hung a low-level peon out to dry in an attempt to make it look like this was the work of one individual acting alone and not corporate policy. We'll try harder to hide our under-the-table dealings even better in the future.

Re:In other words (1)

BigBadBus (653823) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418063)

It sounds bad, but imagine if this underling was fired for his "behaviour" and sued M$ for unfair dismissal. I imagine the resultant court case would really dish the dirt on this evil behemoth of a company.

Re:In other words (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418913)

where an employee sent a communication via e-mail that was inconsistent with our corporate policy

Was that you Steve?

hooplah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20417669)

With all the hooplah surrounding this proprietary format, you'd think that by now people would realize that if something causes this much trouble, it's probably a really bad idea, and is only going to continue causing trouble.

Damage control!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20417715)

Oh shit, we have an honest employee in Sweedland. Damage control, damage control!! Disavow our knowledge. Spin it so he's a rouge agent!! Cancel the checks we wrote. What, he voluntarily notified the SIS? Fuck, that's inconsistent with our corporate policy. We're fucked right. Put a pot of coffee on boys, it's a long night...

Re:Damage control!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20417919)

...and! Nobody, I mean NOBODY mentions this to ...urkkk

B A W L M E R !!!!11

Policy (5, Funny)

laron (102608) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417875)

"We had a situation where an employee sent a communication via e-mail that was inconsistent with our corporate policy"

Said policy probably states that such communication should never happen over a traceable and archivable medium.

Vote Early, Vote Often (2)

Gonoff (88518) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417895)

If they are the moral successors of Al Capone, perhaps they can be tamed in the same way he first came unstuck?

Perhaps even more attention should be paid to their financial activities...

Casting extra votes vs Vote buying (3, Interesting)

tygt (792974) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417903)

The reason for the board's decision is that the SIS has information indicating that one of the participants of the working group cast more than one vote
I suppose that by buying votes, M$ effectively voted more than once, so both the referenced article and all of the conjecture could potentially be correct...

Sweden for Sale (-1, Offtopic)

BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417909)

Microsoft bought the Vote of the Swedish National Standards Body. What a coincidence: There's long been a question mark over the relationship of the Swedish Government and the MPAA:

http://digg.com/tech_news/Complete_List_of_Civil_R ights_Violations_Regarding_The_Pirate_Bay_Raid?t=1 882690#c1882690 [digg.com] (original article embedded here)

A page from CIA playbook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20417913)

Once caught, we disavow all knowledge of the event, never heard of that guy, were in the bathroom when this all went down, our browser mistranslated the Swedish, MS exchange garbled the email, and clearly we had no intention to break any rule, if that is what happened which we maintain is not the case... I guess middle managers across Microsoft now know what happens when you step out on that limb. There goes initiative. Watch that elephant stagger now...

Re:A page from CIA playbook (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418825)

...were in the bathroom when this all went down...
Hohum, didn't you get the memo? The bathroom no longer is a safe place [cnn.com] ...

What's Inconsistent (4, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#20417975)

e-mail that was inconsistent with our corporate policy

What's inconsistent with Microsoft's policy is getting caught doing this.

Re:What's Inconsistent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20418223)

I just wonder what will happen to that poor man who wrote it...
Will he be sent to Redmond as a target for mr.Ballmers chair throwing practice ?

[OT] Slashdot's Microsoft icon of Bill Gates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20418025)

Can we get an update to the Bill Gates Borg icon please? Ballmer is in charge now and we should respect that [holloway.co.nz]

Re:[OT] Slashdot's Microsoft icon of Bill Gates (1)

BigBadBus (653823) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418093)

....or replace it with a big fat grinning slug (Bill Gates face of course) sat on a toilet surrounded by print-out wielding cronies in suits and ties begging for a crumb of money, shares, or whatever vice these vile monsters crave.

Re:[OT] Slashdot's Microsoft icon of Bill Gates (1)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418335)

Dude, I was eating.

Re:[OT] Slashdot's Microsoft icon of Bill Gates (1)

elronxenu (117773) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418677)

So was Ballmer.

Re:[OT] Slashdot's Microsoft icon of Bill Gates (1)

BigBadBus (653823) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418767)

OK. How about Gates' face on the body of Jabba the Hutt, that Vile CrimeLord. Seems appropriate, no?

"inconsistent with our corporate policy" (1)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418077)

"inconsistent with our corporate policy"
Yea normally Microsoft is the one demanding the money, not giving it.

Lies Come Crashing (3, Informative)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418161)

Now Microsoft's story is "a rogue employee who didn't affect anything".

All we need now is someone to come forward from another country with a "coincidentally" similar story.

I'd offer a cash reward for it, but that would influence the process. They'd just have to be satisfied with a world more free of Microsoft domination, maybe some more real innovation than the stagnation that the 80% Microsoft industry represents.

Re:Lies Come Crashing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20418283)

Apparently they tried to pull exactly the same stunt in Norway. (In Swedish/Norwegian, sorry) http://www.idg.se/2.1085/1.118473 [www.idg.se]

Microsoft still wins. (5, Insightful)

dweller_below (136040) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418203)

Bottom line:

Microsoft failed in it's attempt to buy a 'YES' vote from Sweden.

Microsoft successfully used it's money to turn Sweden's 'NO' vote into an 'ABSTAIN' vote.

Miles

I don't get it... (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418281)

How is buying votes inconsistent with Microsoft's normal mode of operations? They have been found guilty of so many transgressions that this is just another minor one - maybe *that* is what is inconsistent...

How can they call this a standard? (4, Insightful)

AxelTorvalds (544851) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418297)

Whether or not they buy a vote seems almost immaterial to me. You know vendors tend to have seats on a lot of these types of standards committees and there is always a lot of personal protection going on. You'll never see Cisco at an IETF meeting backing something Cisco hasn't built already or backing something that is alternative to what Cisco is doing unless they've already decided to do it and by then they've usually built one.. IBM usually has an agenda before they get to ANSI or ISO or whatever the standards group is. Every company is that way. The smart ones go out of their ways to document the ever loving hell out of their technologies too so that it stands a better chance in these standards meetings and the really smart ones are open to accepting new ideas for their technology so that it can be standardized and have some consensus. (Do you really want to fight some obscure issue, of just ammend your standard to include it and make another company vote for it as a friend and supporter of the standard?)

What's more alarming to me is that there is simply no way that OOXML is a rational standard, the voters clearly are not expert at it, nobody is backing it with an alternative implementation. I don't even believe an alternative implementation is really possible at this point, it's just not clear to me. Can you imagine how the internet wouldn't even exist if IETF standards were approached this way? It is very clear to me that the folks voting on this standard have not read it, it's 7000 pages, there simply isn't a way that they did. I don't want to out right just bash MS but they came late to the game and they simply have no track record of pushing for open standards, it's almost against their very nature. To ramrod this though will ultimately just undermine what it means for something to be "standard" and standards committee members should be aware of that, this won't make OOXML the standard so much as it will undermine the very concept of a standard for this technology. The fact that nobody on the committee is putting the brakes on to me indicates just how broken this comittee is and that the standard should be either dropped or restarted. If they aren't taking is seriously, then let's just kill the standard, I'd rather have none than a bullshit one.

Open document formats is something that is fairly important. I bet you'd have trouble dealing with a lot of common document formats from just 15 years ago. Anyone process Wordperfect 4.2 and 5 files? How about Wordstar? Multimate anyone? Sure you can probably find a way to important them and make them usable but what about in another 5 years? As we digitize more documents, right now, we're almost making sure that in 100 years this will be a dark spot in history because they won't be able to process what records may exist, if they can get them off of the media (if the media is even good) It's good for mankind to produce some well defined, open and sane standards, it's also pretty good for business, how many formats does Office currently try to support? How much does that cost? Imagine if Office 2015 only supported like 3. I don't know what kinds of numbers MS spends on it, I'm guessing millions of dollars a year just on supporting Office file formats though and I couldn't imagine it really impacting the use of Office, it's a fine piece of software. I really don't even care if it's properly documented OOXML instead of the OASIS/OO.org XML format, it just needs to be properly documented and that documentation needs to be vetted before a vote happens. Maybe that's what MS really wants but these committee members are representing corporate interests as well as national ones in some cases and I can't possibly see how they can justify the job they are doing. No standard is better than a really fucked up one.

I used to process WordPerfect files... (1)

crovira (10242) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418653)

The documents were open to anyone who has the $50 or so it cost.

I was doing it in Smalltalk/V Win to parse all of the documents produced by our analysts, several thousand of them (and I just happened to generate COBOL record layouts and screen maps [, which turned out handy because I was able to automate the generation of WinRunner test scripts,] and validated the APIs before the coders got the specs.)

Saved a lot of tears all aroun and I couldn't have done it at all using Word.

They should have threatened (1)

crovira (10242) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418465)

to send Ballmer to their zoo.

I can just imagine monkey boy sitting in the cage flinging his poo, and some furniture, at visitors. :-)

against company policy (1)

phrostie (121428) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418663)

yeah, getting caught so quickly is definately against policy.

they didn't think it would happen until after it became a standard.

What, buying ISO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20418787)


No... get out of here.

What is microsoft actually trying to achieve? (5, Funny)

MSPK (1002795) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418881)

Can anyone with some insight into the matter explain to me why microsoft is trying so badly to get OOXML accepted as a standard, and doesn't simply support ODF? Are there technical reasons (are Microsoft Office documents somehow easier to store in OOXML than ODF)? Political reasons (is Microsoft trying to control/corrupt an open standard, kinda like they did with Internet Explorer and HTML)? Cause in the end both formats try to be the exact same thing: An open standard to store documents. Why go through all the trouble?

Re:What is microsoft actually trying to achieve? (1)

BigBadBus (653823) | more than 6 years ago | (#20418901)

....and is there any backwards compatibility with previous Office formats?
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