[ANSOL-geral] [ANSOL] Fw: [ffii] ISO captured by vendor Microsoft

Rui Miguel Silva Seabra rms ansol.org
Quarta-Feira, 2 de Abril de 2008 - 14:13:17 WEST

----- Forwarded message from Benjamin Henrion <bhenrion  ffii.org> -----

Date: Wed, 2 Apr 2008 13:47:55 +0200
From: Benjamin Henrion <bhenrion  ffii.org>
To: news  ffii.org
User-Agent: Mutt/1.5.13 (2006-08-11)
Subject: [ffii] ISO captured by vendor Microsoft

PRESS RELEASE — [ World / Economy / Standards ]

 ISO captured by vendor Microsoft

Brussels, 2 April 2008 — ISO members failed to disapprove the Open XML
format. Microsoft has compromised the International Standards
Organisation (ISO) during the rush to get a stamp for their Office
OpenXML (OOXML), using unfair practices such as committee stuffing in
several countries and political interventions of ministers in the
standardization process.

A vote by national members of ISO indicates a majority for the
controversial Open XML format. OOXML received 75 Prozent approval votes
of p-members of JTC1, among them many nations of questionable expertise
in standardization. In September a first attempt to approve the 6000
page standard Open XML failed with more than 2300 submitted comments. As
in September many of the new approval votes were won by political high
level intervention and the vendors dominance in national technical

>From June 2007 to March 2008, technical committees around the world
studied and analysed one of the largest IT standards proposal ever,
Microsoft's OOXML. In order to get its format safely through ISO,
Microsoft had to stuff committees, lobby ministers, mobilize business
partners, and rewrite the ISO rules.

The rush for Open XML started with the adoption of OpenDocument format
as the ISO standard for office documents (ISO 26300:2006). The open
standard ODF is considered a danger for the market monopolist Microsoft
with its flag ship product Microsoft Office. Governments worldwide are
switching to the ISO standard OpenDocument Format (ODF) as their default
format for office documents. ODF is a vendor neutral ISO open standard.
The reaction of Microsoft to defend their monopoly position was to rush
through their incompatible alternative format Open XML via ECMA
international to become a second ISO standard. Although the Open XML
format lacks maturity on formal grounds Microsoft has been able to
hijack the entire ISO process. The technical review of the format was
strongly obstructed by its originator and its political interference in
the ISO process.

Presence of Microsoft Business Partners has been reported in the
following countries: Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Denmark, Egypt, Italy,
Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden,
Switzerland and the United States of America. Furthermore, it has been
reported in several countries, such as France and Malaysia, that
Microsoft has lobbied the government and the responsible ministers to
override the decisions of the technical committees, which spoke out
against an approval of the format.

Jan Wildeboer, Solution Architect at RedHat, explains: "OOXML was
created solely for use in Microsoft applications. It is not currently
suitable as an international standard, because it cannot be completely
implemented by anyone without access to inside information. Although it
is more than 6,000 pages long, it contains various references to things
that are defined only in Microsoft's software, not in the specification

Rui Seabra, Vice-President of ANSOL and member of the technical
committee in Portugal, says: "Congratulations are due to Microsoft.
They've been able to push an incomplete and buggy document as an
international standard, that only they can implement. It's now proven
that ISO/IEC standard of quality can be subverted."

Laurent Richard, of the Belgian Association Electronique Libre, says:
"The war about office file formats only begins. The real war will be the
adoption of OOXML by governments, and their citizens, which will have to
buy again a copy of Microsoft Office to find out what the decision
makers are doing. We will ask the European Commission to scrutinize this
format, and garantee that competitors can have 100% interoperability
with the Microsoft Office, which is not possible with the current OOXML

Pieter Hintjens, of the European Software Market Association,
says:"Nobody wants standards you can buy. Microsoft bought a standard at
ECMA, now they bought ISO. Who wants this?"

Graham Taylor, Openforum Europe, regards the outcome as a pyrrhic
victory: "Microsoft will experience ever increasing and costly outspoken
grass roots opposition across the world to vendor specific business
models and related practices."

Benjamin Henrion, initiator of the <NO>OOXML campaign, is furious about
the tactics he followed over several months: "Committee stuffing is a
standard practice for Microsoft. Microsoft raped ISO with their office
file formats, leaving the organization in limbo. The whole campaign
against the format have raised an army of people, which are furious
about the dirty tactics used by Microsoft to get the broken standard
through ISO. This anger won't go away, and I wish good luck to Microsoft
to get it adopted by governments. The reputation of Microsoft went down
below zero with this process."

 Background information

Other irregularities has been collected here:


Benjamin Henrion
<NO>OOXML campaign
FFII Brussels
bhenrion  ffii.org
(French / English)

 About <NO>OOXML

The petition against the standardization of Microsoft OOXML broken
format has gathered more then 87.000 signatures from all over the world.
NoOOXML.org was started by Benjamin Henrion in January 2007 to campaign
against Microsoft's push for ISO standardization of their captive
document formats. This campaign was part of a global project by the
FFII's open standards workgroup that reached standards campaigners in
over eighty countries. NoOOXML.org was mainly supported by FFII, the
Shuttleworth Foundation, the Open Society Institute, OpenForum Europe,
FTISA, iMatix Corporation and ESOMA.

 About FFII

The FFII is a not-for-profit association active in over thirty
countries, dedicated to the development of information goods for the
public benefit, based on copyright, free competition, and open
standards. More than 850 members, 3,500 companies and 100,000 supporters
have entrusted the FFII to act as their voice in publicy policy
questions concerning exclusion rights (intellectual property) in data

FFII Press Releases.
(un)subscribe via https://lists.ffii.org/mailman/listinfo/news, or contact media  ffii.org for more information.
----- End forwarded message -----

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