Open XML – The Vote in Sweden

The latest chapter in the Open XML standardization story is focused on Sweden. There are accusations flying, emails floating around, and no shortage of theories about what has been happening there. As you can image I have been following up with a number of people and here are the issues and what I have found out so far.

Microsoft encouraged partners to participate in Sweden:

An employee in Sweden sent an email to 2 partners that was inconsistent with company policy. When he realized what he had done, he did the right thing by immediately reaching out to the two partners to address the situation. He contacted them by phone and email letting them know that they should disregard the mail. Here is what I know about this situation so far:

  • 2 partners were sent an email making a request to participate in the Swedish process, telling them that they would be responsible for paying the membership fee if they did, but also making a related reference to marketing activities and extra support.

  • Within hours both partners were contacted by the same MS employee who initiated the mail to notify them that the information in the email was incorrect and that they should disregard it. 

  • When the Microsoft Sweden management team became aware of the situation they proactively notified SIS, the national standards body, of this situation and shared the communications with them. There was no impact on the vote due to this situation.

  • It is important to note that instructions from corporate to our regional teams around the world throughout this process have been to completely adhere to the rules of the national standards bodies, and that any party wishing to take part in the national standards body is directly responsible for paying any related fees. This means partners must decide whether to participate and vote based on their own determination as to the importance of this standard to their business.  To say it more directly, offers to pay standards participation fees are totally inconsistent with our internal policy.

Organizations joining the committee late in the process:

Yes, many organizations joined the committee very late in the process. There were parties both for and against the vote that joined late. The local team did reach out to partners and encouraged them to join the process. Many of the partners had been called by IBM as well, encouraging them to join the process and to vote against the proposed standard. Many of these companies are business partners for both IBM and Microsoft and have business interests related to office automation technologies – thus, they were contacted by both firms. It is critical to note that the addition of voting members at that time was completely within the rules of the national standards body. While there are many arguments to be had over the relative merits of this rule…it is a rule nonetheless.  If you are looking for other situations to think about – look at the late addition of Red Hat (and many others…I know) to Committee V1 in the United States. Their presence was simply to vote no – not based on deep technical review – but because it is in their business interests have Open XML fail to achieve ISO/IEC standardization. Google joining the SIS late is the same thing. So – for both sides, seeking to have participation of organizations with interests is within the boundaries of the rules.

The issue with the email is extremely unfortunate as it casts a pall over the hard work of so many, and the process as a whole. The Swedish team has been working for months with the national standards body to address technical issues and as a participating member in deliberations by the committee. The companies that joined the process did so of their own accord – they were being contacted by both Microsoft and IBM. They had complete autonomy to choose how to vote – which they did this week.

If Open XML is to be approved for standardization at JTC1, it needs to do so by the book. We may all disagree about the book (witness the arguments about no with comments vs. yes with comments), but it is critical that these activities remain within the realm of ethical behavior as well as behavior defined by the rules for the JTC1 process.  In this case, I understand the concern raised by this error in judgment by an MS employee. The only thing I can say is that the right things were done as the issue was identified.  The process and vote at SIS were not affected.


Updated - Aug. 30: The Swedish national body looks like it will invalidate the existing yes vote and move to abstain. The public statement points to a proceedural reason for invalidating the vote. The public statement also says that there will not be another vote prior to Sept. 2. I don't have any other info on this than that at the moment, but will keep up with things as possible.

Comments (50)
  1. Peter Rock says:

    Jason you say:

    "Yes, many organizations joined the committee very late in the process. There were parties both for and against the vote that joined late."

    Here is the list I have of those voting yes that joined late…can you please provide the list of those who joined late to vote "no"?

    Camako Data AB (Microsoft Gold Certified Partner), Connecta AB (Microsoft Gold Certified Partner), Cornerstone Sweden AB (Microsoft Gold Certified Partner), Cybernetics (Microsoft Gold Certified Partner), Emric AB, Exor AB (Microsoft Certified Partner), Fishbone Systems AB (Microsoft Gold Certified Partner), Formpipe Software (Microsoft Gold Certified Partner), FS System AB, Google, HP (Microsoft Gold Certified Partner), IBizkit AB (Microsoft Certified Partner), IDE Nätverkskonsulterna (Microsoft Gold Certified Partner), IT-Vision AB, Know IT (Microsoft Gold Certified Partner), Modul1 (Microsoft Gold Certified Partner), Nordic Station AB (Microsoft Certified Partner), ReadSoft AB (Microsoft Certified Partner), Sogeti (Microsoft Gold Certified Partner), Solid Park AB (Microsoft Gold Certified Partner), SourceTech AB, Strand Interconnect AB (Microsoft Gold Certified Partner) and TietoEnator (Microsoft Gold Certified Partner)

  2. Chris Ridd says:

    Peter, are you sure Google voted yes? 😉

  3. Nick says:

    Did Google vote yes?

  4. Stefan Gustavson says:

    "The Swedish team has been working for months with the national standards body to address technical issues "

    And now suddenly every single one of those technical issues and the hard work spent addressing them are being thrown out the window by some 20 Microsoft partners joining the group to vote "yes" without comments.

    So, is Microsoft upset over the fact that all their hard work in the committee is now being thrown away? Or are they actually relieved that all those tough comments can now be swept under the carpet?

  5. hAl says:

    According to the FFII site they were ready to block any approval vote if no more than 8 MS partners would have joined.

    <blockquote>Then together with others, we gathered eight new members into the SSI working group, says Hallén. The idea was that they would vote no and that way, cancel out the seven yes votes that we knew had joined the group</blockquote>

  6. Oj, vilken uppmärksamhet måndagens röstning i SIS har fått, vi hade verkligen inte förväntat oss det

  7. Oj, vilken uppmärksamhet måndagens röstning i SIS har fått, vi hade verkligen inte förväntat oss det

  8. Sam Hiser says:


    Twist & writhe out of it as you may try, don’t you think Red Hat & Google are different than Jorge’s Qwik-Soft of Panama?

  9. RichL says:

    Jason, I’m sorry but this seems like "an ends justify the means" type argument.  Ethics, in my mind, is more than simply following all the rules.  There is an important distinction between what’s right and what’s allowed.  I raise my same arguments from a prior post:  if the goal is to get an ISO certification using all available resources, tactics, and strategies, what is the point?  One party achieves a desired result that is questionable from the standpoint of a process involving consensus and compromise.  You are correct, IBM and many others have raised issues and opposed fast-track approval of OOXML.  Why is there no effort to reach out, work through issues, and get to something the world actually agrees on, rather than just ramming something through the process?  Again, the outcome will be the result of heavy-handed lobbying and ISO just looks the worse for it.

  10. marc says:

    Jason, i will say it again: shameful

    The technical commites has an obligation to do technical work, no to cast votes to defend commercial interests.

    The same had happened at Incits/V1, sudden afluence of "interested" members who voted yes and virtually provided no technical comment or feedback, only oposition to critic:

    . 3Sharp -> Microsoft gold partner, mentioned in [1], front page says "3Sharp is a key contributor to Microsoft’s new Data Encryption Toolkit"

    .  Advaiya -> 7 ocurrences of "Microsoft" in front page

    . Mimosa Systems -> Microsoft gold certified, flagship product is "Mimosa NearPoint for Microsoft Exchange Server"

    . NextPage -> Microsoft certified partner

    . Peters & Associates -> Microsoft gold partner, 10 ocurrences of "Microsoft" in front page

    . Reality Mobile -> flagship product transmit real-time video and geospatial coordinates WHAT THIS HAVE TO DO WITH OFFICE DOCUMENT STANDARDS????

    . Xinnovation -> Microsoft gold certified , flagship product built around Microsoft Office software

    . mindjet: Microsoft Gold Certified Partner -> flagship product supports Office 2007

    . z5 technologies, one of flagship products runs XP with MS Office, mentioned in [1]


    ( extracted from: )

  11. Jason,

    In my opinion, Microsoft has lost sight of the bigger picture in its massive push to get this spec ratified as an ISO standard.  Trying to paint a picture where others are doing the same thing is a pretty inept way to defuse blame, and it isn’t working.  If I had to guess, Microsoft will win this battle, but lose the war.  Never before have I personally heard as many previously pro-Microsoft voices raised to object to the actions of the company.

    This is a lousy standard, badly written and blatantly ignoring numerous perfectly reasonable and fairly simple modifications that could have been made (e.g., the bit flags that should have been caught on review long before ECMA made it a standard).  When Microsoft is seen as pushing a standard due to its corporate interests, it is neither surprising nor terribly suspect, but when Microsoft is seen as pulling out all the stops to push a clearly bad standard either just to prove they can or to avoid yet more costly changes to Microsoft Office, it is seen as bullying and arrogant.  This letter surprises nobody, coming as it does on the heels of so many other aggressive and crude efforts to win this standards fight.  Saying "Oops!" is hardly a defense in the court of public opinion, and Microsoft has squandered a huge amount of public opinion in the quest to push this through.  Isn’t it time to step back and make sure you are pushing the right effort.  Simply dismissing every criticism of OOXML as a lobbying effort by IBM may be blinding Microsoft to some very real issues, and it is making Microsoft into exactly the kind of public presence which people love to hate.  Is the fight worth that?

    – Ben Langhinrichs

    Genii Software

  12. Jason, when I look at all the shenanigans surrounding MS-OOXML and ISO, I’m sure Microsoft is deeply ashamed of its behavior to date. Or not. But are you guys using the Karl Rove dirty tricks political playbook to win these votes? There are so many parallels to typical republican vote fraud behavior that it is uncanny.

    In that vein, MS-OOXML’s ISO venture seems like Florida 2000 all over again.

  13. James says:

    In the words of John Lennon, how do you sleep at night?

  14. Pedro Paramo says:

    "An employee in Sweden sent an email to 2 partners that was inconsistent with company policy."

    Righhhht because we know MS would never employ such tactics. We all know you guys always compete on technical merits!

  15. Pete says:

    Jason…  COME ON!!!!  … please…      at this point ..honestly… what you (MS) are doing is making a complete farse of the ISO process.. in my opinion … again at this point.. ISO because all of MS shinanigans, has been completely discredited….  if anyone with enough $$ can rig the voting..  then .. well..  what is the point.. ..  i think MS should do the "right" thing and just pull openXML…     it will be almost guaranteed… that if this gets voted as a standard… after every under handed trick (but allowed by the rules, like it is any consilation) has been pulled, ISO , forget MS..your rep if far from redeemable, will be seen as another corporate controlled entity.. instead of what they should be known as a " International Standards Organization"..   and all thanks to MS..

  16. jasonmatusow says:

    Chris & Nick – I believe Google voted no.

    Stefan – my previous post on Yes with comments still stands. The work done in the committee on technical comments is not changed in any way by this. My point was about the perception of the work done in Sweden rather than the substantive reality.  As I have stated before – the editor will be working closely with TC45, and there is a proposal in for joint maintenance with SC34. There is a significant commitment to consider ALL comments.

    hAl – can you comment further on what you make of the statement by the FFII? To me it simply shows clearly the fact that both sides are seeking to have a committeed structured with votes that will "win" their point. What do you think?

    Sam – maybe you missed what I said in my posting. IBM called these same companies to lobby for a no vote because most of they have business interests with both MS and IBM. These are respected companies doing business in Sweden, each with the right to particpate or not, to vote yes or no. I don’t think belittling them is constructive.

    RichL – your point is well taken, and well said. I was sorry to see this happen. The work at Ecma was solid standardization collab on a contributed specification. The move to JTC1 should result in further collaborative effort. The whole point of the upcoming BRM process is to take all of the comments into consideration, the result being improvement to the spec. That is completely normal for standards processes. Open XML is different because of the extreme campaign to stop it at the ISO level. IMHO at that point it moves into business competition rather than about technology. The point I made the other day about the maturity of ODF at the time of its JTC1 adoption was not to cast aspersions, rather to point out that the arguments about the technical status of Open XML are inconsistent if you approve of ODF having been approved as a JTC1 spec.

    Marc – I don’t get your argument. Sorry. The whole point of the process is that organizations with an interest may participate. The firms you listed all have commercial interests in seeing Open XML pass as it opens the door for them for new opportunities. This is true for the firms who oppose it. They have commercial interests to see ODF remain the only XML-based office automation doc format with the ISO/IEC impramature (setting aside of course that ODF 1.0 is now obsolete). This will help them with government procurement and getting more pilots in place, etc.etc.  I have no truck with that – but it makes me question your comment.

    Thx –


  17. jasonmatusow says:

    Ben – you are right that there are some serious long-term issues around this standardization process. I have often considered the danger of our becoming myopic on IBM in this, as the real issue is obviously the standard itself. The rubber is going to meet the road in the BRM process. How the group working on the spec responds to those comments – those they adopt and those they don’t – is truely what counts. I hear you and appreciate the comment.

    Zane, James, Pedro – I know that this fits just too nicely into a master conspiracy theory. All I can say is I have been a part of this process for a long time and know that we have been exceptionally clear with our folks throughout the world. This employee made a mistake – that was addressed – and it did not affect the vote. There are other, bigger issues at hand (like the comments from Ben and RichL).


  18. marc says:

    "This will help them with government procurement and getting more pilots in place, etc.etc.  I have no truck with that – but it makes me question your comment."

    What you are saying have nothing to do with what i said: the people at NBs and TC are there to *work* and to review the technical merits of documents proposed as standards and to make suggestions, critics, comments and observations about them.

    This should have nothing to do with marketing , procurement and the stuff you mentioned in your response.

    If you believe that competing companies are doing extra-technical "things" for commercial interests, you are moraly and ethicaly obligated  to send a formal complain to ISO JTC1.

    By the way, this Sweden fiasco seems to have been nulled: i have read that SiS just published a press release saying that the decision on Monday is annulled, and Sweden will likely abstain from voting on OOXML ( DIS 29500 ), due to procedural errors.


  19. Pelle says:

    Is anyone REALLY surprised?

    Come one! Realise that no matter who you are or what you do – Microsoft will screw you over and over again.

  20. Erik says:

    "An employee in Sweden sent an email to 2 partners that was inconsistent with company policy."

    Well, I know for a fact that more that 2 partners in Sweden got mails like this, so the question is, why should I take anything you write seriously?

    Sweden is a small country and everyone in the IT-business knows everyone 😉

  21. Edward says:


    As far as I have read about this issue I can’t see any evidence that any MS rep tried to convince the "extras" to leave or tell them like you are us now that this was a nono.

    The events has definitely show about the flaws in the swedish rules, but RichL has asked the important question I think. Where has the gentleman-ship gone?

  22. Peter Krantz says:

    The Microsoft employee that sent out the letters must have had some backing from management if he promised financial incentives if they went to the vote? or was he a manager himself?

    That over 20 Microsoft partners decided to join the working group on their own initiative the day before the meeting does sound a little too good to be true. Is there anyone at these companies that have read the OOXML spec?

    It is a disgrace to the people who had been working hard with the massive OOXML spec document in the working group for six months.

    Independently of how things happened in the SIS case, Microsoft’s reputation in Sweden has been seriously hurt for some time to come. Sweden is a small coutry with a limited IT press. This story even made it into the largest daily newspaper (Dagens Nyheter) in which it was made clear that something unethical had happened.

  23. Landreth says:

    Klas Hammar, Business Manager at Microsoft Sweden admits to that the e-mail that they sent out was badly formulated and that he has withdrawn the information and by that also that it was sent out to more than 2 partner companies (this has been quoted to quite a few Swedish papers as well).

    What I’m curious about is how a Microsoft employee can offer monetary compensation to partners without any senior manager would know about and would Klas Hammar not "senior" enought?

    The Swedish OOXML vote has been declared invalid!

    Microsoft forced partners to vote Yes!

    Microsoft buys the Swedish vote on OOXML

  24. jasonmatusow says:

    Marc – I just saw the SIS decision. I will amend my top-level posting.  I think everyone is aware that IBM has lead the anti-Open XML campaign…and that they are motivated by commercial interests to do so. That is the nature of competition – I don’t know that puts me in a postion to be ethically bound to file a complaint with ISO. I will, though, point out the points as we go through this process.  You get no disagreement from me that the situation in Sweden with the email was really unfortunate. Yes, I would like to see the positive vote – but more importantly it will have more of a perception impact on the whole process that I am sorry to see.

  25. Screamer says:

    Microsoft Sweden… 🙂 wohooooo

  26. Jason,

    I completely disagree that "everyone is aware that IBM has lead the anti-Open XML campaign".  As I have stated before to Brian Jones, there are plenty of people in plenty of organizations who actively disagree with the attempt to ram a poorly designed and bloated spec through the process.  IBM is not the leader in this, although there are a few IBM folks who are actively involved.  Repeatedly focusing on IBM is simply an attempt, and a weak one, to get people to see this as two large corporate entities having a disagreement.  My company is tiny, and I am not fundamentally opposed to Open XML, but many of the initial critiques and complaints about Open XML came from me and others like me, not beholden to any large company, but simply trying to deal as ISVs with the mess that Open XML represents.

    And similarly, many of us have also worked on making ODF better.  So, why have we tried to make ODF better and tried to make Open XML go away?  Because OASIS has shown a willingness to make changes and listen to comments.  Microsoft, and later ECMA, has shown no such willingness.  I made comments and suggestions on various Microsoft forums about Open XML and things that should be fixed, all before it became an ECMA standard, and not a single one was responded to or modified.  There was no effort to listen to valid concerns from a Microsoft business partner such as myself who was also trying to create a better standard (for purely selfish reasons, really, as I wanted to develop solutions using Open XML).  Brian Jones has been a real gentleman, and I appreciate that, but there still has been no willingness to listen and hear.  It was always "We need to do this for backwards compatibility", which makes no technical, political or business sense in the context of the suggestions made.

    But this is not "led by IBM".  I do not work for IBM.  Sam Hiser does not work for IBM.  Stéphane Rodriguez does not work for IBM.  Andy Updegrove does not work for IBM.  Yet all of us, and many others, have first worked to convince Microsoft to modify this standard, then worked to convince people it was fatally flawed.  Repeating the IBM mantra over and over and over isn’t working.  You may, and I truly can’t tell, be convincing yourselves, but you are not convincing the public.  This is not IBM vs. Microsoft, no matter how you much you might want it to be.  This is Microsoft vs. common sense, and it is greatly to be regretted, especially for those of us who really had hoped to be able to work with this spec/standard, and who have business interests with Microsoft.

    – Ben Langhinrichs

  27. Mike Brown says:

    You’ve been caught with your hand in the till, and your defence is that others do it too? Try that one in court and see how far you get.

    IBM have been encouraging companies to vote against?  Really?  Did they try also to openly bribe those companies with "extra support"?  No, they didn’t.  Or, at least, they didn’t get caught!  You did.

    Go to jail.  Go directly to jail.  Do not pass Go.  Do not pick up $200.


    – Mike

  28. Doug Mahugh says:

    The ISO voting on Open XML is delivering even more drama this week than I expected. In addition to the

  29. The ISO voting on Open XML is delivering even more drama this week than I expected. In addition to the

  30. Steve says:

    "everyone is aware that IBM has lead the anti-Open XML campaign"

    Strongly disagree with this. The OpenXML format is bad enough that it hasn’t needed anyone to run an anti- campaign, except insofar as is necessary to watch for (and correct) situations like the one you blogged about.

  31. OldTimer says:

    A simple question then: why does Microsoft not work together with the rest of the world to improve ODF? Why push OOXML?

  32. Henk says:

    I guess the problem with the Swedish employee was that (s)he sent an email in sted of making a phone call. Mails can be printed, forwarded etc. phone calls can’t.

    I don’t believe anyone, even in Microsoft really believes that 20 Swedish companies suddenl dicide to join SIS a few days before the vote. So I’d sugest you’d better admit this type of ballot stuffing, and continue to explain how faithfully you acted in the rest of the world. The Netherlands spring to mind where Microsoft could block a ‘no with comments’ into abstain.

    If you have any confidence in the technical part of OOXMl, you woulnd’t try so hard to block ‘no with comments’. As has been stated over and over again, you can simply ingore any comments that came with a ‘yeas’, and if your behaviour is any indication, you will.

    I don’t know anything about OOXML, nor ODF, I’m only totally amazed at the tricks you seem to need to get it passed. It makes me sad that even international standardization must suffer from companies trying to gain advantage over their competition.

    If you (ms) had really intended to make this an ISO standard initially, and if the process of standardization means that the specification is constantly fine-tuned as you wrote earlier, then Microsoft could have avoided all this seven years ago, when MS was first starting to make office use XML-based formats. You could have easily beaten ODF to market, and nobody have ever cared about it, just as nobody ever cared about the OLE alternative in os/2.

  33. hAl says:

    <blockquote>According to the press release issued by SIS tonight (the pdf document is created 18:05 CET) the SIS board has declared this weeks earlier OOXML vote as invalid due to that one of the participating companies has voted two times where the SIS rules clearly says that each company can only cast one vote each.

    Microsoft had 3 persons to represent them at the SIS meeting and it looks like that Microsoft was the one to voted two times.<blcokquote>


    The vote was 25-6 for approval and the Microsoft delegation voted twice ??

    How foolish !!!

  34. Peter Rock says:


    Here’s a suggestion…

    Go to your boss and tell him/her/them to fully support ODF as the standard for MS Office products or you will quit.

    Perhaps you don’t see just how down-to-earth that suggestion really is but seriously…

  35. roland says:

    What a shame, even ISO seems to be corrupt!

    – Payed by Micrsoft.

  36. Ron Hughes says:


    Will / can you categorically state that MS made no verbal offers of "Marketing Support" (AKA Bribery) to the other 18 first-time attendees in exchange for their "yes" vote?

    As Chicago sang………"The whole world’s watching"

  37. JD on EP says:

    Buying standards: There are reasons why Microsoft’s corporate culture is considered a little strange. Today’s issue is another sudden surge of Microsoft partners paying dues to national standards bodies, all then voting in unison to recommend the unimplementable

  38. Kelledin says:


    1) You should quite rightly be ashamed of the Sweden situation.  I’m now quite certain that my impression from the Portugal meeting was dead-on correct.  Microsoft’s attempts to spin this fiasco as some tiny, harmless anomaly are IMO not at all credible–especially after hearing the reports from Denmark, and knowing something about how MS treats its partners.

    2) Laying the vast majority the OOXML opposition at IBM’s feet, or blaming it on misguided self-interest, is quite frankly bullshit.  A very large community bearing no affiliation with IBM is decrying your "standard" for good reason: it is an outrageously bloated, poorly-documented specification, near-impossible to reimplement and conflicting with far too many existing standards.  Furthermore MS shows a complete unwillingness to yield even an inch to well-founded technical objections unless it absolutely has to.

    3) Your continuing justification at this point seems to be that MSFT conduct is "within the rules"–and that if the rules are easily gamed, then it’s hardly MSFT’s fault.  That position completely ignores the spirit of standards organizations: suppliers who would normally compete against each other are supposed to meet at a round table, openly lay down their swords, and make an honest effort to work together as equals.  That means aspiring to a level of conduct and fair dealing above and beyond just what the letter of the law requires.  If MS can’t manage that sort of good-faith cooperation, then it has no business taking part in a standards body.

    As long as MS refuses to address the problems with its own specification, you are in no position to criticize or dismiss anyone else’s opposition.  As long as the situation in Portugal/Sweden/Denmark keeps repeating itself, you are absolutely not in a position to criticize anyone else’s activities in this regard.  To my knowledge, nobody else has sunk anywhere close to MS’s level of misconduct in this affair.

  39. henri says:

    Sweden is considered one of the least corrupted nation (my country France is much further on the list, just ask Eva Joly who prefered returning home). Considering that, the OOXML/ISO case seems quite amazing here. Please, don’t let Microsoft harm this good reputation!

    If Microsoft wins at the end, it will be a "victoire à la Pyrus", meaning that such amount of bad ways have been used by Microsoft, that it will be morally dicredited along with the whole ISO-organization.

  40. Bill says:

    Wasn’t the president of the Swedish committee, the one responsible for procedings like the Swedish voting, himself strongly against the OOXML standardization.

    I don’t think that if the vote situation would have been different that such a mistake would have been made…

  41. andy says:

    "I think everyone is aware that IBM has lead the anti-Open XML campaign…and that they are motivated by commercial interests to do so."

    No. I am not convinced. It is just *another* dirty lie. You know its false.

  42. Wu MingShi says:


    In case you really need an example of a non-IBM-led large anti-OOXML effort, see Groklaw. Unless, of course, like SCO, you are going to accuse PJ of being IBM puppet.

    To others who says MS should be ashame of itself:

    I disagree with what it did. Nonetheless, it is up to individual NB to decide whether every party plays by the book, bleach acceptable practice standard and what sanction to take. NB works the way the country wants their NB to be. So while I think citizens around the world can voice their opinion on a particular NB’s neutrality (or not), it is up to the citizen of the country to fight for neutrality in their own NB.

    Sept 2 came and gone. The ball is in ISO court now. Let’s keep a close eye on how ISO manage the process.

  43. bap says:

    microsoft try to corrupt,

    and now, microsoft guys try  to lie.

    shame on you.

    face the truth : as first estimation was "no", sudently serveral dozen of new company registrer to vote (including google, that’s true, but almost all new comapny voted "yes")

    and now we "learn" that microsoft encourage partner to vote "yes", you have nothing to add, that’s totally clear.

  44. bap says:

    "You get no disagreement from me that the situation in Sweden with the email was really unfortunate"

    what!?!!!! unfortunate ?

    you better to learn the right words : CORRUPTION.

  45. Carl says:

    One important quote:

    ‘This means partners must decide whether to participate and vote based on their own determination as to the importance of this standard to their business. ‘

    We are talking about business interest that clashes with consumers interest. What would be more convenient to the world of having ONE, dyamically maintained standard (ODF) that forms the basis for ALL office document creation and sharing? The quote explains it all. It is in the interest of MS business partners to have OOXML ratified, because at this moment in time, the MS Office suite holds by far the largest market share in office software.

    The OOXML specification with its current inclusion of  proprietary code and functions would allow MS to keep a stranglehold on the office market. No other vendor than MS would be able to guarantee full implementation of all features in MS Office, so MS Office would remain the de facto standard.

    Maybe MS business partners need OOXML. But the world is better off with one standard, since it would allow true competition on all levels, without one party being able to abuse its current monopoly.

    Jason, I respect that you reply to these messages. But I beg you, please do not come up with the lame excuse that OOXML is better for a client’s business. That is nonsense. Besides, ODF is an open standard, so MS would be free to come up with enhancements to make it as rich and featureful as you would deem necessary. But that would be against your business interest, I presume.

  46. Tracy R Reed says:

    Jason: The real problem isn’t the mistake of the employee. The real problem is MS pushing (by dubious means) a seriously defective standard. MS knows that standard is bad for everyone but MS. That is what makes Microsoft a sleazy company.

  47. Paul S says:

    The only mistake the employee did, was to email the (more than two) bribe/heavy letters. This was the same mistake that made useful evidence against MS in US, and should be well known by everyone in the company. I have been in the industry since the mid eighties, and have observed MS as a bully who rather buy or intimidate competitors who have superior software, than to make an effort to come up with some own ideas. Most of the functionality in MS Office originated by  developers at Lotus, WordPerfect, Borland and others and was "incorporated" by MS in the next iteration of MS Office. Another MS tactics was played against IBM in developing OS/2, IBM got a better DOS than DOS, but all the REALLY god ideas during the progress was kept  by MS and was then used in NT. The only all MS software I can recall is Microsoft BOB and the paperclip "help"… one is mercifully forgotten, and the other annoys millions of user daily  ;^)

  48. Dave says:

    I’m waiting for the day Matusow is spinning so fast that his head separtes from his body.

    "Sick" isn’t the word anymore to describe the spin that comes out of his and his fellow spin doctors anymore.

  49. Dave says:

    Matusow, if not Microsoft’s management alltogether, seems to suffer fro IMB paranoia. They see IBM as the root of their problems.

    One doesn’t need to have a degree in psychology to understand the cause of this paranoia. Microsoft screwed IBM big time in the past. It is now scared that IBM is doing the same to them.

    Matusow, and maybe Microsoft’s management are a need of psychiatric treatement.

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