Feeds

Microsoft accused of ballot stuffing in standards vote

Hot Swedish XML action

Boost IT visibility and business value

Microsoft has been accused of rigging a vote on the ratification of Office Open XML (OOXML) as an international standard at a government body in Sweden.

Swedish internet pioneer Patrik Falstrom has accused Microsoft of bussing in local partners to a Swedish Standards Institute (SIS) meeting on OSI ratification of OOXML. The specification is already used by Microsoft in Office 2003, 2007 and XP

The partners had not participated in the SIS's earlier OOXML discussions but paid their admission fee and gave OOXML a resounding 25 "yes" votes compared to six "no" votes and three abstentions. It was believed OOXML was heading to a certain defeat had Microsoft's supporters not turned out en masse.

Microsoft was unable to comment on the vote at time of going to press.

Falstrom has objected to technical shortcomings in OOXML and asked the OSI to go through Microsoft's proposed specification and mandate changes before signing off. A list of OOXML's issues has been provided here and here.

Falstrom's concerns were echoed in Brazil, where - in a similar vote this weekend - OSI representatives voted "no, with conditions" to ratification of OOXML.

Brazil's Technical Standards Association flagged up 63 problems, but could change its vote to a "yes" should Microsoft actually fix these problems.

These are just the latest controversies in a process that's seen Microsoft accused of attempting to railroad OOXML through the ISO to counter Open Document Format (ODF), and of OOXML supporters trying to change the voting process.

The news of the Swedish and Brazil votes came as Russia's government has become the latest national institution to throw ODF a lifeline and potentially trip Microsoft up in the corridors of power.

The Russian Government has taken a step towards endorsing ODF through an e-government program that would mandate use of software that conforms to "widely used standards" in all government contracts.

According to the Russian Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications "within the project to form an e-government concept in the Russian Federation, support of ISO/IEC 26300: 2006 is planned."

The move has been welcomed by the Open Document Format Alliance, which said in a statement that Russia is "sending a message worldwide that software should be affordable, innovative and accessible, now and for the foreseeable future."®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.