Feeds

Microsoft accused of ballot stuffing in standards vote

Hot Swedish XML action

Application security programs and practises

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."®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Whoah! How many Google Play apps want to read your texts?
Google's app permissions far too lax – security firm survey
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
OpenWRT gets native IPv6 slurping in major refresh
Also faster init and a new packages system
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.