Feeds

Microsoft accused of ballot stuffing in standards vote

Hot Swedish XML action

Security for virtualized datacentres

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."®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.