If you can fix a 757 with two goats, how many do you need to fix an OSI vote?
For a story that had more than its fair share of drama this week, it was hard to look further than Microsoft's efforts to get its Office Open XML (OOXML) specification fast-tracked as an ISO standard. Ordinarily, stories about Microsoft and standards tend to be the preserve of bearded men of a particular age, but the OOXML saga has a much wider appeal. The Swedish vote, for example, was changed after it emerged Microsoft had paid partners to join the board of the body that voted on whether it should agree to fast-track OOXML. In Portugal, there were claims the IBM delegate had been locked out with the excuse that there weren't enough chairs in the room. Then there were the 36 countries that suddenly decided they needed to join ISO in the run up to the vote, most of which voted for OOXML. Despite Microsoft's best (and some would say, worst) efforts, the attempt to get fast-track ratification of its specification as a standard failed.