Buy, Cheat, Steal, and Lie: The OOXML Story
Today is an international day of mourning, mourning for the loss of the standardization process and for the fate of those who will suffer under OOXML and whatever other standards Microsoft decides to strong-arm through the ISO.
Despite overwhelming evidence that the process had been corrupted, the ISO officially acknowledged yesterday that DIS 29500, better known as OOXML, has been adopted as an ISO standard. The news leaked Tuesday after what appeared to be an official voting record was posted to an email list. Some reportedly believed the announcement to be an April Fool's Day joke — unfortunately, the only joke involved was the maligned and manipulated standards process that produced the result.
The OOXML adoption process has been rife with questionable and downright corrupt activity since the first vote in September. After stuffing committees , they earned themselves an investigation by the European Commission, quite possibly the only government body in the world they haven't bought off. They've blamed IBM for the initial defeat, borked the BRM, slandered well respected men and women alike, planted wolves in sheep's clothing — pretty much everything short of resurrecting Machiavelli, and we wouldn't be the least bit surprised if they tried that too. Linux Journal's Glyn Moody has an excellent commentary on the scandalous events which goes into far greater detail than we can in Breaking News.
Where does the mess go from here? A few places. The European Commission is, as we said above, already investigating Microsoft's conduct, and are rumored to be looking into voting irregularities in Poland and Denmark. A formal protest has been filed in Norway seeking an annulment of the vote, and a complaint over the UK's about-face is reportedly in the works. At the ISO, there is a two month window for appeals to be filed, though there's nothing to suggest the same tactics won't be used against an appeal. There's hope — albeit faint — that the adoption of a second standard could be ruled a violation of the World Trade Organization Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade, an international treaty to which the United States is a party.
A 2007 decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit may end up coming back to haunt Microsoft in their ongoing U.S. antitrust battle. The case revolved around claims by Broadcom that Qualcomm had deliberately included its patents in the Universal Mobile Telecommunications System standard in order to create a monopoly for its products. The appeals court held that if a company acts deceptively to gain adoption of a standard that then results in a monopoly to their advantage, they can be held to have violated anti-trust laws, irrespective of their right to determine the use of their patents. Interestingly enough, the Court of Appeals ruling relies on a Federal Trade Commission ruling which in turn relied on — drumroll, please — United States v. Microsoft, the very case that put MS under supervision in the first place.
All we can say is, we hope that with this many available avenues, something is done to rectify the farce acted out over the last several months.
Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.
Fast/Flexible Linux OS Recovery
On Demand Now
In this live one-hour webinar, learn how to enhance your existing backup strategies for complete disaster recovery preparedness using Storix System Backup Administrator (SBAdmin), a highly flexible full-system recovery solution for UNIX and Linux systems.
Join Linux Journal's Shawn Powers and David Huffman, President/CEO, Storix, Inc.
Free to Linux Journal readers.Register Now!
- Download "Linux Management with Red Hat Satellite: Measuring Business Impact and ROI"
- Chris Birchall's Re-Engineering Legacy Software (Manning Publications)
- The Italian Army Switches to LibreOffice
- Linux Mint 18
- Petros Koutoupis' RapidDisk
- ServersCheck's Thermal Imaging Camera Sensor
- Oracle vs. Google: Round 2
- The FBI and the Mozilla Foundation Lock Horns over Known Security Hole
- Privacy and the New Math
Until recently, IBM’s Power Platform was looked upon as being the system that hosted IBM’s flavor of UNIX and proprietary operating system called IBM i. These servers often are found in medium-size businesses running ERP, CRM and financials for on-premise customers. By enabling the Power platform to run the Linux OS, IBM now has positioned Power to be the platform of choice for those already running Linux that are facing scalability issues, especially customers looking at analytics, big data or cloud computing.
￼Running Linux on IBM’s Power hardware offers some obvious benefits, including improved processing speed and memory bandwidth, inherent security, and simpler deployment and management. But if you look beyond the impressive architecture, you’ll also find an open ecosystem that has given rise to a strong, innovative community, as well as an inventory of system and network management applications that really help leverage the benefits offered by running Linux on Power.Get the Guide