I said in an earlier post that standards work has little or nothing to do with governments, that it is handled in a separate process which is generally ignored by politicians (and generally should be), and which is open to exploit and therefore easy to distort. In this case, it seems that Microsoft turned this upside down: the standards body could not be persuaded to vote according to their wish, so the government was influenced to overrule the vote. This is appalling.
It is also a clear case of Microsoft stepping over a line no company should cross. Exercising influence over foreign governments is in fact against the law for US companies. I forget the name of the law, could someone more familiar with legal issues help here? It was something along the lines of "Foreign Trade Conduct Act". IANAL, but this appears to be more than a borderline case of ugly but formally legal behavior. It might be a case that could be taken to court if we could find evidence and witnesses to the direct influence from Microsoft.
Isn't it sad that we have to ponder legal action to make Microsoft get a grip on reality and realize that DIS 29500 is a dead horse and that they should stop kicking it? In fact, it is not even a dead horse, it's a sad excuse for a horse mock-up that was never alive in the first place. It was created in a dark basement from a haphazard collection of sort of animal-like parts and presented to the world as the Microsoft version of a horse. "It's alive, it's just resting. Just you wait and see, it will spring to action any minute now. Fine animal, isn't she? And big. 6,000 pounds. Sure, some bits are falling off, but we can fix that, trust us. Look, that part is moving! (Kick) Yes, it smells, we know, but it is alive. Honestly. (Kick)"