Helpdesk

Doug Mahugh, Microsoft's Open XML evangelist:

"Office is a USD$10 billion revenue generator for the company. When ODF was made an ISO standard, Microsoft had to react quickly as certain governments have procurement policies which prefer ISO standards. Ecma and OASIS are "international standards", but ISO is the international "Gold Standard". Microsoft therefore had to rush this standard through. Its a simple matter of commercial interests!"

Thank you for your support of our campaign!

It is crucial to spread more public awareness about what is going on and ensure that all national bodies ensure fair play. The technical case against Open Office XML is almost won. Microsoft did not substantiate its claim that Open XML served a different purpose than the existing international standard ISO 26300. No feature mapping is provided so far. Unfortunately the previous vote process was dominated by political tactics. National Committees were stuffed with business partners to vote for "YES with comments" which compares to a "YES with a Christmas card". But they did not succeed.

We observed numerous irregularities. For instance in Portugal OOXML critics as SUN Microsystem and IBM were not let in the room because of an alleged lack of chairs. Also ECMA officials took a active role in National Committees to push for the Redmond "standard" that was submitted by ECMA. Merger of interest is not the exception. Countries with no past involvement in this process will attend the ISO meeting as new privileged P-members.

Microsoft is still trying to make the ISO National Bodies believe that its Office Open XML (OOXML) format is a good standard and "multiple standards" are fine. They say OOXML served a different purpose than the existing standard ISO 26300:2006: "backwards compatibility. As belief in multiple standards is limited among reasonable standard experts believers were sent to the Committees to obstruct their work. Institutional resistance in the standard bodies, esp. among government participants in the committees is on the rise.

That is why we need your assistance in the war on standards. Document standards are the real oil of the 21st century. The vendor understands that and fights fiercely to undermine the lead role of the ISO 26300 OpenDocument standard as the next generation standard to replace its binary Office formats. If ISO standardization of OOXML fails national governments will ask the vendor to fully support OpenDocument in Microsoft Office. They can do. If OOXML becomes a second ISO standard the vendor will use its market dominance and standard control to undermine competition for at least another 10-15 years.

ISO 26300 is a better standard that does virtually the same, but is fully open, European Union open standards compliant, with no patent ambush and proprietary strings attached. As Bill Gates said in 1999:

Why would the office group be giving out the Office 2000 formats to competitors. to me this seems crazy1

It is the support and adoption of OpenDocument Format (ISO 26300) that drives them "crazy"!

We will need to mount the pressure together to put the kibosh on the ISO standardization of Open XML.

What else you can do

  • Ask your national standards body and committee members to reject OOXML as amended by the BRM, an immature specification (deadline 30 March)
  • Document all irregularities so that we can make a case against vendor capture.
  • Donations: Benjamin Henrion, campaign leader, likes to joke that his Noooxml.org is a 12 Euro project, 12 Euro was the fee for registering the domain name. Although our community action is quite "efficient" we need your personal or financial support to become more effective!
  • Join the public Mailing List: http://lists.ffii.org/mailman/listinfo/noooxml-club
  • Banners: Our banner page explains how you can set a banner on your website to spread the word about our <no>ooxml campaign.
  • Public outreach: Spread the word! Write about our campaign in your blog.
  • IRC: You can come and discuss <no>ooxml and how to help us to defeat the standardisation of the broken Microsoft Office standard at ISO on IRC (Internet Relay Chat): Server: irc.freenode.net Channel: #noooxml
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