in Microsoft, Standards, Trends

How the Swedish OOXML Vote Was Bought for $57,000

Microsoft hijacked Swedish OOXML vote?Sweden is represented in the ISO through the Swedish Standards Institute (SIS). This means that our country has one of the 100 or so votes.

The member countries have had six months to consider if the Office Open XML (OOXML) format should become an ISO standard. In Sweden, SIS arranged a working group that have looked through the material. As you may know the OOXML format has been heavily criticized (by many e.g. Google (PDF)) for allowing embedding of closed Microsoft-specific objects in the document standard and thus making it difficult for non-Microsoft software to read OOXML documents.

Unfortunately, SIS is an organisation where anyone can become a member. Member organizations can send participants to a working group for a fee. The current rate is 17,000 SEK (~$2,500). The day before the vote that decided if SIS would say yes to OOXML in the ISO there were a couple of new members in the SIS/TK321/AG17 working group:

Company name Relation to Microsoft
Exor Microsoft Partner
Formpipe software Microsoft Gold Partner
Cybernetics Microsoft Gold Partner
Ibizkit Microsoft Partner
Emric Microsoft Partner
Strand Interconnect Microsoft Gold Partner
Nordicstation Microsoft Partner
Sourcetech Microsoft Partner
Cornerstone Sweden Microsoft Gold Partner
Solid Park Microsoft Gold Partner
Fishbode systems Microsoft Gold Partner
KnowIT Sverige Microsoft Gold Partner
Modul 1 Microsoft Gold Partner
IDE Nätverkskonsulter Microsoft Gold Partner
Connecta Microsoft Gold Partner
Camako Data Microsoft Gold Partner
Sogeti Microsoft Gold Partner
Tieto Enator Corp. Microsoft Gold Partner

And so, Sweden will be voting yes to make OOXML an ISO standard.

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