The Rise of the Machines

Lora Bentley

As the ISO vote on Microsoft's Office Open XML document standard approaches, it seems at least one employee took advancing the company cause into his own hands.

 

Computerworld reports that an employee from Microsoft's Swedish subsidiary offered cash incentives to partners if they would vote to ratify OOXML as an ISO standard. The company says the employee acted afoul of its official policy, that the offers were retracted, and that SIS, the Swedish standards body, was informed.

 

SIS voted to approve the standard on Sunday, the story says, But according to Microsoft's Tom Robertson, the unauthorized offers "had no impact on the final vote."

 

Comparing Microsoft's lobbying efforts to a voter registration drive, Robertson said:

Have we been speaking to our community of companies about this issue? Yes we have. They needed to know. They, in many cases, decided to participate. [But] there is no basis to allegations that we are gerrymandering the process.

Meantime, the managing director for the ODF Alliance notes that Microsoft's work may backfire. As he told Computerworld:

Some of the comments that have been received from the countries... shine a light on OOXML defects. Governments will think long and hard after viewing some of these comments before using the format.


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