India to Microsoft: stop wasting our time

Nice entry from Venkatesh Hariharan. See for yourself:

Finally word is out and the Bureau of Indian Standards has confirmed that it will be submitting a “No with comments” vote to International Standards Organization on Microsoft’s OOXML proposal. This brings to a temporary close five to six months of hectic legwork to prevent a sub-standard proposal from getting the coveted tag of an ISO standard.

I doubt if Microsoft realizes it, but its actions are only making it the Union Carbide of the global IT industry. Microsoft is the world’s largest software company but if you flip through their 6000+ pages of OOXML documentation, you’ll be justified in wondering how they grew so big if the rest of their work is as shoddy as OOXML. The extremely flawed proposal certainly does not befit its stature in the IT industry. (…)

Coming back to India, I am extremely proud of the fact that my country has voted against this proposal. To accept such a poor document would have been to denigrate the very meaning of “standards.” The academia, the government bodies, industry organizations and non-profits like the Free Software Foundation spent countless hours debating and discussing this issue. Some of the best brains in India burnt the midnight oli to review this 6000 page proposal and the final consensus was that none of Microsoft’s answers to the 201 technical issues raised was found satisfactory. I hope the Microsoft bosses in Redmond take note of this and make a genuine attempt to rectify the issues instead of trying to stuff the ballot boxes.

For wasting the collective intellect of India’s best IT brains, Microsoft and ECMA must be blacklisted. Just as a person with a bad credit history has to redeem himself or herself before applying for subsequent credit, any standards proposal submitted by these two organizations should be toughly vetted before it is even accepted for review or voting in India. India has more pressing problems to tackle than OOXML. Therefore, Microsoft, please do us a big favor and stop wasting our time. Next time, do your homework before you submit something to India.

Read the whole story at his blog.

News from Bulgaria is that the Bulgarian Standards Institute has actually accepted the Microsoft “standard” – another sign how powerful Microsoft’s corrupt practices are in my own country. I’ve been writing a lot about it in my own blog, and portions of what is happening in Bulgaria have made it to the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times, but it seems when we are talking about profits of about 400 (four hundred) percent, some publications are not enough to stop the corruption…

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