Old Dog Reprise

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I have had more interest in the story about the attacks on Matthew Holloway's credibility than I imagined. Whilst it is a bit of a side show in the debate about whether OOXML should become an ISO standard it seems worth following up. This will (hopefully) be the last word from me on the subject. We will not be taking the issue any further.

First of all I should say I received some criticism for not revealing the names of the Microsoft folks involved. My reasons for doing this were primarily to focus on ensuring Matthew's credibility is protected. But it is also not a time for blaming individuals. This is a company issue and should be treated as such.

I wrote to Microsoft asking for an apology. In their response, received after the first story, they acknowledge that Microsoft New Zealand supplied the "background information" on Matthew to the overseas person responsible for writing the email. They also apologise for any "embarrassment or distress" to Matthew caused by the "publication of the background information". They offer no apology for the actual content of that information but instead go on to attack me for publishing the Standards NZ response to the content - which, by the way, I did with the approval of SNZ.

This explanation is somewhat at odds with Microsoft's terse response to some questioning from Computerworld where they simply say the email was "sent by a person "offshore"". It is possible, of course, that Computerworld chose not to publish all of Microsoft's comments on the subject.

In the meantime OpenMalaysia has a and article entitled "How to Royally Annoy National Bodies". Read down the article for a formal response written to Microsoft USA employee, Doug Mahugh, by the Chair for the Malaysian SIRIM TC4. The letter begins with the words:

"I am surprised and appalled to read your blog and its many inaccuracies."

Finally, if there is anything in this or other articles that are factually incorrect I would be happy for the Microsoft management who are subscribed to our NZOSS mailing lists and feeds to point them out and correct them. That's what the comments are for and the NZOSS has no desire or need to rely in incorrect information.

I have personally seen how when faced with the prospect of following Fact or respecting the commercial interests of MicroSoft, that Matthew has chosen to side on the side of the Facts. So the facts might be that OOXML can't even be implemented by MicroSoft, and that they have publicly stated that they don't even guarantee to make their own software interoperable with it. So they paid off officials in Norway and were caught on public record on that matter. So, a number of minor countries joined ISO to vote for OOXML and haven't voted on anything since.

Those are just facts, dammit! Are these a rational basis for making decisions?

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