A thousand pardons for my latenessPosted: August 27, 2007
I was supposed to have up a report on the OOXML seminar that happened last week. Sadly I have been spending all my time preparing for the follow up meeting which happens in an hour or so.
This one will be more interesting. We have representatives from Microsoft, IBM and apparently a professor at the University of The Western Cape in South Africa. All the relevant stakeholders will also be there to listen and possibly vote. We are however going to require full disclosure of any affiliations they have with Microsoft before the meeting.
Just so you know, the way it works is the standards board assembles a list of relevant stakeholders, sends them the specification and then lets them vote on it. I’ll have the list for you after the meeting. I should also point out that the standards board is doing their best to appear neutral because of a ton of pressure from Microsoft and its partners on one side, and IBM, civil society groups and apparently foreign standards boards on the other. It has also been strongly implied to me that they do not want to be seen as an impediment to a rumoured deal between Microsoft and the Government of Ghana. That can be bad for careers.
Also worth noting, some of the Microsoft people who came here also went to Ethiopia to make the same pitch. This is definitely part of a concerted effort to lobby African governments. And to be perfectly honest it annoys the hell out of me.
I’ll be there to speak and take notes on the event, so you’ll get both reports later this week. Maybe tonight if I have the energy to write them up.