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+ - Did Microsoft buy Kazakhstan?

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft's open letter on Interoperability, Choice and Open XML is mocked by Opera's CTO in a CNET article titled Microsoft's amusing standards stance. Microsoft claims that governments wants a "choice" among standards.

Which countries? Is it Kazakhstan by any chance? Kazakhstan recently joined the relevant ISO group. In the past, consultants paid by Microsoft have joined standardization groups and become sympathetic voices. Are they buying countries this time?
Further, Microsoft's technical contributions to standards — and in particular Jean Paoli's (who co-authored the open letter) contributions to W3C — is questioned:

One of the authors of that submission was Jean Paoli. It is unlikely that he did much of the technical work on XSL, and he was probably listed for political reasons. Similarly, he was listed as an editor of the XML specification after Microsoft made some phone calls.
The author is not a fan of ODF, though, calling it a "memory dump with angle brackets around it". Instead, he suggests an advanced document format based on HTML and CSS that can be viewed in common browsers."

+ - UK e-petition for open document formats in govt

Submitted by
darrellberry writes "The UK Government is experimenting with e-democracy — the Prime Minister's website now hosts an e-petition system where any UK resident or citizen can set up a petition and call for signatures online. A recent e-petition achieved over 1 million votes for changes to proposed road tax legislation. A new petition argues that:

Government documents must be available for tens if not hundreds of years. Currently much electronic documentation is stored in proprietary formats, such as Microsoft's .doc format. In order to allow future generations access to these documents it is imperative that they be in a fully documented standard. Open Document Format (ISO/IEC 26300:2006) is now the international document standard and as such should be supported by the Government.
You know what to do!"

% APL is a natural extension of assembler language programming; ...and is best for educational purposes. -- A. Perlis