mudshark writes: Microsoft has unveiled its new lobbying effort, Voices for Innovation, and is encouraging its partners to sign up and weigh in. The site's mission statement comes across as a call to arms for the tech sector, with the bullet points "Choice," "Innovation," and "Economic Development" under the subject heading "What's at Stake." It encourages visitors to sign up, sign an OOXML adoption petition, and take a quick poll. The rhetorical positioning of the issues is interesting, particularly this gem: "Mandating specific standards and licensing models and limiting how users control their digital privacy hurt the technology sector, consumers, and private and public sector technology users." I couldn't answer the first poll question, partly because they didn't list any of my principal tech news sources and partly because I don't know what a newspapser is.
mudshark writes: Despite a last-minute media carpet-bombing effort from Microsoft featuring quarter-page display ads in the major dailies, coupled with significant astroturf pressure from MS partners, Standards NZ has cast a vote of "no with comments" on the ISO/IEC proposal for adoption of Office Open XML as an international standard. This decision leaves the door open for changing to a "yes" vote in February 2008 if numerous technical considerations are addressed — including the possibility of merging OOXML with the existing standard Open Document Format. As the Tui ads seen across the country would say: "Let's merge OOXML with ODF. Yeah, right."