A number of readers are sending news of the progress of Microsoft's attempt to get OOXML standardized by ISO. First off, New Zealand has voted "no" on the question. In Sweden, after the uproar following the "yes" vote there, a Microsoft representative has admitted buying Swedish OOXML votes (link in Swedish — follow the Read More... link below for some translated quotes). Computerworld has also picked up the Sweden story. Finally, from Hungary, reader ens0niq writes that the Minister of Economy and Transport has sent a letter to the General Director of the Hungarian Standards Institution requiring that the June 25 "yes" vote be re-done because of irregularities. Our correspondent notes, however, that many Microsoft partners have joined the voting committee in the meanwhile, so the result could be a replay of Sweden's experience.
Here are some quotes from the Swedish article translated by our anonymous correspondent.
-We have been informing our business partners about the process at SIS. What is going on, what the time plan is and that Microsoft thinks it is good if OOXML becomes a standard.
-In a letter from Microsoft, our business partners were informed that they were "expected" to participate in the SIS meeting and vote yes. As a compensation they would get "market benefits" and extra support in terms of Microsoft resources.
-This was a mistake and the letter was sent by a single employee on his own initiative without sanctions from Microsoft. He also quickly realised his mistake and tried to recall the letter.
-I can understand the critique about coup-like voting. But I claim the voters knew the issue well and had their own interest in OOXML becoming an ISO standard.
(Interviewer) -Has this harmed Microsoft?
-Time will tell. But almost all customers we have been talking to thinks it would be good if OOXML became an ISO standard.