Microsoft Softening Up India

Microsoft is encouraging its business partners to promote its Office Open XML specification (OOXML) to the Indian Bureau of Standards (BIS) and Ministry of IT. This move has incensed supporters of the rival OpenDocument Format (ODF) who fear that the “soft” Indian state may not be able to stand up to Microsoft pressure tactics.Open Source Initiative (OSI) board member Raj Mathur claims to have a copy of the Microsoft letter to NGOs. “Microsoft has ‘persuaded’ several non-profit organizations,” Mathur writes, “to bombard the Indian IT Secretary and the Additional Director General of the Bureau of Indian Standards with letters supporting its OOXML proposal.”Mathur describes the letters as “form letters” due to their template-like nature. “As per our discussion,” the letter says, “please find attached the draft letters — please cut/edit/ delete and change it any which way you find useful. Also attached is the list of NGOs who have sent the letters. And attached is also a document that details wht [sic] this debate is all about. Look forward to hear from you in this regard. In case you decide to send the letters, can you please send me a scan of the singed [sic] letters that you send out. Thanks this will help me track the process.”

Further details here at

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3 thoughts on “Microsoft Softening Up India

  1. Oh, Apple and Linux use pressure tactics too.Apple uses 14 year-old girl peer pressure:”Buy all of our products, not just the computers, or you’re an unimaginative simpleton — you don’t want your friends and strangers to think *that* about you, do you?”Linux uses brainy snob condescension:”Use our system or else you broadcast your lower IQ to the world.”At least Microsoft is up front and heavy-handed about their pressure, rather than be passive-aggressive.

  2. The problem is not the hype, it’s the business model. MS, Apple and Open Source represent three very contrasting business models. One provides an unworkable alternative that is forced by whatever means are available on as many people as possible, one provides a very good alternative that is not for everybody, and one provides an excellent alternative that is not for everybody.

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