CyberTech Rambler

July 23, 2007

Put out the evidence and let the readers decide.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 7:24 pm

Matusow finally responsed to insinuation that Microsoft is ballot-stuffing. I got a feeling he is trying to play a word game here. I mean the stuff you expects PR people will do.

First is where he drawn the line on vote-stuffing

“I think one situation I would disagree with is if one party had wholly or partially-owned subsidiaries brought onto committees to vote as a block – that would seem wrong to me.”

[Only would, meaning he is only 99% sure that this is wrong? OK. This may be my bad English at fault. I’ll give my English the benefit of doubt and say he says this practice is 100% wrong.] This is  undeniably wrong. Like vote-buying, so obvious that only the arrogant company will do it and expects to get away with it. All giant IT companies, including Microsoft, will NOT engage in such practices. If they do ballot-stuffing, it will be more subtle.

The important omission in this statement, to me, is to say that if a company brought its business partner onto committees to vote as a bloc, this is not wrong. This I whole-heartedly disagree. It achieve the same thing and is therefore equally wrong. In fact, this is the more likely situation for ballot-stuffing. More difficult to discover and easier to deny. I mean, in all cases, including this, the best the injured party can do is to insinuate, isn’t it?

It is however equally wrong to say that the reason for the explosion of membership in one committee when it is handling important and/or controversial issue is a clear sign of ballot-stuffing, even if the new members voted en-bloc. As I said tirelessly in several blogs and this, one expects the parties who might be injured by an adverse decision to take action to protect itself. As such, one should see a natural, grassroot-based surge when someone feels threaten. In OOXML approval case, adoption of OOXML by ISO is important for Microsoft’s partners who had invested a lot in OOXML. Hence I do expect a surge. The only question is, is the surge a bit too big to be “natural”? It’s a question for the reader.

Even if these parties fade away after this one vote, it will be wrong to say it is vote-stuffing base on this fact alone. It just means they are only interested in OOXML. If they contribute to the discussion, their participation will be well-deserved and they should be welcomed. If they did not, then put more weigh on vote-stuffing.

And let technical committee stays technical only, business committee stays business only. Any party with business agenda infiltrating technical committee is and vice-versa is vote-stuffing, as it does not have any business there.

Is Microsoft doing ballot-stuffing? You decide. I can only presents the evidence and what I think, but it’s your call.

Back to wordsmithing by Matusow. He opined that all opinions, even those expressed using the same letter counts because the sender took the time to do it. Yes, all opinions should count. However, he miss out the part discussing whether all opinion should be given equal weights. I think this is a more important issue than to simply says that all opinions should count.


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