Long-time blog readers know that I love to examine conspiracy and deception, especially when it comes to a certain competitor.  This week, I've already commented once on the OOXML thing...was hoping that would be enough for one week, especially as my comments were picked up by eWeek, CNET, and others.  But with the final vote a week away, I guess it's worth looking at another exciting chapter in the blogosphere debate about OOXML.

You see, it appears we have congratulations to offer to Doug Mahugh.  Doug, who is a senior product manager at Microsoft, has been travelling the world advocating for Microsoft's Open XML formats.  Apparently, his blog's about page left out one of his credentials:

So anyway, I find out, from the business card, that Doug is representing our friends from IASA! He even has a business card and all! Sure, IASA is an international body for software architects, but Doug Mahugh is actually a VP for IASA, specifically, for Malaysia!

On the Open Malaysia blog, Yoon-Kit Yong discusses the surprise he and other representatives at a meeting of Malaysia's TC4 Technical Committee considering their country's stance on the OOXML standardization vote had when Mahugh appeared at the meeting.

What is strange to me about the whole incident is that it appears there were legitimate ways to get Doug into the meeting, at least as an observer.  Instead, Doug came in with what sure seems like a hastily-manufactured title and affiliation -- YK describes the card as not being of professional printing quality -- which is not backed up anywhere on the 'net.  In the end, Doug left the meeting, though his version of why and YK's version seem to have some differences.  I've left a comment on Doug's site, asking a simple question -- why the business card?  Even the most amateur politician would know that, at this point in the voting cycle, any irregularities will end up with a huge, glowing spotlight on them.  Given the specious tactics that have occurred in this process at every step, why add another obviously risky play to the public pile?

Perhaps Doug realized that the Malaysians were not going to go his way, and decided to go down in flames.  The question now is, will the news that this is the game being played echo out into the other countries still considering their votes?

Link: Open Malaysia Blog: The Elephant in the Room - with a calling card. >

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