The OOXML debate has been covered in the press frequently, but when it gets outside of the industry weeklies, you know that something smells pretty rotten.  Even the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times had articles last week.  With today being the deadline for countries to submit their votes, Wired has just published a very solid overall analysis of what's gone on in the shoddy underbelly of this process:

The final decision won't be made until February 2008, but in the meantime, Microsoft's lobbying of the ISO has prompted one of the most contentious arguments about open standards in recent memory.

Both those for and against OOXML's approval have resorted to name-calling, finger pointing and muckraking of the highest order, setting off a debate about current standards approval procedures and the ease with which they can be bent by corporate influence.
Given all that has gone on, do you know what surprised me most about this article?
Microsoft did not respond to several calls requesting comment.
One of Microsoft's main OpenXML voices zinged IBM for a "no comment" on the Wall Street Journal OOXML story -- which, when you think about it, really shouldn't have phased them.  It seems MS is so paranoid at this point that they just assume the conspiracy against them always has something to say.  

One thing that I do think is funny is that almost all the main voices in the OOXML spectrum moderate comments on their blogs.  I've even seen one MS blog where it's like a "slow count" -- oh, you said something that proved me wrong?  Maybe it'll appear in 16 hours or so.  If they're (going to claim they are) doing it for comment spam prevention, I suggest a number of different anti-comment-spam solutions.  The built-in anti-spam capabilities in the Lotus Domino blogging template seem to beat all other solutions I've ever seen... thousands of comment spams a day here but <1% get through.  How hard is it to allow a real-time discussion to be real-time?

Link: Wired: Microsoft Allegedly Bullies and Bribes to Make Office an International Standard >

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