While I am not surprised that it happened, the fact remains that once a business feels that it’s status as a monopoly is threatened, it will do everything it can to ensure that it’s status quo is maintained.
From this you can be pretty sure that it was not an isolated instance of corporate bullying. They did the same in Malaysia (the MS MD paid a visit to the IT minister who was in Sabah just after the crucial vote of Disapprove to get it changed to Abstain) as well as similar efforts in Singapore. I am sure similar things were done in South Korea as well.
I was mildly surprised that some local journalists actually bought the MSspeak in that “ooxml is a great thing” and that “the anti-ooxml crowd is really not willing to play fair” was to them accurate. When I explained how MS walked out of the OASIS ODF committees and also that in the ECMA/MS deliberations, no independent third party was allowed to participate does not show that they were or are now any more sincere in working with the open standards people in making a truly and fully specified document standard. It has been a month since the ooxml was bulldozed into the ISO and we have YET to see the final document. How’s that for honesty and credibility?
Another low point of that organization is their “new fangled” open source initiative: microsoft. com / opensource. They are championing some individuals as heros for using open source apps and tools on top of a closed source OS supported by closed source development tools. While I am all for a mixed source environment where it makes sense, I note that my challenge to MS to make their tools like their office suite fully supported and available on Fedora is still not taken up. Making it available on Fedora is a guarantee that it will run on other distributions as I personally believe that the freedoms that Fedora adheres to (and possibly exceeds the Debian Social Contract) is a crucial cornerstone in ensure software freedom.