Our friends at Linux Delhi have put up a copy of the form letters that Microsoft has been sending NGOs on the OOXML issue. Apparently, these NGOs have been sending copies of these letters to the Ministry of IT and Bureau of Indian standards.
Raj Mathur of Linux Delhi asks makes some pertinent points which are quoted below:
There is a possibility that some, if not all of these NGOs are beneficiaries of cash inputs from their (MS') Corporate Social Railroading ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H Responsibility arm. I'd really be interested in answers to these questions, anyone up to asking them?
* How many letters supporting OOXML has the Government of India received from NGOs in the recent past?
* How many of these NGOs have received cash inputs (directly or indirectly) from MS?
* How many of these NGOs can sit across a table and discuss OOXML?
* How many of these NGOs can enumerate the benefits of OOXML over, say, ODF for their own organisations?
The NGOs supporting OOXML are probably as clueless as ASSOCHAM (Associated Chamber of Manufacturing) which told a journalist from the Economic Times that they supported OOXML because "Microsoft is a member." If that's the case, ASSOCHAM should have been honest about the fact that they are supporting a member and not palmed it off "in the national interest."
I feel sorry for these NGOs who probably depend on Microsoft's donations. Do you know of any NGO that has received similar letters? Please bring this to my attention and I will give them a call to find out how much they know about OOXML and ODF :-) Meanwhile, everyone, give a big hand to Microsoft for redefining Corporate Social Responsibility. If their tribe increases, doomsday is not far away!