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January 24, 2007

Snarky Post of the Week: MS vs Wikipedia

Given the tech blogosphere's hullabaloo over a Mircosoft employee allegedly suggesting that a XML expert change the Wikipedia entry on Open XML, this week’s snarky post comes from that MS employee himself (emphasis added):Ms_wiki

“Call Microsoft evil if you must, but in this case it's Doug Mahugh you're talking about. PR didn't know I contacted Rick. Hell, my own manager didn't know, although it seems likely he knows by now. You're talking about my actions alone, so I think my opinion is relevant. And in my opinion, the premise of this thread is a lie.” (Slashdot)

Seems like much ado about nothing from this post but everyone else seems to be using this as another reason to demonize MS. I may not be the biggest MS fan but if the MS employee, as a private citizen who's passionate about Open XML and acted solely on his own (without company encouragement) suggested that a Wikipedia entry post was biased and could use some adjusting, I see no foul.

Add in the fact that the MS employee himself didn't change the post because he believed that this action might smell of impropriety (given that he works for MS) and I have to give the guy the benefit of the doubt. As the evidence stands now, I think he took a reasonable enough action and don't see the big harm in him suggesting that a colleague well-versed in this technical topic review and perhaps adjust the language around a biased or opinionated Wikipedia entry.

Side note: Used the relaunched Google Images (I like the the new image mouseover highlight and size info, eliminates having the view the actual image to know how large or small it actually is) to track down the images I used to make the graphic above. And here's today's tip, don't ever image search for "Wikipedia," you'll receive really strange results.


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