The community behind the user-generated encyclopaedia tries to prevent entries and edits from parties with a direct interest in advertising a story, including vendors and public relations firms.
"Wikipedia has an entry on Open XML that has a lot of slanted language, and we'd like them to make it more objective. But we feel that it would be best if a non-Microsoft person were the source of any corrections. Would you have any interest or availability to do some of this kind of work?" Mahugh wrote in an email to Jelliffe.
"Your reputation as a leading voice in the XML community would carry a lot of credibility, so your name came up in a discussion of the Wikipedia situation today."
Mahugh added that Microsoft did not need to approve anything he would say. " Our goal is simply to get more informed voices into the debate ... feel free to state your own opinion," he wrote.
Jelliffe disclosed the request in a blog posting. While he pointed out that he is "hardly the poster boy of Microso ft partisanship", he declared that he was inclined to accept.
"Fear, uncertainty and doubt enrages me. And Microsoft is certainly not hiring me to add any pro-Microsoft FUD, just to correct any errors I see," said Jelliffe. He went on to single out several factual inaccuracies in the posting.
The formats determine the way that documents are structured. An open format ensures that any application can edit and save documents, while a closed standard could prevent OpenOffice, for instance, from opening a Word document.
ODF is an open standard governed by the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards.
Critics have suggested that Microsoft's standard lacks openness, and the battle lines are drawn out between backers of Microsoft Office and those who support OpenOffice.
Microsoft has accused IBM of orchestrating the flow of inaccurate information.
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