I was looking up some of the SQL people, and it appears your bio link ("wikime") may be broken.--Rudd73 22:18, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
working on "Conflict of Interest" guidelines
Dear WLD, Doc0tis, hAl, Gazpacho and BCube --
I've been following (and partially contributing) to the discussion of the whole "Microsoft edits" issue on Talk:OpenDocument. My own experience with editors who have "conflicts of interest" (on very different topics: FIRE and John Templeton Foundation) is that while such folks can be tedious at times and definitely need to be "educated" on things like WP:NPOV and WP:CITE, that they are capable of valid, good faith edits and that it would be a net detriment to wikipedia if such editors were banned from editing and forced to simply post suggestions on a talk page.
(In the case of Microsoft vs. Open Source pages I think the problem is particularly acute because by definition "one side" of the story is unpaid and thus does not fall under the COI guidelines -- if we were to ban employees, say, from editing pages, we would end up with a net POV slanted towards open source.)
I went to the WP:COI page (a guideline I'd never noticed before in years of editing) and tried to make some edits to make this clear. These were quickly reverted, but there is now at least a discussion of sorts on the talk page. The basic problem is that the editors on that page believe pretty much that such editors should be banned, should be forced to seek permission from other editors, or something of the sort.
My sense from your contributions to the Open Documents discussion is that you have similar feelings to mine. I think it would be a good idea for you to contribute your views at the WP:COI page if you have the time. I don't usually like to "recruit" people, but the essential problem is that the editors currently feel that "consensus" is on their side.