Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Microsoft Fails to Win Approval On File Format for Office - WSJ.com

 Looks like it'll go to a 3rd and final phase in March; see this post on Brian Jones' blog (and related comments/responses) for more details.

The standards struggle -- which has pitted Microsoft against open-source advocates and traditional rival International Business Machines Corp. – is important because it speaks to the issue of who should control the digital codes used to store billions of documents. Microsoft sought to have its document formats adopted as a standard in part to allay concerns that it keeps rivals from developing competing office software.

The vote isn't the end of the line for Microsoft. The standards issue now enters another phase during which the company has a chance to convince disapproving countries to change their minds. In a statement, a Microsoft executive, Tom Robertson, said he was "extremely delighted" that 74% of the countries voted to support Open XML as a standard. Microsoft needed 75%. Microsoft fell shorter in the other requirement, that two-thirds of a key group of countries vote yes. According to people familiar with the matter, 53% in the key group did so.

FWIW I still expect Open XML to become an ISO standard -- and it's reassuring to see the spec/design improved by the standardization process.

Microsoft Fails to Win Approval On File Format for Office - WSJ.com

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