“Microsoft’s embattled Office Open XML (OOXML) document format received ISO fast-track approval today after receiving support from approximately 86 percent of the national bodies that participated in the vote. ISO approval will be broadly perceived as a sign of validation for the document format which has received widespread criticism from technical experts and standards advocacy groups,” Ryan Paul reports for Ars Technica.
MacDailyNews Note: Apple’s iWork ’08 is Office Open XML compatible.
“Failure to obtain ISO approval would have put Microsoft at a disadvantage in government software procurement processes which are increasingly mandating or favoring open standards. The trend towards standards adoption in government IT could have potentially pushed the public sector away from Microsoft’s deeply entrenched office offerings and towards a variety of alternatives,” Paul reports.
“OOXML was approved as an ECMA standard in 2006 but failed to achieve ISO approval during an initial 2007 vote. ISO’s second fast-track vote, which took place earlier this month, delivered a sufficient number of votes in favor of the format to move forward with ISO approval. The process has received heavy scrutiny from critics who claim that Microsoft has engaged in abusive practices ranging from committee-stuffing to potential vote buying,” Paul reports. “Critics have documented some evidence of various irregularities in national body internal voting processes in Russia, Poland, Mexico, Sweden, Germany, and other countries.”
More in the full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “RadDoc” for the heads up.]
MacDailyNews Take: Money might not be able to buy you love, but it certainly looks like it can buy ISO approval.
The ISO would do well to remember that “ISO approval” is meaningless if enough people disapprove of the ISO.