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US gives thumbs up to OOXML for ISO standard

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The US delegation to the International Standards Organisation (ISO) has voted to maintain its “Approve” recommendation for Microsoft’s Office Open XML (OOXML) to be adopted by the body.

Microsoft tech evangelist Doug Mahugh said in a blog post on Friday that, having mulled over the feasibility of the OOXML file format, the US group agreed to stick to its guns and will vote in the same way as it did last September.

He said: “We are recommending that the US maintain its Approve position on DIS 29500. The next step will be for the INCITS Executive Board to conduct a letter ballot to approve this result.”

The US decision follows a ballot resolution meeting of ISO members from 33 countries that got together in Geneva to debate Office 2007's OOXML. However, this is only the US decision, and doesn't reflect whether the entire ISO subcommittee has voted as a whole in favour of adopting Microsoft's file format alongside ISO-approved Open Document Format (ODF).

The ISO officially rejected Microsoft’s bid to get its file format adopted as an international standard last autumn. Delegates have until the end of this month to adjust their positions if they wish, Microsoft will need to secure 66 per cent of the votes to see OOXML adopted as an international standard.

“I think the interests of the United States have been well served by the process, and the spec is much better now than when we started,” said Mahugh. ®

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