Feeds

OOXML approved as international standard?

But voting process slammed

The essential guide to IT transformation

Microsoft looks almost certain to have got its Office Open XML (OOXML) file format passed as an international standard but the ballot has been tarnished by accusations of voting irregularities.

There’s no official word as yet from the International Standards Organisation (ISO), the body responsible for overseeing the ballot, but according to many observers that have been closely following the process, Microsoft appears to have secured enough votes at its second time of trying.

However, a number of delegates from the 87 national standards groups have been loudly complaining about alleged heavy-handed tactics and misdeeds in the voting process.

Groklaw reports grumbles coming out of Norway and Poland where claims of irregularities have been voiced and there’s been talk of very close votes in Croatia and Germany.

Norway has reversed its vote, now coming out in favour of OOXML. Geir Isene wrote on his blog about the Norwegian Standards Institute’s meeting last week in which they agreed to make the U-turn.

"The meeting: 27 people in the room, four of which were administrative staff from Standard Norge. The outcome: Of the 24 members attending, 19 disapproved, five approved.

"The result: The administrative staff decided that Norway wants to approve OOXML as an ISO standard," he said.

Meanwhile, the British Standards Institute (BSI) is another high profile national standards body that has changed its position and agreed to approve OOXML, or DIS 29500 after voting against it in September last year.

Late last week Liberal Democrat MP John Pugh tabled a question in the House of Commons on the BSI's stance on OOXML.

Microsoft needs to bag two thirds of the votes to see OOXML recognised as a standard alongside competing file format Open Document Format (ODF) which was endorsed by the ISO last year.

The ballot closed at midnight on Saturday and followed a resolution meeting in February in which delegates were given the opportunity to review comments about adjusting their position on adopting the file format as a standard.

Last autumn OOXML, which was first rubber-stamped by Ecma International, failed to secure approval.

The ISO said it will make an official announcement either later today or early tomorrow morning. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.